Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New stuff, same as the old stuff

Landon Donovan's declaration that he wants to play in England isn't new.
Frankly, he's said that for years, and at one point, was going to go on loan to a team there, Portsmouth. That deal got nixed because of a change in the international transfer window.
LD said last year he'd like to go to Spain or England. I asked him this year about a move abroad, and he said the same thing. He said he'd be interested in Italy and France, too.
Basically, any top league abroad except for Germany, was the impression I got. Yet he isn't pining to go. He's said he's open to offers and would consider them.

Here's part of what I wrote for Futbol Mundial magazine about Donovan's status about a month ago. I'm surprised more wasn't made of it then. Then again, it was consistent with what he'd said before. The only thing that changes is if an offer is made from somewhere LD would like to go.

Inevitably, with Donovan playing so well, the issue comes up as to where else he might be willing to go. Playing alongside Beckham has created incredible exposure for the entire Galaxy team. It’s not that Donovan was an unknown quantity before, because he certainly opened eyes with his breakout performance at the World Cup in 2002. Yet now, his notoriety is at an entirely different level.

“I’m more recognized and more noticed now than I’ve ever been,” Donovan acknowledged. “What’s happening is that David is bringing the spotlight and other players are taking advantage of it and making names for themselves and it’s been good for all of us.”

Now that Donovan has clearly moved to another level of both consistency and versatility, it’s easy to see his game fitting in well on a quality team at the highest level of club soccer. The two questions that remain are simple. One, has any team in Europe been intrigued enough to come calling for his services this year? Two, would Donovan go?

“No,” Donovan answered simply to the first query.

The second response was a bit more complicated. That’s understandable, given that Donovan’s wife, Bianca Kajlich, is a successful actress currently starring on a CBS sitcom. It would be difficult to sustain such a career anywhere other than Los Angeles.

“Here and now is what I worry about,” said Donovan about going abroad. “Someday, if there’s a chance, then it’s possible. But for a lot of reasons, my family situation, my contract situation, I’m not going anywhere for a while. But maybe someday.”

Meanwhile, immediate goals and scoring more of them, are what Donovan is concentrated on.

“I think about getting through this year and finding a way to be good this year,” Donovan said. “Then if an opportunity comes, where something happens, whether it be next year, the year after, the year after, or maybe never, then we’ll cross that bridge. But I don’t go home and think, ‘When can I go play in Europe?' If it happens, it will happen.”


LBC United said...

I think he's in a no-win situation. If he stays in the U.S., critics will say he wasn't good enough to play in Europe. And if he goes overseas, the scrutiny will be overwhelming -- unless he were to dazzle.

East River said...

I think its deeper then the whole "no win situation" line. If he wants to go in his prime, now is the time to do it. He's what 26 or 27 yrs old. If he waits until his wife's show is cancel he just may well be 30. Though he would not be the first US player to go to Europe at the downside of his career. Another thing for Donovan is he probably does get inquiries about his availablity but the question is what offer would be too good for him to say no to? If a Milan, Real Madrid would come calling would he still turn them down for the benefit of this wife's career? He has to understand that his career is much more limited then his wife's and time is run out if he cares about playing on a bigger stages. But that just part of his problem. His whole I'm somewhat interested but attitude is likely killing off interest from bigger clubs. If he really wants to go he needs to make clearer more forceful statements that thats what he wants to do. I just don't think most big teams want to be bothered with a player who has clearly stated his preference to live in the Southland, be near his friend, family, and wife. Ifs thats what he wants why would a Euro team even bother with him? I mean they know and he knows they are offering you the exact opposite then what he wants. Thats why its a lot deeper then its no win or anything but Germany.

L.B. said...

The one thing about this whole situation that makes me wonder is that it is his agent saying all this. An agent will not compromise his client's position under any circumstances so the agent will only give out information that is beneficial to his client. In this case, how would this benefit Landon? Perhaps he wants to renew his contract while he is still in his prime and enjoying his best season? If he lets his contract run its course (I don't think this is the last year of his contract but not sure) they stand to lose money if doesn't put up good numbers and isn't thought of as highly as he is now. Buy low, sell high, and the agent is trying sell his client while the demand and asking price are both high.

I don't know, I may be off base, but agent stuff just kind of makes me wonder a little bit.

And also, look at how the agent phrased the answers. Yes, that Landon would be interested in a move and that he would entertain offers.

On a related note, I would be interested in traveling to Cuba for US-Cuba and would entertain offers from papers/web sites if they seek me out. However, the chances of that happening are .00543598 percent.

drew_brown said...

l.b. sounds right. This could simply be a bargaining chip.

My company's lease is going to end in a year. We're looking at a variety of locations to relocate to simply to gain the upper hand in contract negotiations. If you have no options, you have no leverage. It's bid-ness.

Craig said...

The way I remember it, the problem with Pompey wasn't a change in the transfer windows, it was a mismatch between the end of the EPL season and the two MLS transfer windows. Donovan and/or MLS wanted him to return immediately at the end of the loan spell, but he would have had to wait until the summer MLS window would open.