Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In Sign Up
The Mail Bag

A Stateside View

Comments (15)

There's a fellow on ESPN here named Bill Simmons (also known as the Sports Guy). He's a complete sports fanatic who can actually write what he thinks and feels about sports in a well-written, entertaining, intelligent way.

OK. He got hooked on soccer when he went on invitation to a USA-Mexico World Cup qualifying match in Mexico City. Landon Donovan et al and the atmosphere of national soccer hooked him and he remained hooked thru this World Cup.

Every now and again, he augments his super-popular columns/blogs/podcasts/twitters with what he calls "The MailBag". He posts his readers' questions and his response/comment on whatever is posted. What follows is his response to a question about LD:

Q: "The MLS is taking the stance that Donovan is not for sale. While I think it's great to have Donovan in the MLS, this is not beneficial for American soccer. Donovan is in his prime, unlike Thierry Henry (on the downside of his career). Donovan should be playing in the EPL against the world's best competition, not in the MLS (minor league soccer)." ? Art Morath, Akron, OH.

Sports Guy: "Couldn't agree more. I don't see the MLS ever being bigger than Triple-A baseball in America, which is fine; Triple-A baseball sells out stadiums, works as a feeder system for the majors and remains lucrative. The hook for soccer is the national team, and by proxy, the success of the best American players.

"And, as Art points out, our players can only get better by playing against the best competition. So, if we want to expose fledgling fans to the best possible soccer AND tap into the American/underdog/our-guys dynamic, the following scenario needs to happen:

"Donovan (the most famous American soccer player ever and still in his prime) needs to play overseas for a Premier League team (let's say Everton, given that it already has Tim Howard); Everton needs to sign two other blue-chip Americans (let's say Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley) and turn itself into America's Overseas Premier League Team.

"Then, ESPN needs to sign a deal to show every game live for this team ? and create a "Hard Knocks"-type show about a season in the life of this team."

James Flynn, Virginia, USA     Posted 23/07/2010 at 23:26:03

back Return to the Mail Bag


Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Albert Perkins
1   Posted 24/07/2010 at 05:57:17

Report abuse

James Cadwaladr
2   Posted 24/07/2010 at 07:49:14

Report abuse

Great but means sweet fuck all. Doesn't change the fact that MLS will sell him to the highest bidder, whether or not that's Man City, I don't know... but I can't see it being us. Garber is merely trying to get the most from his prized asset. We'd all do the same. There is a poker game going on and EFC haven't got a hand.

It's nice to read this though but, at the end of the day, it has no credibility ? it's essentially the same as a blog by Martin Samuel
Art Jones
3   Posted 24/07/2010 at 09:50:01

Report abuse

Nice in theory, impossible to implement. The manager picks the team, not ESPN; what happens when these players aren't good enough? What happens if say Man City bid £30M for Landon after one season and promise him £150k/week nett?
Alan Clarke
4   Posted 24/07/2010 at 11:02:18

Report abuse

Didn't we sign Lie Tie for the same reason and wasn't there a record number of viewers in China when we played Man City who had Sun Jihai? It's a good idea and the money from the TV coverage would easily pay for those players and more. The revenue we could generate would be huge let alone the extra potential for investment from the exposure. The only problem would be the 6 + 5 rule and the limit on squad size. Oh and the fact that Kenwright is absolutely hopeless.
Roberto Birquet
5   Posted 24/07/2010 at 15:06:46

Report abuse

I thought Jozy Altidore was poor in the World Cup. But that is an aside. I expect Landon himself to have a big say in this.

If US, er... soccer wants to grow, I don't see it going down well to piss off their best player. He is 28, it's almost now or never.

If City bid £30 million... yeah, big IF. There are five or so weeks of transfers. We'll soon know. After last season, I do not take anything for granted. I'd never heard of Bily, as I'd never heard of Pienaar three years ago. I expect us to have one midfielder (nett) more than we have, and some wheeler-dealing to go on.

I'm hopeful that Landon will be back in (Royal) Blue by September; January (maybe by then cut price) at the latest.
Brendan O'Doherty
6   Posted 24/07/2010 at 15:15:24

Report abuse

Yes Alan, wasn't that the "pyjama game" when a lot of supporters turned up in their PJs for an 11am kick-off?

If I remember correctly the game was rubbish, as the players were still trying to get the sleep out of their eyes.
Alan Kirwin
7   Posted 24/07/2010 at 17:47:41

Report abuse

It's an excellent idea. It's also an acutely smart idea for the USA. Disagree about Altidore, I thought he looked really good much of the time and with expert coaching (the likes of what we provide) he could be a very good player in the current game.

Donovan sure has an excellent life in LA, but I think for him it's time to piss or get off the pot. He has 3 years, 4 max, to make it now. If his Everton loan was it then he is wasting his talent. If the USA football federation is smart it will harangue the MLS to get Donovan shipped over here asap. There's only one place where he'll get the welcome, attention, game time and appreciation that has proved was what he needed to step up. He, and we, know where that is.

Just thinking about this further though, be nice to snaffle Xavi, Iniesta, Pique and Pedro, and have the Catalan nation behind us instead...
John Daley
8   Posted 24/07/2010 at 22:09:19

Report abuse

Well, it sure sounds like this 'Sports Guy' knows what's best for the blues. If he say's Everton 'need' to buy three more American players then we better listen to the man.

What the fuck? I'm sure Moyes and the players would be simply overjoyed, and take great delight in welcoming an American camera crew into the dressing room, before and after every bloody game, for the sake of a season long fly on the wall documentary. Also, ESPN would have to be paying the club an absolute shit load of money to make it worth having Jozy Altidore in the squad. I'd rather bring back Brett Angell.
John Crook
9   Posted 24/07/2010 at 23:32:04

Report abuse

Daley ? I'm afraid you are mistaken ? it's the Locker room.
Martin Clark
10   Posted 25/07/2010 at 08:58:50

Report abuse

If it allows us to get LD back, I think the documentary is a great idea. They could concentrate on Howard and Donavan which would also give great advertisement for Everton in the USA.

They'd need to make sure a contract was in place that it didn't piss Moyes off and interfere with his preparation for matches but could be interesting enough to focus on their performances during games and their personal preparation. I'd watch it.
Brian Waring
11   Posted 25/07/2010 at 13:34:16

Report abuse

Not sure a documentary would be a good idea for Kenwright, it may show him for what he is, a piss poor chairman who hasn't got a clue.
Owen De Asha
12   Posted 25/07/2010 at 17:15:51

Report abuse

I think City's interest is Donovan is just a PR stunt. Look where they are right now... America, on some Barclays-sponsored preseason tour playing against the NY Red Bulls. Somebody has just name dropped USA's most renown player to create a bit of interest in the team whilst they're over there.

I remember seeing a little boy with Donovan on the back of his shirt outside the ground after his last game against Hull. That just sums it up. He was only here for 4 months but from the relationship formed between himself and the Goodison faithful, you'd've thought he'd been there for 4 years.

£100k a week won't get you fans like ours, Landon!
Mike Allison
13   Posted 25/07/2010 at 20:46:54

Report abuse

Jozy Altidore is the poor man's Emile Heskey.
Jason Lam
14   Posted 26/07/2010 at 04:33:23

Report abuse

Incidently, James Flynn, will you lot be supporting Citeh if they do sign Donovan?
James Flynn
15   Posted 26/07/2010 at 13:48:07

Report abuse

Jason (14) - Can only speak for me and the answer is no. I'm in with EFC.

Besides, the LD to ManCity has been put in context here by others. ManCity is touring America and the manager gets asked about Landon. What's he going to say, "Nah, fuck Donovan"? He's going to say the polite, correct thing (which was nice of him BTW).

Nothing else to it but that. Just another off-season non-story blown up by soccer writers with no EPL games to write about.

Another State-side view about signings: Looking at ESPN EPL coverage, it's packed with rumors and goings-on with one team conspicuously absent; EFC. I think we can take DM at his word and expect the current team to open the season next month.

Very exciting things about to happen for us this year.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb
Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.