Donovan To Liverpool FC: The Yanks Just Might Make It Happen

Randy VillarbaContributor IJune 24, 2010

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06:  The Liverpool wall and Landon Donovan of Everton line up for a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on February 6, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Landon Donovan is the face of American Soccer. He may be one of the new faces at Anfield next season.

You might not like it, but Liverpool's owners are still American and they do not seem to be selling any time soon. Liverpool's owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have been known to attempt to influence the direction of Liverpool's transfers.

The £20m Robbie Keane experiment was made, even when Rafa Benitez did not sanction it. Landon Donovan being plastered over the United States Soccer scene is a perfect storm the American owners may employ to draw off the negative attention in the front offices.

Signing Donovan after a great display of leadership in South Africa would not only sell a few jerseys here in the States, but would expand Liverpool's fan market across the pond instantly. For being American owned, their lack of marketing, friendly tours, influence and support in the United States always left me dumbfounded.

All the turmoil and possible big name exits that surround the camp at Anfield have Liverpool fans dreading the conclusion of the World Cup, thus restarting the major clubs attempt to pick off the club's stars.

Names such as Mascherano, Kuyt, Benayoun, Torres and even the talismanic Gerrard have all been linked with clubs with less of a financial debt to deal with. While preventing the departure of all these names will be next to impossible, Liverpool fans can only hope that the gaps left by regular starters can be refilled with not only top flight players, but ones that can help drive the success of the club both on and off the field.

The money made in the transfer window will not only go to paying off the £350 million club debt, some new names will step in the shadow of the Kop.

Donovan will not come cheap, but a lot cheaper than the top level stars. With budget being the headlines in Liverpool, he is a budget friendly playmaker.

As much as it pains me to say this, United States soccer icon Landon Donovan may end up ending up on the Red side of Liverpool, especially after his successful stint with cross city rival Everton last season followed by a strong World Cup showing. (Please hold your boos until I explain.)

I know Yanks are not too popular in Liverpool, especially the owners Hicks and Gillett. The unpopularity of the owners, their extremely limited transfer budget and their continued disconnect from the Liverpool fans desires and history make a transfer for Landon Donovan to Liverpool a surefire possibility, albeit unpopular decision amongst most of the Liverpool faithful.

With no quick routes to new ownership and with no successor to Rafa Benitez appointed as of yet, this leaves the scenario ripe for Hicks and Gillett to place their greasy hands on the cogs at Liverpool.

In 2008, the American owners, in particular Gillett, sought to replace Rafa Benitez with Jurgen Klinsman, in essence disrupting a squad and staff that had already seen itself in regular contention for Champions League along with possibly finally pushing for the title. In a very George Steinbrenner-ish kind of way, with no head coach to demand a stronger hold on player decisions like Benitez, Gillett could very well look to cash in on the tidal wave of American support that surrounds Landon Donovan recent successes on the pitch.

This move for the face of American soccer would spur controversy. The kind of controversy that leaves criticism and attention more on the pitch than on the backrooms of the front office.

If Donovan succeeds, it is a win-win scenario. If he falters, the American fans drawn into supporting Liverpool through the Donovan bandwagon would be seen as a victory in expanding Liverpool's global marketability.

With no official reports on this idea surfacing yet, this is of course all speculation. Donovan's form both in club and country play almost certainly has him on the radar of some European clubs.

All major decisions made by clubs, players and coaches alike are placed on the back burner until the conclusion of the World Cup. With the final just weeks away, Liverpool supporters are on the edge of their seats seeing who bleeds Liverpool and who is chasing the need for a payday and Champions League Football next season.