What Should Landon Do?

Bayern says he's coming on loan. MLS begs to differ. Now there's speculation about a move (transfer or loan) to Everton to join Timmy Howard. What's a boy to do?

Whether it's because he's looking for a challenge, disgusted with the Galaxy's recent woes, tired of playing second fiddle to Becks, or just sick of people slagging him off for "settling" in MLS, it seems that Donovan is ready to make the move back to Europe. Considering his age and the benefits (financial, personal improvement, national team improvement, and otherwise) on offer, I'm inclined to agree with him. While he's a tremendous player who makes MLS better by his presence, he's got some demons to exorcise over there and some potential to fulfill personally–potential that isn't being achieved as a big fish in a little pond.

So, it's time for a European Adventure. But where? If the Everton rumors are at all true, I'd jump at them. Why? Let me count the reasons.
  1. With Everton's current injury crisis at striker and mid-tier league status, there's more than a passing chance that he can get some games. At Bayern he'd be the third or fourth option at best.
  2. He's got less reputation for failure in England. Some may remember his crap Champions' League appearance at Liverpool, but that can only do him good at Goodison, right? Germany, on the other hand, will remember Leverkusen being twice bitten.
  3. Everton (and Moyes) have a history with Americans. True, Klinsmann is honorary So-Cal, but what American has had success at Bayern like Howard, Joe-Max Moore, and Brian McBride have at Everton?
Of course, you'd have to weigh those factors against the fact that Donovan's game is probably more suited to the continent. That said, when he's in the mood, he can work his socks off, and he's probably more physically developed than when he last crossed the Pond.

So then the question becomes: loan or transfer? Tough call. Everton will be getting their horses back in the stable eventually, so I'd be inclined to try a loan deal. It worked for McBride and landed him a full-time gig in England. Besides, if it doesn't work out, he can always come home with his tail between his legs (like the other times) and no harm done. If he transfers for decent money and then lands on the bench, what becomes of his form for the national team?

Lots to ponder. What do you think?


  1. Apparently you don't remember very well Donovan's performances in Europe vs. Liverpool. He stunk up the joint vs. Liverpool when the game was played AT Leverkusen, the second leg.

    However, when Liverpool was the home team, the first leg, Landon was quite good. Had the highest ratings of anyone on the field...Liverpool included.

    Landon can play wherever he wants.

  2. Busted ;-)

    You're right–pretty much all I remember from that tie was Donovan getting yanked before the hour mark in the one game I did see after doing a whole lotta nothin'. I do seem to recall Liverpool winning both legs pretty handily though.

    Whatever the case, I agree that Landon has the talent to play at a top European side (defined as: regular Champions' League participants from one of the "big" leagues). Perhaps he wouldn't consistently start at such a side, but he does have the talent to be in the rotation. Whether he has the ambition, determination, and, above all, the ability to ignore the fact that it's not always warm, sunny, and southern California, on the other hand . . ?

    I'd love to eat my words on this one, but I haven't seen any convincing evidence to the contrary.