Posts Tagged ‘landon donovan’

Donovan: Bittersweet, But Proud As He Leaves….

Donovan's "final?" image in an Everton kit?

Earlier today, Landon Donovan took to twitter to tell friends he was happy coming home, but also label that homecoming bittersweet as he thanked Evertonians for accepting him with open arms.

What is the one last image that he’s taking with him as he dons a Galaxy uniform for the first time in 2010?

From Everton’s official site:

“The send-off from the fans after the Hull City game was one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” Donovan told evertonTV.  “You feel proud but it was also a sad moment, because when you’re accepted that way and you feel that love, it’s hard to leave.

“I’ve never seen or experienced anything like that and I just kind of went with the moment – I didn’t want to make too much of it and have them booing me and get me off the pitch!

“I just wanted to show my appreciation.  For me, I fed off that energy and I hoped that they fed off my energy – then it’s been a win-win for everyone.

“Playing and beating Chelsea and Manchester United within the space of a week will be something I will always remember too,” he continued.  “I don’t think any other American has had the opportunity to do that and there aren’t many other players in the world who get to play against and beat those two teams.”

Read more from EvertonFC here.

One Landon Donovan’s Career In The Balance…

Tipping the scales:

How much does Bruce Arena and MLS "weigh?" Lando's years of service and league exposure?

Landon Donovan asks Los Angeles Galaxy to let him to continue have fun with Tim Howard at Goodison.

Meanwhile, Bruce Arena invokes Dumb & Dumber’s now soccer-cliched quote that the chances are likely near one in a million. (Wish we had that one before the odds piece.)

TSG Archives:

Here’s what TSG had to say about the move back on February 11th. We’ll weigh in again when we compose research and full thoughts. It seems signing the contract might have played directly into MLS hands?

• More on Lanverton. Fox Soccer has an opinion that it was a gamble by Landon to sign a deal to secure a loan to Everton this year. I fail to see the logic behind this being a huge gamble for LD10.

Both MLS and Landon stand to benefit from a loan stint overseas. The contract that Donovan signed will only seek to enhance a potential transfer fee. Odd logic, but maybe I’m missing something here. In two years, Donovan will effectively be 30 so his marketability was now….not in two years.

Landon’s Goal: Big T’s Celebration

The video, not words, speaks volumes...

My apologies. For some reason Tim Howard’s curt celebration of Landon Donovan’s goal has just been etched in my mind as the defining moment of Sunday’s Hull City-Everton match.

A huge TSG thank you to community member Jennifer for locating the video.

The quality may be grainy, but the authenticity comes through crystal clear. Check out the lead up to Donovan’s goal and the crowd chanting “U-S-A.” at 36 mins and then head to 37:10 for Howard’s exaltation.

What We’re Learning About Landon….

A few months ago I did my worst piece ever…it was on Landon Donovan.

I’m back to make amends now….hopefully.

I’m not delving into whether or not Landon Donovan is best served or likely to overstay his loan with Everton. My position has remained firm that the MLS contract is a bargaining chip to getting more value from Donovan more than anything else.

No, this piece is about what we’re learning about LD10 as he comes up some of the best club competition in the world, fresh of Donny helping the Toffees to a 3-1 home victory today.

Kaka-esque?

Here’s some quick thoughts on Landon’s play at Everton:

• Donovan is starting to look a little to me like Kaka, in terms of his impact on the game as well as his style.

Update: Skip in the comments section suggests Ryan Giggs…that might be more a more apt comparison.

I know that is a heady compliment, but I’m starting to see his game that way.

One of the things that I appreciate about players is their ability to make the simple pass and make it perfectly placed and accurate. This is why I enjoy Kaka’s game so much. Whether it’s just a quick square pass or a pass that threads the line on an attack it is often, with Kaka, perfect.

I’m starting to see that in Landon’s game. When people talk about Landon’s impact on Everton–and I’ve been an Everton fan for about 3 years–what I see is how his passing and team game play is contagious. He distributes with ease and his teammates are starting to emulate this, most specifically Steven Pienaar, who is a classic overdribbler.

On the unselfish side the interplay between Louis Saha, a noted keeper of the ball, and Donovan has been excellent as well. I think I counted about 5 times in the game when Donovan had the ball in the offensive third and he made the right play, which was a simple lay off to Saha.

The tactical difference between Kaka and Landon…Kaka is a much more vertical player (I think this makes him a little more dangerous) while Landon needs to attack more laterally to be effective.

• Where is Landon’s legendary fitness?

This is a more global observation than just Landon, but where is Donovan’s notorious fitness of being able to run all day?

I think what you’re seeing is Donovan struggling–in a good way–to adapt to the rigors of European and  EPL competition that’s coming at him in spades.

So far what we’ve learned is that Donovan is about a 70min participant against the highest quality competition in the world.

That’s not a bad thing, just an observation. He’ll get better. Right now Donovan’s picking his spots, but he’ll get to that “always-on” mode.

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Lando & Timmy Take on Ferguson United

Welcome to Howard's Den

3-1 EVERTON – TWEET: Goodison all a-song as the game closes

• Donovan fades down the stretch….missed in the box…but as ESPN said (and so does TSG), “It was not an easy chance”

• Moyes outmanages Sir Alex. Ferguson introduces Scholes and Obertan and Everton counters by going with youth…and more importantly speed…proves to be the difference down the stretch.

• Wayne Rooney played a “contained” game…some poor service to him…the only thing consistent today offensively after the 1st half was Gary Neville’s service.

• While Howard’s corner defenders were average to below average, Heitinga and Distin manned capably in the middle…Distin looking younger than his 30 years.

91st min: David Moyes has sent an assistant to look for Landon…oops he’s still on the pitch…Van Dar Saar joins the outfield as Everton were about to break…convincing day for the Toffees.

90th min: It’s youngsters day! Jack Rodwell GOAL. The first EPL goal for the 18-year-old Rodwell as his pace takes him right passed Johnny Evans on an Arteta service, 3-1 …put it in the books.

89th min: Everton proving up to the challenge as the fouls start to rack up.

87th min: This is where Howard makes his money…Rooney attempting a free kick from above the 18 and directly in the center….England vs. US and Rooney fires wide …Howard was beaten…(I know didn’t want to write that but it’s true)…Howard saved by Rooney’s poor placement…another U-2o player (Jack Rodwell) introduced for Pienaar.

86th min: Rooney draws a foul; Leon Osman is bestowed a yellow on the play.

85th min: Distin clears for the 324th time as Dan Gosling breaks for Everton and knocks into the left corner where Saha pulls up the attack…Everton goes around the horn with it as they waste time….

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Clashing: Lando v. Ashley Take One, Big Jeezy, +

Who's gonna get Round 1 bragging rights?

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. This is what we wanted when Lando’s loan was announced.

Fresh of a Super Jozy weekend, comes a midweek doozy, Stateside at least, to get you through the week.

Goodison Park welcomes Chelsea, John Terry, and bad boy Ashley Cole to their pitch on Wednesday.

Bad news that Everton service man supreme Marouane Fellaini is likely out with that ankle knock from that gnarly derby Saturday morning. Further bad news for the Toffees that Pint-Sized Pienaar won’t play either.

That being said look for Everton to try and attack a little more frequently up the right flank in Pienaar’s absence, into Landon’s galloping grounds and squarely into Ashley Cole’s kitchen.

Beyond his personal life, Cole is class and he’ll be making his own runs up the left flank in abundance to threaten Big T and stymie that attack for the Blue Nosers.

Can LD10 (#9 on Everton) shake free for a counterattack? Can Landon beat Cole mano-a-mano on Chelsea’s left side? Once beaten, how does Donovan contend with John Terry?

If I had control of a camera, I would just focus it on that side of the pitch all day long.

Unfortunately, you’re going to need Setanta for this by the way.

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Big Jeezy Goes Kiwi

In the other “American in EPL” game, Jozy Altidore and the Tiger ambush head to Blackburn.

Jozy will be rumbling all over the back line there, taking on journeyman Gael Givet at left back….poor Givet and then coming up against New Zealand strong man Ryan Nelson. That will be a good battle and test for Altidore as Nelson may not be the most agile central defender, but he definitely plays stout.

Looking for a good follow-up here from Big Jeezy who has struggled in back-to-back games this season. Admittedly the confidence must have risen for the Haitian youngster as certainly the fitness has.

For a better appreciation Altidore’s progression check out this video…

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