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REPORT: Donovan to sign extension with Galaxy

Landon Donovan


Landon Donovan is apparently ready to stick around Los Angeles after all.

According to Sports Illustrated, Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy have agreed on a multi-year contract that will keep the 31-year-old U.S. Men’s National Team star in MLS.

The deal will keep the most successful player in MLS history in the league. Donovan’s five MLS Cups, including the last two with Los Angeles, is more than any other player has won. He is just shy of setting the league’s regular-season goal record of 134 held by Jeff Cunningham — Donovan has 131 goals.

Donovan was set to become a free agent at the end of the season, but if he has agreed on a new deal he would be joining Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez, who signed a Designated Player contract, and Robbie Keane, as the Galaxy’s Designated Players for the 2014 season.

Donovan was quoted recently stating that he was open to making a move to Europe, but the SI report suggests he and MLS reached an agreement on a deal, and given Clint Dempsey’s sizable contract with the Seattle Sounders, it is safe to assume Donovan’s new deal will be a significant upgrade.

Donovan recently took a three-month sabbatical from soccer. He subsequently lost his spot on the U.S. national team but has seemingly regained it after a dominant performance in this summer’s Gold Cup.

That form has continued with the Galaxy, where he has scored seven goals this season, four coming in the last three games.

What do you think of Donovan’s decision to stick with the Galaxy and stay in MLS? Think he deserves the kind of salary Clint Dempsey is earning? Disappointed that Donovan didn’t make one last run at Europe?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Believe it or not,
    I’m walking on air.
    I never thought I could feel so free-.
    Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
    Who could it be?
    Believe it or not it’s LD!

    • At what point should a person do what they want to do and what makes them happy? Considering you don’t get to come back to earth after you die and do it all again, maybe LD should just do what he wants. I would say he’s earned that at least.

    • Lets see. He’s won a ton of awards here and a few league cups. Has a lot of new teammates and wants to continue winning more cups. He gets to sleep in his own bed in his own house and drive his own car and hang out with his family in CA whenever he wants. There’s no reason for him to sign a deal over seas when he’s going to get major paid in MLS. Lando is still a much better player than Clint and generally impacts each game unlike Clint. He’s set to get paid and won a few more awards. Plus you can almost guarantee that he’ll be playing overseas somewhere this winter ahead of the World Cup not to mention qualifying. It’s the right move even though I’d love to see him in Sunderland with Jozy.

    • I know, I know…. I’d be much better off ignoring these kinds of comments as they are utterly ridiculous. Tell me Jack, do you hold yourself to the same standards? Do you REALLY think a person could be the very best at what they do in the history of their country and have no ambition? Because his choices on how he’d like to lead his life and his priorities and ambitions don’t suit your needs for Saturday morning television does NOT mean he has none. The guy has had a pretty remarkable career and is still playing at a high level at the age of 31. I’m sure you know enough about the game to understand how much hard work it takes to maintain that. Cheers.

  2. I hear the argument that the Galaxy should have brought in someone flashy. I agree that’s good for the Galaxy and the leaguer. BUT, I’m also glad that the Galaxy organization won’t just bring in any old flashy names. It appears they only are willing to bring in big names that can actually play and it appears that the flashiest name that provided the most quality was a Mr. Landon Donovan. I think they got it right. We’re more likely to win with LD than some aging superstar who just wants to collect a check and could care less about winning an MLS cup.

  3. Also is it me or does there need to be a serious shake up in the Galaxy front office. They had the chance to bring in two players that could have made a huge difference. That could have made this team stand out above teams in a league filled with parity. Instead they sign Omar Gonzalez to one DP slot and tie up the other DP slot with Donovan. I think it’s time for this long time Galaxy fan to become a SJ or Seattle fan.

  4. Donovan is the Tiger Woods of US soccer. His resume is exceptional, yet people still continue to whine that he has something more to prove. Get over it. The guy has NOTHING more to prove. It’s not like moving to Europe is going to raise his game to a new level – we know what his level is, and it’s outstanding. Glad MLS has decided to pay the man, and I hope other US stars will look at this and think that it might be financially viable for them to play in the US.

  5. Ok if Donovan gets paid Deuce #s then MLS should just raise the salary cap. I agree that Omar and Donovan signings are good for the league. But looking at it from a DP perspective they don’t add more ‘Buzz’ like an Henry or Deuce type player would. The whole reasoning for the DP slot was to bring high profile players and capture the attention of casual sports fans. Donovan and Omar raise the level of play. Unfortunately for MLS the perceived low level of play that it has turns away casual fans.

    • replace salary cap with League 2 style FFP. Clubs cannot spend over 60% of revenues. Do this, and the quality of the league will just get better and better. And fans will start to watch.

      The current salary cap lowers the quality on the field

      • From what I have read only a few teams are profitable. MLS is still very much in its investment stage. I’m curious as to how tying spending to a percentage of revenue would increase quality?

      • um teams would be able to field balanced rosters instead of League 1 quality paired with DP’s.

        Seattle, LA, Toronto all have revenues over 20 mil. But they are forced to spend 3 million + DP’s. That’s a joke of a wage structure.

        Let them spend what they want under revenues and they will have much more quality sides.

      • also..MLS teams are losing their academy players to other leagues because MLS only allows teams to sign two HGP’s to GA equivalent contracts. Why? Is this all because of parity too?

        It’s a joke. This could actually be a much better league without all the unnecessary regulations.

      • This is non-responsive: most teams revenues are less than their expenses. Limiting those teams to 60% of their revenues would be a dramatic reduction in expenditures… this is an underpants gnomes business plan, brought to you by Jack!

  6. I think sometimes we lose sight of our objectives. What exactly is our goal for the national team? Simple: to win the world cup. Not to make it out of the group stages and pat ourselves on the back. But to win. For that to happen, our national team players must be world-elite. Two things will enhance that potential: (a) a greater absolute number of our top-end athletes pursuing soccer; and (2) for our soccer players to play in one of the top leagues in the world.

    There’s a bifurcated view on how that can happen: either (1) for our domestic league to be a top tier league and at the same level of public consciousness here as the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL; or (2) for our national team players to play in the top leagues abroad. I would argue that the only way we’re going to get ALL of our top players playing in a top tier league – and developing in one too – is actually through option 1 (which would also likely pull a larger percentage of our multi-sport capable athletes into soccer generally).

    The reason being mobility: Looking at the list of modern-era world cup finalists, the US is different than the four nations with non-elite leagues that have made the finals in our ability to export talent to the top leagues. Brazil and Argentina – there are simply too many inbuilt “advantages” to living in the United States for players to jump to Europe (and European development setups) as quickly as South Americans do. As far as recent finalists France and Netherlands – they have almost-top-tier domestic leagues with high developmental proficiency and extreme mobility to the top leagues. The US has nothing of the sort and likely never will. Evidence for this general lack of export-mobility: Even now, excepting the German-American outliers (incidientally, whose disproportional presence in the national team pool only underscores this argument), the vast majority of our national team players have already spent significant time in MLS, especially during critical developmental stages. And with enhanced developmental academies, moving from MLS to the big-four is not going to happen until one or two contracts down the line for most players, if at all. The majority of American soccer players simply won’t be entering top level European development setups at extremely early ages.

    So MLS is going to have to become a top world league (including developmentally) and part of the greater American sporting consciousness before we can hit the critical mass of soccer-athletes needed to properly fill out the national team to win the world cup.

    But we have a ways to go. Realistically, we’re not going to win the world cup with our current generation (double entendre intended) of talent. The focus should therefore be on aggressively building the domestic league for future generations. Not on bemoaning the one or two players who choose to forego European careers – Donovan and Dempsey weren’t going to win the world cup anyway, but their MLS-building legacies might some day lay the groundwork for that. Glad to see Donovan and Dempsey in MLS contributing to that process.

    • I actually read the whole thing and am happy I did.

      For now we have to be patient with half of option 1 and about half of option 2. A mix of both a good (not great yet) domestic league and a growing number of players overseas (many who developed in MLS).

      The US may not win the WC any time soon but all we have to do is keep advancing farther in each successive tournament. WC success by USMNT is more crucial to growing MLS than any kind of big name DP signing. The US sporting public can get behind almost any sport when it’s being played by athletes representing the US. This turns casual fans to tune into MLS because now MLS has more US stars playing on it’s clubs.

    • I appreciate these comments. And, for the most part, I agree. We want to win a world cup and that means getting our league to be elite so that the American players coming up have that exposure and experience.
      All the static about LD playing in Europe or not is really besides the point for the World Cup at this point. Besides, he’s 30+ and not going to get better. From a WC perspective, we just want him to continue playing at a competitive level to keep his fitness and sharpness. MLS does just fine in that regard.

  7. in other news… Sun expected to rise tomorrow…water is wet….

    did anyone actually think Donovan, after a decade of demonstrating his preference for playing in California through numerous contract extensions, failed stints in Germany and passing up previous opportunities to move on anything more than a short-term loan, would make a permanent move to Europe in the twilight of his career?

    it was a negotiating tactic all along…

    I don’t think LD has anything left to prove. Who cares what some bloke somewhere in England thinks of him good or bad and for that matter who cares what anyone thinks… LD has 50+ goals and assists for the national team and has scored FIVE goals in WC-what else does anyone need to know?

    we can pine for american-born and bred players to become superstars for years to come, sorry LD wasn’t a Messi or a Ronaldo… that’ll come one day-but it’s more likely to materialize with an across the board lift in quality of american players not a lone super duper star… we’ll know that an American of world-class stature is about to come through when there are a dozen Americans playing group stage UEFA Champions League soccer, not one or two..

    • Just thinking out loud in 2013….what are the chances that an Eastern US-based team could EVER be admitted into a European League, like the EPL? Or a SW US-based team into the MX League? Some cross-pollenation…what fun!

      • Just so logistically crummy for the former. The latter is within the bounds of reason. I’d be happy to fold Chivas USA and get Tijuana.

  8. Donovan is a failure because he didn’t go to Europe. His teasing us in the 2002 and 2010 World Cup was a scam! Man, Donovan, you just don’t know how to challenge yourself even though you have all those MNT records of goals and assists, and about to break the MLS scoring record. Such a fake!

      • I’m just crying my heart out as I burn and throw away my Donovan Everton jersey. Europe is the only barometer of greatness!

      • There are plenty of subpar players in Europe and European teams (other than the Champions League teams) often fare horribly against MLS and Mexican League teams. Secondly, there are many obstacles to foreign players in these leagues including whim of coach and xenophobia. The real barometer for American players comes during the World Cup and other international competitions.

      • Is it possible that the comments not getting the sarcasm are in fact sarcastic comments themselves?

      • 30ish Donovan helping an Everton team scrap for tenth place isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. His reputation will be cemented with a good performance at next year’s world cup.

    • Ah, he has gone to Europe on more than i occasion. Well he didn’t make it at Bayer Leverkusen (sp?). They didn’t like him at Bayern Munich. However he enjoyed success in his two Everton cameos. Haha. Good thing you didn’t mention 2006, cuz he forgot to show up for that one.

  9. A simple economics class would be really beneficial to most posters on here. Your value is what people are willing to pay for your services not who is better. More demand for your services more the more value you have.

  10. Landon Donovan is the American verison of Juan Riquelme. Both tried it out in Europe, and felt more comfortable in their home countries. Both are stars, and are still beloved by their countrymen regardless of where they play.

    • Donovan is good but no where near Riquelme who played for Barcelona and guided Villareal to the semis of Champions League in 05/06

    • Not sure if the analogy works as Riquelme was actually very successful in Europe and he played at the highest levels of European competitions. He did get homesick and decided to go back to Argentina, but he had an exceptional spell in Europe until he had a fallout with his last club’s management.

      Donovan reminds me more of a different Argentine player…maybe more like Ariel Ortega, who was decent in Europe but never made a huge impact despite his talent. I think like Donovan, he just wasn’t good enough and mentally tough enough to last in the cut-throat world of top-level European soccer. Donovan failed miserably with the large European clubs but enjoyed decent, riskless short-term spells with a mediocre mid-table European club. Just like Ortega was ok with Sampdoria and Valencia. Then they both went back to their appropriate level at their respective domestic leagues.

  11. Donovan gets his deserved praise for staying in LA, yet Dempsey gets slammed for returning to MLS….What a hypocritical fan base we have here in the US of A.

    I’ll be curious as to where either/both will be loaned out at the end of the MLS season to keep sharp for Brazil 2014.

    • I think the people slamming Dempsey are the same people that slam Donovan for not going abroad I’ve always respected Donovan’s decision in part because I believe the MLS is quite a good league. However, I think it’s too bad that this time around he didn’t give Europe one last shot for at least a whole season. This may have been his last opportunity to play at a high level abroad but I’m sure there will always be a place for him in MLS into his late 30’s.

      • We need to stop looking toward Europe for soccer dominance. That’s the problem. Improve your home and forget Europe.

    • In LD’s defense, he never stated that one of his career goals was to play Champions League soccer, whereas Deuce had consistently said that. so when he signed with seattle, that took many people by surprise.

    • Last game of the season, probably not many tickets available, as 35k of the 67k are season tickets,

      That is going to be a blast !

    • I was thinking the same thing when Dempsey rejoined MLS. Donovan vs. Dempsey immediately becomes must-see American soccer TV, a unique matchup we haven’t really seen before. Especially since at this point it feels like we’ve never seen them on the same field at the same time!

      • ratings will be abysmal. Why? The majority of American soccer fans will not watch MLS. Why? too many regulations harm the quality. Salary cap is the biggest one.

      • Why would you care about ratings.
        Please follow my new title…..please ( or just leave either way )

  12. At this stage of his career, it’s no longer about “developing his game” or “challenging himself against top competition.” Donovan is who he is. No matter where he plays from here on, he’s not going to get significantly better, or worse. Fans of the MNT have no complaint because frankly, it no longer makes a difference where he plays. So if Donovan is happy, and is getting paid, I’m all for it. There’s no down side for the MNT. But there is a tremendous up side for MLS, in that the signing continues and confirms the trend of big players choosing (not settling for) MLS. The only problem, really, is that he’s an opponent of my Red Bulls — but that’s only maybe once a year, and maybe (hopefully!) in the MLS Cup final.

  13. I think the guys that are disappointed with these type of things had better get used to it.

    I said 5 years ago, when my Sounders joined MLS, I would be shocked if you didn’t see big names coming to MLS if the money was there to pay them. Henry came for one reason, he didn’t want to play on a losing team, after the great teams he played on, with no shot of winning. If he could get similar money playing in MLS he would leave, and did.

    How about Obafemi Martins ?

    Why do people think Landon and Dempsey are here playing for us ? I will give you a hint, it has NOTHING to do with what the guys whining about soccer in the US would want you to think. They aren’t weak and soft.

    They just don’t want to waste their careers losing with no chance of winning. Dempsey as part of Tottenham’s plans, happy, Dempsey at Fulham, looking for the next shop.

    It will happen way more in the future. I was right before, I am right now.

  14. Boy do we (some of us) hate our selves. Do you know how long many of us waited (15 years) after the demise of NASL for there to even be an outdoor league (other than the WSL APSL, etc) that was on TV regularly? We are lucky, in our lifetimes, to even have had a Landon Donovan to cheer for and a relatively decent national team. It wasn’t that long ago that we fielding 11 “college kids and 3rd rate pros” (what the England Manager called he USA team in 1993 after we beat them 2-0 in the US CUP). So now, 20 years later we have 2nd rate pros and a few players who are pretty damn good. To me, that’s awesome, and we are lucky to be able to watch Donovan and Dempsey on a weekly basis. To the dude who said that he has 8 soccer channels and none play MLS games…don’t you have ESPN or NBCSN….or even Unimas? MLS matches are all over the TV. I remember when we got a 1 hour condensed APSL game of the week, played on a dimly lit field with no fans and a single camera.

    • Amen Jeff. The guy has ESPN, he is just whining like usual.

      How about Soccerbowl on ABC ? About the only game on TV in the mid 70s.

      • Sorry, you might be right in your location. In Los Angeles on a good week there are 4 matches on TV – Galaxy (TWCSN), ESPN, NBCSN, Unimas. Sometimes there are double headers, etc, but I was comparing MLS to the single 1 hour, compressed APSL game of the week circa 1993. Plus, here TWCSN shows about 3 hours of unique Galaxy coverage a week (aside from the matches). NBCSN shows MLS 36 and MLS Insider too. You have to look for it though. If NBC treated MLS like they do the Premier League, there would be much more to see,

      • to be fair, OP said “nationally televised”. yes, in SoCal we always have LA games on. just like in DC, i could always catch DC games. but those are NOT nationally televised, they are local only.

        either way he is wrong, there were 3 nationally televised games last weekend and 3 more coming up this weekend.

      • False. I’m actually angry at you because I had to go through the trouble of signing in just to correct you.

        Every team outside of Chivas has a local television contract. Also, Canadian games are broadcast regularly on TSN. NBC soccert does AT LEAST 1 per week. ESPN was also scheduled for 14 games I believe. There are also weekly national Spanish language broadcasts. So, yes, that is pretty much “all over the tv”

      • i don’t think he cares about local TV broadcasts given he said nationally televised. but like you pointed out, he’s still wrong. NBC, ESPN, and Unimas have all been televising games nationally.

      • just last weekend there was an MLS game on NBC Sports, ESPN2, and Unimas. those were all nationally televised. which is why they were blacked out in the USA for MLS Live users.

        this weekend NBC Sports will be playing a game on Friday and Saturday night and Unimas on Sunday. so 3 games again.

  15. Maybe it’s that he has transformed over time into the face of the league, but people forget….

    1999–2004 Bayer 04 Leverkusen II
    2001–2004 → San Jose Earthquakes (loan)
    2004–2005 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
    2005– Los Angeles Galaxy
    2009 → Bayern Munich (loan)
    2010 → Everton (loan)
    2012 → Everton (loan)

    Part of the reason Landon is in LA and not SJ is Lalas traded away Landon rights from SJ while he was away in Leverkusen one stint.

    In terms of those chiding him for not accepting a present challenge, I’ll be interested to see who goes on loan, including Landon, this pre-World Cup winter.

  16. What he said he might move ? 😉

    Well done Landon.

    We are very lucky to see him play. I think I have seen him play around 15 times now. I am looking foward to “muti-years” more.

  17. I guess htis is what makes forums fun to read, but why in the he11 are issues to black and white to everyone? Disappointing that we won’t get to see him play in a European League against the top players, sure, awesome that we get him in MLS, yep. Beyond that, who really cares?

    • I would love to see more US players in Europe, but in Spain, Portugal, France. Pretty much any league outside hack a man England and hack a man MLS

      • I agree with Spain and France, maybe add Italy but not Portugal too much.
        Truth, EPL are richest clubs but not best developing talent or strongest quality wise. I am a bit upset Altidore going to Sunderland.

  18. I honestly don’t see why any usmnt fan would want him to play in Europe. If he goes to the epl with a decent team he will have to play many more games, much more physically, and exponentially increase the risk of injury.

    I say this about once a week but all statistical data has shown that playing for a top team in a top team is a horrible move for your national team career. There is absolutely no data that suggests it makes you better. Get over it eurosnobs

  19. Dempsey ruined everything!!!! Now future big names are go beyond $8million!!

    I don’t mind Donovan staying with Galaxy but with such mediocre DP like Gonzalez, we really don’t have no hope winning CONCACAF this time. Rogers was amazing in 2007, dribble and burning players but current Rogers so far sucks, trading Magee for Rogers is among biggest idiotic moves,

  20. Do I enjoy watching US players in European leagues? Sure I do. Would it have been fun to see a repeat of the run LD had with Everton? Of course, but… MLS is better for having him here, so I am happy about that. For the long term future of US soccer this is the best thing. A much wider net will be cast, far more players will benefit, be developed and emerge with a strong domestic league than farming out the occasional talent across the Atlantic. Long before we’re ever to see players at the top of their game with other options come here from elsewhere, there will have to be many U.S. players that chose to do so.

      • It’s hard to. I have 8 soccer channels, none of them show MLS games.
        That dozen games he did with Everton don’t tell us much.
        If he couldn’t handle the pressure of MLS a full year in England would’ve destroyed him.
        MLS is where he belongs

      • You probably saw him tear up the EPL twice then, didn’t you? You have certainly seen him as EASILY the best US player over the course of the last decade in internationals, right? No doubt you were there to see him in person in Germany when he played fairly well, but was not able to get a contract done for whatever reason.

        If Donovan has shown that he is a better player than Dempsey, Jozy, Bradley (at least up to this point for those last two), Cameron, Holden, Harkes, Bocanegra, Edu, etc. etc. etc. — all of whom have had success in Europe — then how, exactly, is Donovan “nothing more” than just an MLS player?

        The stats show that he has ABSOLUTELY torn MLS up — not exactly your run of the mill MLS lifer.

      • BOYD’s post makes absolutely no sense. I know of two soccer channels that show MLS games and another that did so in past years plus spanish channels…

    • hmmm. yeah. two sucessful stints at Everton and a total of 5 goals in the World Cup finals, including a game-winner against Algeria in 2010. and speaking of caliber, perhaps you should find something around 45 caliber and end your days as a soccer pundit. i kid i kid.

  21. “Donovan’s five MLS Cups, including the last two with Los Angeles, is more than any other player has won.”

    um, Kevin, Donovan’s 5 MLS Cup equals the 5 won by Jeff Agoos (DC 1996, 97, 99. Earthquakes 2001 & 2003)

  22. Landon Donovan with the Galaxy vs. Dempsey with the Sounders will be a major snooze fest. Some moments of individual quality doesn’t make up for an overall lack of quality. The two best players in US history have made an affirmative decision NOT to challenge themselves. TG for Jozy and Michael Bradley.

    • Maybe they have taken the ultimate challenge of helping make MLS a world-wide resepected league. Who are you to say they are not challenging themselves?

      Did you move thousands of miles away from your home to get a job at a company that is better than yours, or did you work your butt off to make your local company the best in the world?

      • A more accurate analogy might be Boston Redsox star David Ortiz deciding to play for Pawtucket. He might try every bit as hard, but he still wouldn’t be challenging himself. Finances, living close to home and helping the US legaue attain a higher standard are worthy aspirations, but that won’t make them better players or make their games fun to watch. Whenever the Galaxy and Sounders meet, every tenth pass will go out of bounds, at least one striker will sky a shot from point blank range, possession will change every fourth pass, and player movement will be unimagintive.

      • No, it would be like Ortiz staying in the country that he grew up in and taking a stake in that league. If he felt like there was potential there and that he could help that league become one of the best in the world, maybe he would stay. That would take a lot of courage. Obviously that is not the case though because there is no chance that any other baseball league will be as strong as MLB. Some would say that MLS will never be as strong as the leagues in Europe — again, pretty damn ballsy on Donovan’s part to commit himself to doing just that.

      • Making MLS a better league will take a long time, and while it has improved, it is still a very long way off. I don’t begrudge players for finding situations that make them happy, and that’s what Donovan and Dempsey have done. My point is that, from the perspective of having the best US players attain the highest possible level of professional accomplishment, both of these guys are punching below their weight, and the overall product still isn’t that good.

      • Who are you to say what their highest level of professional accomplishment is? Pretty sure those dudes are happy with what they have accomplished and consider their careers far from over.

      • 1. a trans-atlantic commute is hardly the same thing as pawtucket-boston, (even if there is a language barrier)

        2. the only way the MLS gets better is if it attracts better players, and it stands to reason that the first group of players that are most likely to do that (other than players from CONCACAF) will be from the USA.

        I don’t really think Dempsey of Donovon have anything else to prove, nor should we expect them to try. Their careers are pretty much on the trajectory they are going to be on now until they retire (barring some loan overseas before Brasil 2014). Furthermore, given a clear-eyed look at where the USA stands in the world of football, I don’t see why we have any reason to feel let down by what either player represents in terms of the evolution of the sport in this country of MLS as a league.

        Now, if we want to start having this discussions about Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, etc., that would make more sense to me. But really, this topic is just STALE.

      • So, if Donovan had stayed in Germany, he would be some top-ten in the world player right now? Would he be that much better if he played in the EPL for a couple of years? He is pretty damn amazing and has maintained his level of play (if not, gotten better) even in the late stages of his career. I don’t buy that he is not pushing himself or that he would have improved much more than he has if he were in Europe. He has a much better idea of what he needs in order for him to reach his optimal level than you ever will. To me, it looks like he has pretty much maximized his talent so far. It is amazing to think that he might have a lot more to give too. He might want to take another sabatical or two, but what if he ends up like Giggs, playing until 40 all the while with MLS slowing becoming stronger and stronger. Will you still question his career decisions?

      • We’ll never know how good LD could have been because he didn’t challenge himself to play at the highest level he could. Two successful loan spells at Everton were exciting, and his games were fun to watch because he was playing high level competition. He will still show moments of individual brilliance at Galaxy, but again, fooling MLS defenders is not that interesting.

      • Why can’t you just appreciate how good he IS. You don’t have to ask those stupid questions. Just look at what is actually happening around you instead of living in a what if world.

        A-Rod is good, but how good COULD he be if he played for the Yankees? oops

        Donovan is a great US player. He has proven that time and time again. If you can’t see that, that is on you.

      • LD is a great player, as I noted up top. My beef with him is that he didn’t take the challenge to become the world class that his pace and skill could have allowed, and his Galaxy games just are not that much fun to watch.

      • So basically, you are just saying that your beef with Donovan is just purely selfish. There is no guarantee that playing in Europe would make him a better player. Good chance he would be a Lennon or another one dimensional player rather than blossoming into the player that he is. Another possibility is that he would have gotten lost on a deep roster like Dempsey was about to. For me, it is just hard to fault Donovan for his career decisions. He has played at an extremely high level for a long time. If you don’t enjoy the level of the competition that he is playing, that is just selfish though.

        The one thing that would have stayed constant no matter what league he has played in is his national team status, and I cannot imagine him having a better national team career than the one he has had. The best part is that it is far from over, and he could have a lot to say about the progress of the team through 2018.

      • “… every tenth pass will go out of bounds, at least one striker will sky a shot from point blank range, possession will change every fourth pass, and player movement will be unimagintive.”

        So different from fulham/west ham/stoke/ villa/QPR/norwich/blackburn how?

      • I don’t think it’s selfish to want people with high levels of talent to play in high level competition. Nowhere have I denied that LD is a great player. He’s just a man playing in a boys league. He made a life style choice and maybe he made a sacrifice because he wants to make MLS a better place. Those are acceptable choices, but as someone who wants to see American players test their talent against real competition, it’s a missed opportunity. And there is a big difference in quality between bottom level clubs in the EPL and top teams in MLS. Galaxy and Sounders are not even top teams in CONCACAF.

      • Maybe donovan would have become a better player if he’d remained in europe. Or maybe he’d have been buried on a CL roster or landed on a stoke-type team and spent 89.5 min per game defending.

        There are no guarantees in professional athletics. Second guessing, or worse, resenting donovan’s choices is a fool’s errand.

      • Good point. EVENTUALLY some consistency needs to happen for MLS to take another step. The league has been growing every year. And eventually known USA stars are going to make the decision to be in the league while in their prime. I think many are angry because we want to see USA players conquer Europe (Which, YES, have many better leagues). Well, I’m sure that will happen someday with a USA star player. But why not also have both? MLS be a great league along with USA stars in it and all over the world. Baby steps. I’m sure we all know what’s best for Donovan. So far, he’s been playing great with new fire in him. He’s been our best player for almost a decade, and we still want more of him. Well, then again, sports always makes us irrational.

      • Um, some known US stars HAVE made the decision to play in MLS in their prime. You have heard of this Dempsey fellow?

      • Yes, I think I may have heard of them. I was stating that eventually that had to happen someday. Dempsey is the starting example. I was just stating many people think that all good players MUST go to Europe and leave MLS like it was a requirement. Glad Dempsey took that first step to come to the league in his prime.

  23. Lol at some of the comments calling him a coward? Ok you pass up 7 figures, California lifestyle and being the go to guy for cold, rain crappy food and higher taxes for a part time role in a league thats been around longer so fans think its better. Go ahead im willing to bet you wouldnt because you know at this point on your life unless it is a team that is going to win something what the heck is the pt? What is Everton going to win this year? AC Milan? Contrast that with stayinv LA it makes perfect sense if you think about it from the perspective of a living being and not some deity that does.what you want because you didnt make varsity in high school.Good on the Gals for signing him good on him to continue the growth of the league.

    • Just making sure I understand you here. You think the Premier League and Serie A (mentioned these two based on the teams you brought up) are considered better leagues just because they’ve been around longer? Listen, I like MLS and watch whenever I can, but that is just delusional.

    • EXACTLY! (except for the whole being better because they have been around longer)

      But, why would he NOT sign on. To finish his career where he has been most successful, living in Manhattan Beach, making an incredible paycheck. Why the hell not!?!?

      And, just a FYI, this article says nothing about the possibility that he signs on for a short-term loan after the MLS season finishes to stay fit for the WC.

      Congrats to Donovan and the Galaxy.

      • I hope he goes on loan again in the future, but not this year. He took his break for a reason. Let him have his winter break, get back to training with the Galaxy, and have the full run-up in a World Cup camp to get ready for the World Cup. Taking a break to get away from the schedule he had been keeping, then deciding to play non-stop by jumping leagues on loan for 14 straight months leading up to a World Cup seems a bit contradicting.

      • i think he goes on loan because he WANTS to go on loan. he said that he is very open to the idea of leaving CA. granted, the very next interview he held was the one where he said he wanted to stay in LA. so who really knows.

        but from his own words, he would be mentally up for it and is at a better place in his life to do it. again, his words, not mine.

        and i see no point in doing a loan after this season. World Cup is the only reason to do it really.

    • This whole rationale about wanting to live a “California” lifestyle is such B.S. We are talking about an unmarried, childless, young guy living somewhere else for a couple years for his job… perhaps in a great European city. He’d be making potentially millions of dollars, expanding his marketing value, and challenging himself as a professional soccer player to adapt. People everyday pick up and move for there jobs… this is not that big of deal. Landon is not a child.

    • The fact of the matter is that most everyone here, including the eurosnobs, would give up one of their gonads, to do what Landon has done in his career.

  24. where were you when Dempsey vs Donovan was all the rage?

    Ronaldo vs Messi
    Gerrard vs Lampard
    Howard vs Guzan

    all nothing, who is better? who had the better career? who has more marketing appeal? Dempsey or Donovan. DECIDE now.

  25. This and Omar resigning with the Galaxy as a DP further illustrate the fact that Chivas USA isn’t just hurting the league because of what it does do, but because of what it prevents. LA can 100% have two teams, and between youth development and foreign signings the league would benefit tremendously from a Galaxy-esque second team. Now that the Galaxy have their three DP’s for the short term, what happens when Wesley Sneidjer (only 29) says he will only play in LA? Not saying the league should change rules for that, but it should be great for a second LA team to be able to get a guy like him.

    • so much talent in SoCal. but don’t bring Wesley Sneidjer and other washed up overpaid losers into this convo. Tijuana Xolos are what CUSA was supposed to be.

      Its no surprise that so many of our national teamers come from California, most notably our best ever, Mr. Donovan, hopefully the CUSA ship stops sinking, turns a 180 and becomes a decent MLS side..

      • Sneidjer is 29, played in the CL quarters last year, and about to start a World Cup year for the country that finished second last time. Man U wanted him 10 months ago, and still might want him. So, no, not washed up. Is Robbie Keane washed up?

  26. Sounders vs. Galaxy, Dempsey vs. Donovan.. its going to happen 2x this season and maybe more in the playoffs -> and now even more over the next few years!

    Glad LD stayed. MLS is now better than it ever has been and if he still has game its time for him to continue being the league leader. Kinda odd that after taking off the majority of the season, sabbatical and national team, he gets the extension but as long as he delivers down the stretch thats all that matters.

    LA has enough quality supporting players; ADG, Franklin, Juninho, Zardes, Villareal, Penedo to continue being a top team with the three DP’s they have signed.

  27. Why all the Landon Donovan hate? Hes the best American soccer player of all time. Its not even close. He carried us on his back last world cup. This is the right move. Especially on a world cup year. Enjoy Landon Donovan. We wont see another player like him possibly ever for USA

    • just cause we still expect more of him.

      SUPERMAN. He saves the world a lot but if he misses on Sunday we get upset. we’re used to it and thus demand more. Donovan is the best but why isn’t he in EUROPE?

  28. $h!+ Not happy with this at all, first Clint wimping out after getting eased out by Tottenham and instead of trying with another team scurrying back to the easy life in the MLS and now Landon, who last week was beating his chest like tough guy ready to finally give Europe another go, now whimpering out and staying in the MLS womb. P!$$e$ me off Landy-Cakes leading everybody on getting us all excited. Quite frankly, disgusting. So glad we have a younger generation of players with fire in the bellies and with the ba!!$ to give it a go in Europe who we can cheer for like MB and Jozy and Eric Lichaj and Bedoya and Sacha Kljestan and Juan Agudelo and and Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea guys like Sebastian Lletget starting at the very bottom and trying work their way up…

      • Jozy has scored goals in 4 european leagues. how many has Donovan scored in?

        31 goals in 1 season is not something to scoff at.

    • Wow biff, I remember when one could actually consider your posts somewhat rationale when you were pining for Dempsey to leave Fulham last year. You’re treading dangerously close to nasl el paso guy territory. Although you do use punctuation….

      • gee whiz, Dimidri, you really remember SBI posts from over a year ago 🙂 anyway, I have calmed down and am back to my 100% (as opposed to “somewhat”) rationale self. But, as a fan of Landy-Cakes, am still disappointed that he is not going to Europe.

    • eh, slight over reaction. only one that annoyed me was Omar. he;s young. but again, there are good arguments for either side.

      • i’m aware of the business sense behind it. and maybe “annoyed” is the wrong word. as an LA fan, i’m happy. and as an MLS fan i’m happy.

  29. No surprise. He’s proven his worth and has earned it. Nice to see more USA players earning top paydays. This can only help MLS as it is keeping many of the USA’s top players stateside. No worries about improvement of USA program as there are still plenty of players heading overseas as well. Good combination.

    • I actually believe taking such a big stake in the development of MLS is a brave thing to do. It would have been easy to play for some mid table team in Europe and not have many eyeballs on him. He will be looked back on as a pioneer of American soccer and his legacy will be greater than any other in MLS.

  30. Dempsey should be the face of US SOCCER. He’s tall, rugged, came from the bottom and now at the top. I would really believe marketing for the new WC should be focused on Dempsey, Bradley and Altidore. Guys that the young people can look up to and emulate.

    • You people are seriously the worst. Dempsey has been the lead on every new kit/jersey campaign the US has had in the past 2 years, he got a ton of coverage doing awesome things with Fulham, hell, his Europa league games were a relatively big deal last year. His incredible story has been retold since at least the 2006 World Cup to millions of potential soccer fans. He’s entered San Antonio Spurs territory where he receives almost universal praise from writers, even hyperbolic at times. His return to MLS probably broke SBI comment records. He has TV commercials (that one about Brazil among others). What more do you want? US Soccer telling a naturally introverted guy he has to go on Letterman?

      The “Face of US Soccer” is not some monolithic thing, if Dempsey wants to more pub in the US then he needs to do really well in the only thing most general US sports fans care about, the World Cup. Not to say he’s done poorly, but his best performances were 1) at the 06 world cup when the US did poorly and 2) include Robert Green letting a goal go through his leg.

  31. really so-so on him

    He’s played a contributing role in advancing MLS but would have he done more for soccer in USA by playing at clubs Bayer Leverkusen ot Everton and winning titles or playing in the CL?

    I do wonder

    • if Barca, Madrid, Manchester, etc. ever made a bid for LD then i would agree with you.

      He has done more for US Soccer/MLS by staying here and establishing the best ever MLS career than he would have done by being a star at a mid table team anywhere else..

  32. what a chump for leading us on

    dude you could have been playing for a top team in Europe. Imagine if Maradonna spent his entire career in Argentina

  33. Disregarding his walkabout in rural Asia, Donovan was and will continue to be the best all around player in American soccer. As to how that translates to compensation? He should be paid well more than Dempsey.

    Donovans contributions on the field quite outshine Dempsey. He is a better passer, has better touch, has better vision, combines much better with teammates and is a better scorer.

    • Dempsey is worth way more. Donovan is a star in the USA. Dempsey is arguably a star in Europe. He’s coming off a season at a big club in Europe. He had bargaining power and deserves to be paid more than Donovan.

      • Have to stop you there. Dempsey might have had a good season for Fulham, but in no way, shape or form is Dempsey considered anything close to a star in Europe.

        Dempsey was not a star. Dempsey was considered to be a role player at a mid to upper table club who clearly hit his ceiling when he stepped out of the Fulham box.

        When Donovan played at Everton he was considered a star, garnerning several media and fan awards in his time in the EPL.

      • eh…sorry but neither was a “star” in Europe. And you can’t compare Donovan’s what, 4 or 5 games max on a loan to the week in and out grind Dempsey went thru for 6 yrs or so. To say nothing of how many different managers and styles Dempsey had to battle thru to earn time. I tend to agree with Mike E. that Donovan is the “all around” better player but he never seemed to have the mental toughness and ruthlessness around the goal that Dempsey has. In any case, we should be proud of the accomplishments of both and enjoy watching them play. Hopefully they stay healthy for Brazil.

      • dempsey absolutely has a bigger market value and to argue otherwise is ridiculous.

        that does not mean Dempsey is better, but he IS worth more.

      • Agree with SoundersOff. Also, Donovan is way more of a global star for the US based on his World Cup performances (2006 debacle notwithstanding.)

  34. A) Whatever man, sick of hearing about this crap.

    B) He deserves more than what Dempsey is getting because he is frankly better in all facets of the game than Dempsey. When Dempsey isn’t scoring goals he doesn’t contribute much else. Donovan is a playmaker. Donovan is the Valeri role.

    Donovan is more valuable to his team. Donovan is more valuable to the league. Donovan has been and will continue to contribute more on the field.

      • Why does this have to devolve into the Dempsey-Donovan debate? For a long time I thought Donovan was overrated, but I was wrong. However, this opinion was in no way connected to Dempsey. They do not represent an either-or proposition, not even to the level of the Gerrard-Lampard debate a few years ago. We have lots of good young players, but this summer Donovan showed he was not finished. He played better than future stars, such as Corona who was very good and who I see as his replacement. He is having a strong MLS campaign. He is not such a big personality that he holds other players back (e.g. Raul), so why oppose a new contract?

      • It’s inevitable. When the best player ever to play in the league decides to re-sign, of course fans are going to compare what he’s worth to the new *fake* gold standard, Dempsey. When that happens its obvious to those of us with eyes that Donovan is worth way more then Clint. Donovan makes the players around him better. Dempsey does not. Plain and simple.

  35. Fine with him staying, but wouldn’t have minded seeing him in EU.

    His sabbatical I am sure seriously hurt his negotiating power with MLS though. They shouldnt want to pay him close to Dempsey $ when he may flake out again.

    My guess would be around $3mm per year


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