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Donovan responds to Garber’s comments


Photo by Michael Janosz/


A few days after Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber effectively stated that Landon Donovan is not for sale, the face of American soccer has his response.

"I have a lot of respect for Don and what he's done for this league," Donovan said after the Los Angeles Galaxy's 2-1 victory over D.C. United Sunday night.

"I know he doesn't put out comments without thinking about what he's saying. I appreciate what he says about me, and if we need to have a discussion at some point, then we will, but at this point that's his opinion, and if I were the commissioner, I'd say the same thing."

Donovan, who signed a four-year contract with MLS in December, has had his name linked to club teams in Europe ever since his successful loan stint with Everton last winter, and his showing at the World Cup only strengthened the belief that he would be heading overseas when the transfer window opened.

Do you think Garber is right in not wanting to sell Donovan abroad? Can you read anything into Donovan's comments? Would you like to see him stay in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Great post and agreed! I’m hoping that LA will make a great run and I’m a DC fan. In fact I thought the MLS had an opportunity to challenge with more than 1 team for the CCL finals until Seattle started stinking it up this year. However with 5 teams potentially into group play then you never know. Preki can coach so toronto should do well no matter their line up, LA as you said should be strong contenders, Seattle is really the only team sputtering in league play but could be a wild card with their new players and great home atmosphere, Columbus should be strong as usual and will hopefully get a break this year and Real Salt Lake is a very solid team having a good season with experienced national teamers and central/south american players that should be able to challenge the mexican teams and Kreis is a young good coach! I’m really excited for this seasons CCL games!

  2. this is a stupid argument.

    every player wants to secure their staus in the game by fulfilling their potential by playing at the highest possible level and maximising their opportunities.

    Donovan faces a difficult choice which mirrors the state of the league. So the longer MLS can hold on to the top national team player in the face of the lure of overseas challenges and riches the more kudos it brings back stateside.

    But what nobody is talking about is the big game on the horizon which could determine the future. The unspoken secret is that LA plays Puerto Rico in a Concacaf CL qualifier which they should win easily, setting up a serious run at the regional title and a truly meaningful competition against the world’s best at the world club cup.

    Simply to take any US-based team to Japan will represent vindication and valediction for the whole soccer project in this country. It will state that US club soccer has arrived – and they have the team to do it: a whole series of well-regarded veterans with international experience, a sprinkling of youngsters who could be future stars, the best coach in US history and a couple of bona fide frontpage leaders. They’ve proved they can handle the pressure. Their performance so far in MLS this year shows they are on a mission. They won’t talk about it, but ‘Project Japan’ is in the backs of their minds.

    So this question isn’t about what Donovan has left to prove, but what he has the potential to deliver.

    It is typical of the small-minded parochial and conservative commentators who insist he must follow the established path to find acceptance and fulfil his potential, but this gives the man a singular opportunity to transform the mentality of the nation.

    Because soccer isn’t just about individual players, it is also about the group.

    Just imagine – LA vs Cruz Azul next April will be the biggest match in US history outside of the MNT reaching a world cup semi final. And that will be just the springboard! Donovan won’t want to miss that!

    So while those matches are still in the offing there is no team anywhere who can offer him anything bigger or better and until then he wont go anywhere.

    Either way the world stage is beckoning. It’s just a question of how long he will have to wait.

    Hollywood scriptwriters: charge your pens!


  3. You got to look at the big picture here. Landon is the face of US soccer, the more the best leagues in the world see his face the more credibility that gives our players, visa vi, our league!

  4. Good post Seattledba. I know EPL is better than MLS and that the top players in the world play in England but for a player to perform at his best he needs to be in a good situation. Donovan is in a good situation in LA. He was in Everton for 2 months so we don’t know what a year would do. Klinsmann wanted to keep him at Bayern but the pres did not want him. He never got a fair shake at Munich so it isn’t fair to say that was a failure.

    My simple point in all these posts as Donovan continues to improve year after year to the point that he stepped onto the field immediately at Everton and shined. And he was the stand out American at the World Cup. He did this much to the ire of many posters on these boards with development in MLS and not a top European league. One can argue that he would be even better playing in Europe but it is purely an argument that could or could not be true. One thing that is true is that LD proves that any player given the proper support(coaching, facilities,etc.) can get to the level of Landon and no…they don’t have to do it in Europe. The MLS has some really good coaches(Yallop, Nicol, Smith, etc) that have played in Europe and learned the game overseas and have brought that back to the states and taught American coaches here(Kinnear) so if you have the desire than anything is possible without moving to England.

  5. its true. I share mutual friends with Landon (though I’ve only met him once), and the word is that he’s really happy in LA and not interested in leaving permanently, perhaps only with a loan deal after the MLS season is over.

    I think people just want Landon to fulfill their dream of playing in Europe. His dreams have already been answered.

  6. Personally, I think he should continue to do the loan thing. Playing in the high 30s of games in MLS is going to prolong his career, rather than 50+ games playing in Europe (which is what Everton had last year). Taking a loan spell to stay in shape would be ideal IMO.

    Additionally, the league is finally starting to be serious about adding legit DPs. Should it come to fruition, I think having Donovan, Beckham and Ronaldhino vs Angel, Henry and Marquez would start a legit rivalry with name recognition between NY and LA, which would only add to the league over the next 4 years. Consider the upcoming NBA lockout (as well as the LeBacle) taking a hit on NBA credibility, as well as the NFL work-stoppage. If done right, MLS could really fill in the void with the right marketing and product on the field….it’s a long shot, but it’s one that will likely not come again.

  7. Garber would be stupid to take any other public stance. By doing so, he has driven Donovan’s price up. Nothing more than good business.

  8. Donovan is the League’s first homegrown star. I should say S-T-A-R, because he is what people, who may not know football (soccer) will come to see.

    It would be silly to sell him for something like a 7-10 million transfer fee, and then go out and spend as much to bring in a foreign DP.

    But every club has it’s price, and although Donovan’s has gone up considerably with his performance at Everton and the WC, when offers come in at over 20 mill, the MLS will listen.

  9. i have a hard time following your post –

    1) i never said what i wanted donovan to do – i dont care what he does – i did not say donovans’s decision was idiotic.

    2) not sure what you want me to answer in your second paragraph – i will say that i don’t agree with this statement
    “most importantly whichever way you choose will not effect your play greatly up or down”
    are you saying there is no significant difference in the level of play between the mls and england?
    3) “He had 2 lousy spells in Germany because he was young and uncomfortable. ” yes, he was young at leverkusen but his time at bayern was only 1 year before his time at everton. And he was terrible at bayern. he scored some goals in friendly’s but that was it. he might have been uncomfortable but he was not young.
    4) i think his game has improved but i think, i don’t know, but i think playing with and against better players ( not the mls) would make him better.

  10. I think not. If you want this league to grow then you have to make it seem that players want to go to it and not the other way around.


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