Donovan to England? Who Scores and Who Fails To, in the Possible Move?-Doug McBride
According to reports in Britain, Everton F.C. are now interested in signing Landon Donovan on loan. So here’s my question for all of you out there: Is this a good fit, or a disaster waiting to happen. Everton is currently strapped for cash, low on goals, and lying low in the EPL table, just above the relegation places at the moment. For a team that finished fifth in the EPL, in each of the last two seasons, their performance this year has been a disappointment so far. Speaking of disappointment: Donovan suffered a personal setback when he missed his spot kick in the MLS Cup Final, and the Galaxy fell to a strong Real Salt Lake side on penalty kicks. Recent disappointments for both Everton and Donovan aside, a case could be made that the player might just be approaching the prime of his career at 27, having just earned Major League Soccer’s MVP for the first time, this past season. LD scored 15 goals and added 7 assists in the Galaxy’s run to the finals this season, after banging in 20 and 7 the season before. If there was a time for him to finally have some success in Europe, the time might be now. What might be a little worrisome to U.S. soccer fans is the fact that this might actually still be the wrong moment, and the wrong team, in the delicate months leading up to South Africa 2010. Donovan has had what could be considered very little, if any success in Europe, so far, and now might not be the time to gamble his confidence away with a six month move to the country he’ll be expected to produce against in the first game of the World Cup. Or, well…is it? If he fails to score goals for Everton, or worse yet, fails to even earn himself playing time for the side, it wouldn’t bode well for anyone involved. All of England might consider the American team’s main attacking threat as laughable, Everton would be disappointed, and Donovan might just head to the biggest tournament of his career as a head case. Then again, if he hits the ground running, and bangs in the goals for Everton, much like Brian McBride did in his short stint with the same club a few years back, it could give the player and the U.S. team exactly the push both so desperately need, in the months leading up to the big opening match against England. The question of whether or not the EPL is the right fit for Donovan is another ball of wax entirely, and all these questions make me want to hear what you folks out there think. Would a move to Everton or another English team be the right move for Donovan, in the months leading up the tournament? Can Donovan make the grade in England? Will the possible move threaten or actually boost the U.S. National team’s hopes for success in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa? If you’ve got an opinion on this, we want to hear it!