Landon Donovan's reign as the best American player will soon come to an end.
Amidst the web, writers are piling heaps of praise upon the LA Galaxy star for securing another short-term loan deal with EPL club Everton. Last season, Donovan strutted his stuff with the Toffees, accumulating two goals and three assists before being awarded the club's Player of the Month Award.
So now our American hero is off again, for another few months on a sub-par English side which lacks any real attacking talent. Without a doubt he will show his worth, he will be a lone bright spot shining on a team lacking any creative spark after Arteta departed for Arsenal.
What else is new?
Donovan has already proven how great of a player he can be last year during his short loan with Everton. The universal feeling towards this move is overall positive, as its not everyday an American gets 90 minutes in the EPL.
That is fine... With a player like Stuart Holden. But not for Landon Donovan.
Americans should be furious that, once again, Donovan is on loan instead of securing an outright move abroad. Once again, the LA Galaxy and the MLS have shown their outright selfishness. They believe that the MLS relies on Donovan to be the face, the white knight of American soccer. In reality, they are making Donovan into the face of opportunity lost. Talent wasted.
At 29, Donovan has won everything there is to win in America. He has won the MLS Cup four times, the Supporters' Shield twice, the US Young Athlete of the Year, the U.S. Soccer athlete of the Year four times, the Honda Player of the Year seven times, MLS cup MVP, MLS All-Star MVP, MLS Golden Boot, and MLS Goal of the year.
He has won nearly every award you can possibly win. He has been the face of American soccer for a decade, and now it's time to let the league grow on without him. The past few seasons have seen Donovan at his prime, and now he is heading towards the twilight of his career. He likely has one or two seasons of top form left, and that form is completely wasted in a league that already knows his brilliance.
He needs to move on to become world class. He needs to go out in style by scoring goals and making plays in a league that will challenge him to the core of his identity as a player. He needs a real transfer to a real team.
Brad Friedel said it the best: “You get a player like a Landon Donovan, who in my opinion chose to take the easy road and stay in the States. It’s much harder to ply your trade over here (England).”
If Donovan does not go and ply his trade in England, his career will likely fizzle out to a dull end in America. His legs will eventually fail him, and he will play out his last years as a swan song in the states.
He will will be an American legend forever, staying near and dear to U.S, and LA Galaxy hearts for years upon years. Unfortunately for Donovan and for the world, he will never be remembered by the world. He will never be the world-class super star that he is meant to be.
Donovan may have a few more good years left in him and maybe he'll win a few more MLS Cups, but it will only be dry and repetitive.
This loan is the the beginning of the end for Landon Donovan.