What do Brian McBride, Kasey Keller, Claudio Reyna and Brad Friedel all have in common?
They all proved…or continue to prove their worth in Euope’s top flights for many years.
McBride even has a pub at Fulham named after him!
Landon Donovan has not done that…yet. And there is no way he can ever be called the best American player ever until he does so.
It’s that simple.
It’s not up for debate. He can stay in MLS for the next twenty years and rack up dozens up MVP awards, but until he’s proven that he can sustain the grind of a few full seasons in Europe and do well…he has no business even being talked about as one of the United States’ best-ever players.
Why do we talk about Cobi Jones so much? Was he one of the best we ever had? Absolutely not…but he was under our noses for what seemed like a century…never venturing far from Stateside (except for a couple ventures that didn’t work out too well).
The fact that Landon is finally there and has done well in his first two appearance for Everton has me very excited.
He needs to stay and gut it out and prove to all the nay-sayers out there (me being one of them) that he has the staying power, hunger and ability to be one of the big boys.
I want him to do well in the EPL. He has to do well. So many people have christened him the best ever American that if he fails in Europe for what will basically be the third time, he won’t ever go back, and should not be allowed to.
It’s make or break for him right now. All the pressure in the world leading into the World Cup and hopefully then right back to Everton or maybe even a more high profile club.
It’s life in the fast lane for Landon from here on out…big money, big pressure.
He should be loving every second of it. I know I am.
QUESTION: Should I start my own Landon Donovan fan club? And if so, what should I call it?
–Mark Lincir is the Editor-In-Chief of 90:00 Magazine www.90soccer.com