U.S. Men's National Team

Friedel takes shot at Donovan while praising Dempsey with latest remarks


Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

It's not uncommon for American soccer fans and pundits to debate on who is the better U.S. men's national team player between Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, but one former U.S. international has created quite the stir by weighing in on the matter.

Brad Friedel recently touched on Dempsey's accomplishment of becoming the American with the most goals scored in the Premier League, and the Tottenham goalkeeper took a jab at Donovan in the process.

"You get a player like a Landon Donovan, who in my opinion chose to take the easy road and stay in the States," Friedel told the BBC's World Service on Wednesday. "It's much harder to ply your trade over here. (The English Premier League) is the best league in the world to play in, and this is where (Dempsey) got better, in my opinion. This is where he became one of the best the United States ever produced."

The 40-year-old Friedel, who retired from the U.S. team when he was 33, didn't stop there. Friedel continued by saying the notoriety Donovan has gained in America has come as a result of his off-the-field deals.

"The profiling in the States sometimes is a lot more to do with sponsorships than what you actually do on the field," Friedel said. "And listen, I’m not trying to take anything away from Landon, because Landon has been absolutely magnificent for the U.S. as well. I’m just saying he gets a lot more notoriety because it’s sponsorship-driven over there."

What do you make of Friedel's comments? Does he have a point? Was he wrong to say that?

Share your thoughts below.

  • beachbum

    the question is “What would have happened to MLS” if he hadn’t been the face of it forever.


  • Edwin in LA

    To keep him happy. Remember he was barely coming off a very up and down season in which the Galaxy were rebuilding, the whole Beckham thing happened and the momentary rift in which Beckham didn’t like that Donovan talked to Wahl about it. He said it himself in the interview comments at the press conference when it was announced “Candidly, last year I don’t think I make this decision” I might be off a word or two, but I looked it up on google to refresh my memory, it was a goal dot com hit I clicked on.
    In all fairness it was kind of fair considering the amount of work he was putting into helping the Galaxy win, he did win MVP that year. Like I said Ives is the one that said it where I learned of it first


  • Jose

    Not sure you can compare the two. Both play differently. One is more gritty (Dempsey) and one is a bit more finesse (Landon). I think together they make each other good. I don’t think Dempsey would have scored that goal against Slovenia, and at the same time I don’t think Landon would have taken that outside shot (sort of rebel/take a chance) like Dempsey did against green. Just cause Landon decided to stay here shouldn’t be a knock on him. He is helping making MLS better and this just help not only him but the future of soccer in America. Let’s face we may not win a world cup with either Dempsey or Donovan, but both are planting the seeds and expectations for the next generations whether it is here in MLS or outside in other leagues.


  • poon

    I think it ultimately comes down to which heartstrings being tugged on have the most impact for you. Dempsey has more of the gritty, purist story-line behind him. Donovan has more of the high profile sports star story-line behind him. I think there’s always been a bit of a divide as to which type appeals to people the most across all sports.

    People like Friedel are always gonna be Dempsey guys. I’m more of a Dempsey guy myself. It’s a rags to riches story. Dempsey’s flair is embodied mostly in his play on the field while keeping a relatively low profile off-field. He was always an outsider in the US soccer landscape and pretty much had to force his way in, and literally force his way out to play in Europe. Dempsey embodies the real working man mentality that is quite popular in England and as entrenched as he is, Friedel’s gonna find that appealing.

    Now, I think Brad didn’t have to put LD down, particularly with his “easy route” comment. I think he should have focused more on simply saying that Dempsey deserves to be in the discussion with LD more than he is.


  • Lu

    i don’t even think this is debate…it’s like comparing an MLB player (dempsey) with a AA player (donovan)… that’s the gap between the competition in the EPL and MLS…


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