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Arena on Donovan Extension: “One in a Million Chance”

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There is a chance, just not a very good one.

That's is how LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena described a potential extension on Landon Donovan's loan at English Premier League side Everton after the Galaxy's training session on Monday. The Galaxy head coach was in a high spirit when speaking about Landon Donovan's comments on Sunday about there being a "small chance" for loan extension.

"It was kind of like in that movie 'Dumb and Dumber', where the man says that there is a chance, it's just one in a million," said Arena. The Galaxy coach, who has remained in frequent contact with the midfielder throughout his loan, did not appear concerned about the comments.

"There is always a chance, it may be one in a million, but there is always a chance."

Donovan's teammates were unsure about when the Galaxy captain will return. Chris Klein, a Galaxy veteran expressed a great amount of pride with Donovan's play in England.

"We don't have the full details on when he'll be back yet so we're just going to keep an eye on the situation, but we're incredibly proud with how he's doing," said Klein. Its great to have a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy do so well in the best league in the world. That was always the knock on MLS, that our best player couldn't perform in Europe, but now its great for us to see him doing so well."

As the Galaxy prepares to face Costa Rican side Puntarenas on Wednesday, the club got a welcome addition in attacking midfielder Clint Mathis, who returned to training Monday as he recovers from knee surgery. Arena was unsure on when he will return to the playing field.

"This is his first day running, said Arena. It's nice, but he's not days away, he's at least several weeks away from being in game shape."


  1. It’s a Mickey Mouse league because it wants its contracted players back? What universe do you live in?

    If Everton, or any other club, want’s Donovan’s services, they’ll have to pay for it. There isn’t a contract in the world that can’t be broken by waving prodigious amount of cash at the contract holder.

  2. Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking and low and behold someone mentioned it.

    I really hope MLS/Galaxy can get something like that from Everton like they did from AC Milan!!

    The more the best teams and best players from Euro leagues come to USA, set up camps and play matches the more exposure soccer gets in USA. The more young players watch it, the more talent comes out of the woodworks and overall quality of talent gets better.

    I know MLS and Galaxy want to put the best product out on the field and this would include Donovan but I think they need to look at this long term!!

  3. Yea, really, maybe Bruce doesn’t understand the impact of our top player playing in the best league in the world and playing great. If Landon goes to EPL and plays great soccer for some years then this only increases the attention soccer gets in the USA. It will only open up more opportunities.

  4. As far as these cash + barter deals being proposed, you can forget about them. Every player under a professional contract with Everton is going to make more than $350,000 (about 233,000 pounds per year, or about 4,500 pounds per week).

    What the MLS/Galaxy should hold out until summer for is an elaborate package, similar to what AC Milan provided for the Beckham loan extension:

    (1) a lot of cash – $15-million as a floor
    (2) multiple friendlies in Los Angeles over a period of years
    (3) contract to appear in the MLS All-star game
    (4) contract to appear in the World Football Challenge
    (5) contract to house the Generation Adidas program for a winter

  5. Everton might wish they paid through the nose for Donovan once Anichebe starts flubbing passes and giving away possession…

    Maybe I’m being selfish in wanting to watch Donovan in the EPL and Europa leagues, a season in the MLS before the World Cup shouldn’t affect his play in June. More important to the USA team is that everyone get healthy…

  6. The notion that the MLS/Galaxy should let Donovan stay for the good of the USMNT or the good of Landon’s career is so naive. Their responsibility is to their business.

    In their haste to present their entitlement-like argument, people lose sight of the reality that the Galaxy will never get value for Landon’s spot if he leaves.

    As the lone grandfathered player, Donovan only counts $350,000 against the Galaxy’s cap. Once he leaves, that exemption disappears. Hence, the Galaxy are left searching for a player who will accept a salary less than the league maximum of $400,000. How many players are going to take less than $400,000 and match Donovan’s productivity?

    The league and Galaxy are smart to hold out for the big money this summer. They need to generate maximum revenue in the transfer, because there is no way they will get equal value on the field.

    They’ve given the Premier League clubs a little taste, and are leaving them wanting more. It’s great business.

  7. In any event it can’t look good to any young player looking at MLS and seeing how MLS makes things super difficult to leave, almost to the point of being trapped for life.

  8. Hi

    I’m an Everton fan from Liverpool. Supported them my whole life, go to every home game and most away games. I can honestly not remember somebody coming in to a team, mid season nevertheless, and have such an impact on and off the field.

    He has brought a feel good factor to the team and fans. It’s rare that the Everton fans get so attached to players in such a short space of time, I’ve seen countless players come and go but only a handful are revered in the way Landon has been. This to me says it all about the type of guy he is and player he is. We are willing to give everyone a chance but those who truly understand what it means to play for our club, work hard, play passionately and leave everything out on the field are the ones most appreciated by our support. Landon has done this from minute one and thus will forever have a place in Evertonian hearts.

    He just fits into everything Everton fans love in a player, everything just seems to fit both wiht him and Everton as a club, fans, players, staff…it’s just ‘right’.

    Rather selfishly I want him to stay here with us permanently but I entirely understand it is a difficult situation with him being so loved and important back over there too.

    So, thank you Landon, hopefully this weekend is not a goodbye, just see you soon. You’re most welcome back here anytime.

    Always in Evertonian hearts.

  9. Two more years of serving Buddle and Gordon is frightening. One of my favorites at ESPN, Jen, reported he watched a pre-game warm-up where Gordon didn’t put one shot on goal.

  10. I don’t get how this is still a story. When he signed the MLS extension I immediately made the call that it was an anchor and not “insurance” for Landycakes.

    He is completely effed, if he wants to play in Europe full time he’ll have to wait until he’s 30. How anyone could possibly think an MLS extension would somehow make it EASIER for him to move to Europe is beyond me. He should never have signed.

    It was just plain stupid…ha has no leverage whatsoever.

    (SBI-Kevin, my man, how many times am I going to have to explain to you that you’re wrong? If he doesn’t sign the deal he never goes on loan. if he never goes on loan he never gets to show EPL clubs that he can actually play in the EPL. Therefore, he never gets a transfer offer close to what MLS will take. That means he’s waiting two years until his old deal is done to leave on a free at age 30. By signing the deal, and securing the loan, he has now shown what he can do and will now fetch MAJOR transfer offers this summer that MLS won’t be able to turn down. How in the world is he “effed”? Because he can’t stick around Everton to play for another two months?

    Mark it down. Donovan will move to Europe this summer. Book it.)

  11. From Bruce’s perspective it would make more sense to wait for Abramovich’s millions after the World Cup. He could then have Landon before the cup and the availability of quality DPs should notably increase after the tournament. It would constitute a quality player throughout the season and a larger profit.

  12. The reason they don’t is that their reserves play at least once every 2 weeks against other Prem reserves. Especially for the clubs playing in Europe, these reserve teams can be loaded with talent and guys trying to stay in form to get called up for the next game. Clubs usually only loan guys they think might not fill in for injury in the next couple of weeks. Probably the MLS just doesn’t market itself right to get some of these younger and/or developing players on loan.

  13. I understand that. I even thought I stated it pretty clearly. It obviously isn’t in HIS BEST INTEREST (CAPS LOCK FOR EMPHASIS). However, I would think that Bruce might want what is best for a player that has probably had the most positive impact on his career of anyone he has ever coached. There was a bygone era where we didn’t make every decision according to what is best for us, but what is the right thing to do.

  14. Arena’s comments are understandable but so hypocritical. When he was managing the national team he always stated that Landon needed to test himself every week in Europe in order to reach his full potential.

    How does no one comment on this?

    jake said…

    I think Mathis is an infinite number of days from being in game shape..


  15. if everton are serious, yet dont have the funds, lets see them offer $$$ with a trade. that can happen even though the window is shut, right?

    i’m willing to bet that Bruce would jump on board if he was at least given 1 or 2 players who are promising prospects. granted, it may be on loan, but it’s something to think about.

  16. Can anyone recall Arena stating in the last World Cup cycle that U.S. players need to get to Europe and play? I recall him getting criticized by the MLS for making that statement. Ironic now that he is coaching their “flagship” franchise that happens to have the MLS’ cover boy.

  17. MLS is what it is, it may never change. They are trying to be like other European Soccer Leagues but are structured like the other US leagues NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL. All these leagues try to make as much money as they can and keep superstars where they can to make the most money. Its like Lebron rumored to go to New York. Or why Beckham is in LA and not KC. It sucks to be a player if you are good enough to be elsewhere, but you just have to bind your time and leave when the opportunity presents itself like dempsey. Young players benefit from generation addidas, maybe the best idea in all of professional spports, and get bitten from lack of development or moves abroad. Its MLS, we must deal with it.

  18. honestly, i think people are just surprised that Bruce isn’t showing more support for something every USMNT has been hoping for…LD playing well in a top 4 Euro league.

    I get why, he is the coach and it would be weird for him to say he wants it. But I was hoping for a little more from him in regards to how this is an incredible accomplishment for LD and US soccer. Or, how it COULD be if given the extension or trade.

  19. but it was MLS who decided, really. sure, they got input, but MLS makes the decisions. if the right amount of money comes, MLS will say yes without talking to Bruce.

    I’m willing to bet that.

  20. Donovan will be worth more after the WC this summer when the transfer window opens. May as well use his recent performance to sell tickets before the WC. He just signed a new 4-year contract. MLS is in no rush to sell him. Arena wants to win silverware and Donovan is a part of the team.

  21. The worst part about it is that Bruce got the quote wrong!!

    Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me… ending up together?

    Mary: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really…

    Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

    Mary: Not good.

    Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

    Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.

    Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*

  22. Your (and Bruce’s) lack of faith in Mathis is disappointing. I’m sure that Clint’s strenuous regimen of beer and Doritos will have him in game shape in no time flat.


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