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.”