Landon Donovan is known as USA soccer's native son. He has been chosen to carry an entire nation's hopes and aspirations of soccer dominance on his back. Donovan is the US Men's National Team all time leading scorer, playmaker, and without a doubt, the greatest soccer player the US has EVER produced. Landon deserves his number 10 shirt he wears for both the US National Team and his club team, LA Galaxy. Landon is also the poster boy for USA soccer and the best known USA soccer player, among casual and non-soccer fans in the US. Landon has just returned from his 2 month long loan to EPL club, Everton, for the second time in two years.
Landon is loved and respected by the Everton fans, and has been named as player of the month during both of his loan spells with Everton. Landon has proven himself, time and time again, and many fans and critics, including Donovan's former national teammate Brad Friedel, have criticized Donovan for "taking the easy way out" by staying in MLS.
Donovan, is the final remaining US Men's National Team star, in MLS. If Donovan left, it would be disastrous for the league on many levels. Every other National Team hero, including; Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley all left their MLS clubs to play with European clubs - Manchester United, Fulham, Villareal and SC Heerenveen. These four, along with nearly every other US National Team player, left the league to move on to "bigger and better" teams in Europe.
Every single MLS fan, wants the league to eventually grow, thrive, and prove that it can be one of the best leagues in the world (while our league is already arguably one of the ten best leagues in the world, it can and will get better). How can this happen, when every national team player, from Howard, Dempsey, Altidore, & Bradley, on down, leave MLS and play abroad? How can we as fans or a league say Major League Soccer is a strong and thriving soccer league when not a single USMNT star player plays here?
With Donovan here in MLS, it proves that the league is a strong and good one. He proves on countless occasions that he is the best team player for the stars and stripes. He proves that he has the skills and talent to play on top teams.
Donovan sends the message, that he, as best American soccer player, stays in MLS and plays, despite his ability to play in the Bundesliga or EPL. He is speaking volumes to the skill quality of the league ans he is encouraging other Americans to follow suit.
If we look at every other league in the top 10 leagues in the world, there are star players from their national team, play there. Look at the German National Team, for example. The stars - Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller, Mario Gomez, and Manuel Neuer all play in the Bundesliga. Yet, there are star national team players playing with top teams outside the Bundesliga (Klose with Lazio, and Khedira and Ozil with Real Madrid). By National Team stars staying in Germany and playing in the Bundesliga, it aids both the Bundesliga and the German National Team. Imagine if every German Star played outside the Bundesliga. It would be disastrous.
Donovan is doing the right thing by staying in the MLS. He could be scoring goals and assists on a weekly basis in the EPL, La Liga, or the Bundesliga; however, he chose to stay and help grow the MLS. An admirable and great cause, and we should all thank him.
Landon Donovan is helping American Soccer grow and thrive by staying in the MLS. I stand behind his decision and American Soccer fans should too, especially if they want MLS and soccer in America to grow.
Thank you, Landon Donovan.
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