Ever since Landon Donovan started telling us that he would prefer to stay with the Galaxy instead of going to Copa America, critics have been vocal from all corners of this land. It seems that it's many of the same critics who bash Landon and are quick to point the finger at him when the U.S. does not do well but often don't hold others to the same standards.
Still, the criticism seems to be growing louder as Copa America nears, and especially when you consider the amount of games he could miss. The Galaxy hosts Columbus on June 23, the day before the Gold Cup final. Their next game is on July 4 at home against Chicago and then Kansas City at Home Depot Center on July 7. The United States' last Copa America match is on July 5. Even if the U.S. makes the final, Landon wouldn't miss any more games - after July 7, their next game of any kind is on July 17 against Tigres UANL in the World Series of Football.
So yes, the critics are holding up their bullhorns now.
Except, there is one thing they probably don't take into consideration. Landon actually lives his own life. He's not a figure in a video game; he's actually flesh and blood.
So although he would only miss two games, he could potentially miss a big chunk of the buzz and excitement in what could be the biggest moment in Galaxy history and a big part of his own life - the arrival of David Beckham. We don't know yet when Beckham will arrive but if he joins the Galaxy while Landon is killing time in some Venezuelan hotel room, that doesn't seem right.
I asked him directly about the time he'd miss and how it would be just the two games and said he wanted to be here for the excitement this summer will bring, both on and off the field.
"I want to be here for part of that. Aside from soccer, that's an experience in life that's going to be amazing. I don't want to miss that and I don't want to be gone that long, period. I've done it pretty much every year for eight years. I can comfortably say that I deserve to have one tournament off."