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, Posted 23/07/2010 at 23:26:03
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1 Posted 24/07/2010 at 05:57:17
2 Posted 24/07/2010 at 07:49:14
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
3 Posted 24/07/2010 at 09:50:01
4 Posted 24/07/2010 at 11:02:18
5 Posted 24/07/2010 at 15:06:46
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.
6 Posted 24/07/2010 at 15:15:24
If I remember correctly the game was rubbish, as the players were still trying to get the sleep out of their eyes.
7 Posted 24/07/2010 at 17:47:41
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...
8 Posted 24/07/2010 at 22:09:19
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.
9 Posted 24/07/2010 at 23:32:04
10 Posted 25/07/2010 at 08:58:50
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.
11 Posted 25/07/2010 at 13:34:16
12 Posted 25/07/2010 at 17:15:51
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!
13 Posted 25/07/2010 at 20:46:54
14 Posted 26/07/2010 at 04:33:23
15 Posted 26/07/2010 at 13:48:07
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.
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