Listen there is no better soccer player in MLS than Landon Donovan, he is also the best player on the USMNT. I have no problem stating those as facts and not opinion.
But he also has to play the games that MLS plays, so you have to wonder what is the truth of the transfer situation? I got a bunch of people jumping all over me for questioning "the Don's" statement of "no intention of accepting transfer offers", which many around the MLS blogosphere are trying to convince me means "unless someone offers me the kind of money I want for him".
I question the leadership of "the Don" on this topic, if he wants to drive the price people offer for Landon up, or drive the price up so high nobody offers, then he should have said what he meant "No offer of under 20 million US will be considered for Landon Donovan" but that isn't what he said, so do we take the leader of MLS at his word or not? I don't know?
So what about the latest little gem to come up?
more after the jump:
I feared we might get into one of these situations where the pressure on Landon to "toe the line"(sorry for typing tow, when I know it should have been toe-thanks for all of you who pointed it out) would come up and it appears from Phil's comments we are right in the middle of it.
Landon made this comment when he came back from the World Cup
"Right now, I want to be in America," he said. "If there's something serious to look at, then I will. I never say never to anything. But for now, I'm very excited to be home."
this weekend he made this statement about it:
"It's a little bit difficult at times because clearly every player at some point would want a chance to play at the highest level, in this case being the [English Premier League]. So there is a little bit of a struggle there with me thinking about all of it. But at this point, there's no need to worry about it. I can enjoy what I'm doing now and if something becomes a real possibility, that's fine."
If you have trouble reading between the lines, you shouldn't it is clear that Landon wants to be able to play at least a part of his career at the highest level of the game and that isn't the case in MLS (give us time). There will be no better time for Landon, he is coming off a great period with Everton earlier this year, he is coming off a very solid World Cup for him, and it is open season on transfers.
So the question is what will Don Garber do? Will he listen to real offers that would give one the greatest US born players a chance to show the world that he can play at the top level of the sport? Will he hold the line knowing that Landon can do some good for gates and ratings for MLS here in the USA? But what will the long term impact be on Landon, can he truly be happy being paraded around in endless dog and pony shows? Or does he want to do what all competitive athletes want to do, become the best at what he does?
I think Landon's time in Everton did great good for MLS, it showed the US based "Eurosnobs" (those who dislike MLS for various reasons) that our players can play with the best of them. I think the exposure in Europe of "the yank" did the league a great service in letting players know you can come to MLS and that other leagues are paying attention to those who do well here. I think those who watched him play for Everton on TV here in the states, had to believe that MLS might just be worth checking out.
I think realistic offers for Landon should be accepted, what is realistic? How about this he signed a new deal worth about 8.25 million dollars for 4 years, that seems like it would be a fair transfer value for him, but lets round it up to and even 10 million dollars.
What do you think?
OFF MY SOAPBOX