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Americans Abroad: Donovan shines in Everton victory

Landon Donovan Everton 1 (GettyImages)

Landon Donovan has enjoyed his share of quality performances since joining Everton on loan, but none has been as good or convincing has the one delivered on Wednesday when he helped lead the Toffees to a 2-1 win vs. Chelsea.

Donovan provided a dangerous threat down the right flank consistently, helped set up Everton's equalizer with a brilliant corner kick, while also drawing a penalty kick with a smart run in the penalty area.

He not only produced on the attacking side, Donovan also put in work defensively, helping Everton fullback  Phil Neville overcome a shaky start as Chelsea finished the match frustrated and unable to break through. Chelsea looked as though it would punish Everton's right flank with a 4-3-3 that fielded the trio of Florent Malouda, Yuri Zhirkov and Ashley Cole on the left flank. That trio started strongly for the visitors, but Donovan's overall play on the right, coupled with the strong play of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Leighton Baines on the left wing, helped Everton gain control and eventually emerge victorious.

Donovan's performance drew praise from Everton manager David Moyes, who dampened hopes that Donovan might stay past the brief loan period previously agreed to with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

 "That was Landon's best game for us," Moyes told the Guardian. "But I don't think we'll be able to keep him when his three-month loan expires unfortunately."

Tim Howard delivered two clutch second-half saves to make Louis Saha's second-half strike stand up as the winner to give Everton its first victory against Chelsea in ten years.

Here are the highlights:

Donovan and Howard weren't the only Americans in action on Wednesday.

American goalkeepers Marcus Hahnemann and Brad Friedel posted strong performances, with Hahnemann delivering a shutout in Wolverhampton's shocking 1-0 upset of Tottenham and Friedel putting together another stellar outing in Aston Villa's 1-1 draw vs. Manchester United.

Jonathan Spector didn't start, but he came off the bench as a halftime substitute in a 2-0 West Ham win vs. Birmingham. Spector did well at left back, helping containing Birmingham standout Craig Gardner.

Not all of the Americans Abroad enjoyed successful results. Jozy Altidore's Hull couldn't build on its weekend win vs. Manchester City, dropping a 1-0 decision to Blackburn. Altidore kept his starting role, going the full 90 minutes for the Tigers.

What did you think of Wednesday's performances? Excited to see Donovan get the better of Ashley Cole? Hoping Everton finds a way to keep Donovan?

Share your thoughts below.

211 comments
  • Hush

    that is why MLS league or Football(Soccer) never going to growth in this country because of the way of thinking????

    Yeah, to late to say something like that. Futbol in the U.S has grown just as much as an STD on a call girl! USA follows more soccer than ever before. Seattle should be a perfect example.

    Like

  • Todd

    Speaking of Donovan v. Coles. Looks like we can now add a line to Donovan’s CV – ankle breaker!

    Like

  • Jimbo

    Cole’s ankle fractured by LD (perfectly clean imo) likely means a backfield of Terry and Bridge for England…

    Like

  • Hush

    Watching recaps & highlights in the Futbol world is a NO NO! You must watch the game in order to evaluate a players performance. 18 & 11, sorry, but those statistics only play a good role in the NFL.

    Donovan & Saha were clearly the MVP’s of the game.

    If you were a manager and you were to evaluate players by recap numbers, you wouldn’t have anyone on your soccer roster.

    Like

  • Luke

    You can cut your figure of 20-30 million by a third. No way MLS is expecting that much or that anyone would pay that amount. $7-10 million max.

    Like

  • Dave

    This is just wrong. The league had two one-year options on Donovan, EVEN BEFORE he signed the new deal. He could not leave on a free transfer until after the 2011 season.

    Like

  • TimN

    Spot on…hopefully this situation could be worked out between Everton and L.A. It would be in MLS’ best interest, and certainly great for Landon’s continued development as a player. It’s also good for our MNT to have our best players playing in the best leagues.

    As well, as you say, finding that right fit can be a difficult thing for both player and club, and this certainly seems to be.

    Like

  • Joe

    Peter – I feel sorry for you! How ever you “rate” the MLS, there are plenty of matches every year that bring high quality and high excitement in the MLS. Having personally been to several EPL, Championship, and MLS games (and a Champions League game), I can say that the most exciting matches I have been to have been in the Championship, but each game is different, not necessarily each league.

    Like

  • JR

    Cole is without a doubt a top 5 LB, anyone that disagrees clearly is just a Chelsea hater

    Evra and Abidal are the only others in his class. Those two are tougher defensively, but ashley is far better attacking, and covers just as much ground on D

    Lahm plays RB at Bayern, correct?

    Vargas? dude plays LM

    Like

  • Bob D

    Everton would be very wise to try to buy Donovan now. I think the price MLS will get will be much higher after the World Cup. He is in great form, and displaying it on the biggest stage will only help.

    Like

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