by GIANFRANCO PANIZO
Last summer, Landon Donovan revealed his desire for another taste of European soccer. After half a year of repeatedly expressing his ambitions, Donovan is set to join one of the top teams in Europe.
No, the loan deal everyone has known about for months (but nobody has bothered to make official) hasn't "happened yet." At least not in the minds of MLS and the Los Angeles Galaxy, which have yet to announce a thing. That didn't stop Landon Donovan from talking about his impending loan to Bayern Munich
The United States' leading goal-scorer took some time to chat with Bayern Munich's website (translated by google, not by Yoda) and he touched on topics ranging from the competition he'll face in training, to his contract with Munich and even to his wife's reaction of him moving to Germany.
Another interesting tidbit in the interview is the fact that Donovan will be wearing the number 13 on the back of his jersey as opposed to his traditional number 10.
While some may question the significance of the number, it's easy to forget that back in October of 2000, at the tender age of 18, Donovan debuted as a sub for the United States in their 2-0 victory over arch-rival Mexico. Donovan starred in that game, tallying his first goal (the game winner) and his first assist. The number Donovan sported that day? 13.
Yet as official as Bayern Munich is making the move, the Los Angeles Galaxy and MLS are not. There have been no reports, no official statements and no acknowledgement of Donovan's loan move with the current Bundesliga champions. The reason for this silence is unknown but something will have to give in the coming days, especially with Bayern Munich resuming their Bundesliga campaign on January 30th.
So what's my take on Donovan's loan move? While at first I was wary at the thought of him returning to Germany, the fact is that this is one of, if not the best, situation Donovan could have put himself in. Donovan is familiar with the German lifestyle, style of play and most importantly with head coach Juergen Kilnsmann.
Will it be three strikes and out or will the third time be a charm for Donovan? If the move to Germany takes the former approach and proves once again to be unsuccessful, the loan deal (assuming it becomes official) ends on March 15 and he could return home to LA. For now, Donovan has a chance to prove that he can indeed hang with the big boys.
What do you think of Donovan's loan deal to Munich? Why do you think the LA Galaxy or MLS have yet to make it official? Think Donovan made the right choice in selecting lucky #13? Do you think Donovan will extend his loan into a more permanent deal?
Share your thoughts below.