March 27, 2007

Hello, I'm Landon Donovan, and I have three words for you all.

Suck my balls.

I am the best player on the US national team, period. I'm 25 years old, I've played in 2 World Cups, scored 30 goals in 87 caps, and won three MLS Cups. On Sunday, I scored with my left foot, on a 1v1 breakaway, and with my right foot. Next time I'll score one with my ass.

On top of all that, let me introduce you to my wife, Bianca.

I must say, life is damn good at the Donovan house.

Even with all of that, I'm still one of the most hated soccer players in America. Those two fat British douchebags on FSC and the radio run their mouths, selling their Primadonovan shirts. Those two clowns think that if you don't play in England, then you're crap. Speaking of England, nice match over the weekend, lads. I scored as many goals on Sunday as your whole team has scored since September of last year. Those two clowns wouldn't know quality if it walked by and smacked them on the ass.

The problem is, a lot of you out there believe that these two morons know what they're talking about. You tell me I'm wrong for wanting to play in MLS. Tell me how much I would've improved sitting on the bench in Germany. "The training is so much better over there," my ass. I want to play.

Get over this whole "If it's not Euro, it's crap" phase. You're Americans in America, don't let the assclowns tell you how to think. Watch MLS and the national team for yourselves, and without the Euro-snob soundtrack in your mind. If you'd rather watch Bolton and Charlton kick and run to a scoreless draw, then it's your loss.

Look, some guys do well over there. McBride improved after going to England. Eddie Lewis is another case. Beasley improved a great deal when he was getting playing time in Holland, but look at what happened to him when he wasn't getting the time (sorry DMB). It all depends on your particular situation. Mine sucked in Germany, so I came home.

I'm a better player because of MLS. Jimmy Conrad has become a world class defender in MLS. Kenny Cooper is a better player now in MLS than he was stuck in the reserves at Manchester United. Why do you think Robbie Rogers left Holland? Show me someone who'd rather sit the bench than get playing time, and I'll show you someone I don't want on my team.

Our MLS boys sure did handle Mexico's first team last month, ask them how they feel about us these days. Ask them how they feel about me. I own Mexico like a pimp. Tell Oswaldo he better have my money next time I see him.

Let me address someone else while I'm rolling. Eric Wynalda, I heard what you were saying during the game on Sunday. You called my comments about national team commitments this summer "an excuse". First of all, take some reading comprehension classes Eric. I never said I didn't want to play in either tournament. I said I didn't want to play in both. I want to win our Gold Cup and qualify us for the Confederations Cup. Copa America would be nice, but I have commitments here in LA that I don't want to miss. The Galaxy pay my bills. You all saw how much the team struggled while I was gone last season, I don't want that to happen again. I want to work with Becks from the get-go, so we're in top form to win MLS Cup.

Eric, you're just pissed that I'm about to take your all-time US scoring record. I can't wait for that day, to hear you break down screaming and crying on air about how life isn't fair. Poor little fella, maybe Taylor will be there for you to cry on his shoulder.

I'm done, I think it might be time for another hat-trick. Let's go Bianca.


Anonymous said...

You're an idiot. The guys on WSD never said Donovan didn't have talent, they said he was an overhyped pussy. Which is true. They also never said that if you don't play in England, you suck. Stop being an ignorant American. Landon is a pussy because he runs from a real challenge. He ran from Germany. And though he was decent in the '02 World Cup, he was a scared piece of crap last year. He's already planning to not play in the Copa America because he wants to give Beckham handjobs when he gets here. He has one good game and all of a sudden he's the be-all, end-all. Tell me, where was he last night against 90th ranked Guatemala? I await your excuses...

Longshoe said...

Wow, this is the exact kind of hatred for Donovan that I don't understand. Does Ronaldinho get this type of treatment after a bad game? Does Messi? Even Rooney doesn't get this in England.

I don't think he's overhyped. He's the best player the United States has, he should be hyped.

The pussy comment gets thrown around a lot because "he ran from Germany". If he felt like he wasn't going to be able to work his way into the first team, should he have potentially wasted years of his career on the bench and in the reserves just for the cache of being on a Bundesliga club? I can't really fault him for his decision. Besides, I think he'd be better served playing in Holland or Spain, it would suit his style of play more. MLS is also a better fit for him than Germany, just my opinion.

He's had many good games, he is 2nd on the all-time scoring list at 25 years old for a reason. Saying he was "decent" in the '02 World Cup is a joke, he played very well. He played poorly in '06, as did a lot of the players. I think the system The Bruce had them in had a great deal to do with that.

More than anything, I just want the guy to get a fair shake. He doesn't right now.

Doug said...

You can call it hatred if you like. Others will call it what it rightly is, criticism. And, yes, Ronaldinho, Messi, and Rooney get treated to criticism all the time.

Donovan was given first-team action when he went back to Germany. So, saying that he was sitting on the bench is just wrong. He ran away from the challenge. When asked why he didn't stay and take his game to the next level, he said he was content to be simply a good player, not a great player, just a good one.

The World Cup and the Guatemala game serve as examples of his running away from challenges. The whole team relies on him and when he disappears in the middle of games the team suffers. I say he gets dropped from the national team for a while, let everyone get used to playing without him, and he can go off and just be a good player for the Galaxy. He chose safety and a girl over elevating his career, which is a fine decision to make.

Longshoe said...

Criticism is fine, I just think that there are some guys who get an unfair share of it. There are some guys, who for whatever reason, get an irrational amount of hatred from fans. Donovan, Beckham, Peyton Manning, and Alex Rodriguez are a few examples. There's a difference between criticism and hatred.

Go back and do the research, Donovan was not getting REGULAR first team action with Leverkusen. From

Donovan has made just two starts since rejoining Bayer Leverkusen in January. While he got into another seven games as a substitute, it was mostly in the waning minutes. He was criticized for not playing well in a Champions League game against Liverpool on March 7, when he was taken out after 52 minutes in a 3-1 loss, and he hasn't played since.

How does the Guatemala game show that he runs away from challenges? He didn't play well, but neither did anyone else really. Guatemala played a defensive game, happy with a draw, and we couldn't break them down. That's a recurring problem for us, and you can't put the entire blame on Donovan.

I totally agree, he had a crap World Cup. So did Ronaldinho and others...

Dropping him from the national team for a while would be the dumbest thing you could possibly do. He had an awesome game against Ecuador, just a couple of days ago. One bad game and you want to drop him? That's got to be a joke, right?

Doug said...

Longshoe, I think I may have not stated my position clearly because your reply just confirms what I meant. First, no one can just show up at a club (Leverkusen) and expect "regular" playing time if what you mean by regular playing time is 90 full minutes whenever the first team plays. Donovan got playing time with the first team and that was a huge gamble on Leverkusen's part. It was up to Donovan to show them that it was worth it. You've probably heard the same reports that I did; he didn't do well and came home. For a professional athlete, that's what I call running away from a challenge.

Second, having a good game against Ecuador and then a bad game against Guatemala is why he should be dropped. If he expects to have a starting position any time the team plays (and he's not off getting married), he needs to show up every game. No one that can't be counted on should have that luxury . Further, it seems that our Nat managers think that the team needs to be built around him and that's a big mistake. Its why the team fails when Donovan doesn't have a good game. It would be great if there was another player that could step up and take over when he disappears but right now it doesn't look like there is. I want to see the team get used to playing without him.

I wonder if Donovan had stayed in Germany and became the player we think he could be, then the competition for playing time and the necessity of playing well in every game would have translated into a national team captain that could be relied upon.

To put all this in perspective, it seems that Donovan chose safety over challenging himself. The LA Times quoted him saying that he was content to just be a good player, not a great player (those are his words in reference to why he didn't stay in Europe). And that's a fine decision to make. As a Galaxy supporter, I'm glad to see him stay. But, more importantly, as a National team fan, I wonder what could have happened. Wearing the US shirt should be for those who are willing to make the sacrifice.

Longshoe said...

This is a good debate and I've enjoyed the give and take. That was the whole point of the Landon piece.

I also wonder what could have happened with Donovan's career if he had stayed at Leverkusen, or at least stuck around a while longer.

I don't fault him nearly as much as many do for leaving. He came from playing regularly with San Jose, I don't think sitting the bench in Germany would have improved his development at that stage. Maybe if he had never come back to MLS in the first place, but that also happened so he could get regular minutes with a first team.

It's tricky, because there have been examples both ways. Some guys have improved playing in the reserves and in training and eventually won jobs, some have stagnated and seen their careers suffer. Every player's situation is different, so I don't think there's really a blueprint to follow.

With the national team, I don't think Landon has really settled into a position. In my opinion, his best place on the field is playing a second forward, behind a target man (similar to the second half against Ecuador). Playing up top with EJ definitely didn't work. I also think he could work out well as a wide forward in a 4-3-3, but we don't have the rest of the pieces to really play that formation. I don't think he works well as an attacking mid in a 4-4-2.

Now I'm rambling. Thanks for the comments and the debate.

Nick said...

Hey longshoe, great post. Very amusing while still getting a wonderfully debatable point across.

I am not a fan of LannyCakes, and I will admit that sometimes we, the haters, are not always fair in our criticism. However, here's my problem with the whole situation.

If LannyCakes is ok being just a good player in the MLS and not a great player on the world stage, so be it. But, this is not the kind of player that we should hype up to deity proportions before huge tournaments. This is also not the type of player that we want to captain our "Baby Nats." I don't propose dropping him from the squad for many games, because that would be a waste of his obvious talents (when he decides to show up).

I do think that Bob Bradley should take a harder line with him about playing time; LannyCakes should have to earn his time on the pitch like the rest of the team and not be an automatic selection. Especially since we do have some younger central midfielders coming along quite nicely, and they should be given the chance to shine as well.

-Nick at

Longshoe said...

I don't think Landon is really captain material. It has nothing to do with his decisions or playing ability, I just don't think he has the right type of personality. I would probably go with one of Bocanegra, Cherundolo, or Conrad at this point. It's still way too early to tell for me on the captain side of things.

I also agree that Donovan should earn his playing time. That should be the case for every player in the national team program. The players in the jersey should be the best current options, based on their current form. The overwhelming majority of the time, Landon should be on the field as a key part of the time. However, Bradley shouldn't be afraid of pulling him when he's not performing, and I don't think he will be.