Morning Ticker: Donovan training with Bayern, more MLS awards and Howard set to be honored

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                                                Photo by ISIphotos.com

In what could be a prelude to a loan move and potentially a full transfer, Landon Donovan is in Germany preparing to begin a week-long training stint with Bayern Munich.

Donovan could wind up joining Bayern as replacement for out-of-favor German striker Lukas Podolski, who appears on his way out. Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness stated that Podolski wouldn’t leave unless the team could find a suitable replacement. With Juergen Klinsmann being a fan of Donovan, the U.S. national team star just might be that replacement.

Here are some other stories to get your day started:

MLS announces more awards

Columbus Crew head coach Sigi Schmid and San Jose midfielder Darren Huckerby are expected to be   were announced as winners of Major League Soccer’s two latest awards today as the league is named Schmid coach of the year and Huckerby newcomer of the year.

Schmid helped guide the Crew to the best record in MLS just a year after the club failed to reach the playoffs. Huckerby joined the Earthquakes in mid-season and helped the expansion club make a late-season playoff surge, posting six goals and four assists in 14 games. Houston head coach Dom Kinnear and San Jose head coach Frank Yallop were the other coach of the year candidates while KC midfielder Claudio Lopez and FC Dallas midfielder Andres Rocha were the other newcomer of the year candidates.

Howard expected to win Honda Award

The Honda Player of the Year award given to the U.S. national team’s best player will be given out on Tuesday and goalkeeper Tim Howard is considered the heavy favorite to take home the prize for the first time.

Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey are also finalists, but Howard was easily the best player on the U.S. team in 2008, posting five shutouts in eight starts and allowing just three goals in 630 minutes of action.

U.S. Soccer taking nominations for ‘Best of’ series

U.S. soccer is acception nominations for its annual ‘Best of’ awards, which honor the best soccer bar, specialty store, blog, all-access video and fan photo.

Nominations close on Friday, with voting for the awards beginning on Nov. 17 and running through Dec. 9. You can send nominations to centercircle@ussoccer.org.

What do you think of Donovan’s training stint with Bayern Munich? Do you see him joining Klinsmann at Bayern? Expect to see any surprises in the MLS awards or the Honda award? Any early suggestions for the U.S. Soccer Best Of Awards?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Morning Ticker: Donovan training with Bayern, more MLS awards and Howard set to be honored

  1. bellbj8 says:

    landy dandy bo bandy starting on the wing for bayern? the best replacement for podolski? it will be a competition, they will bring in 2-3 guys to fight for podolski’s spot, and we all know how much sir landon loves competition for “his” spot

  2. A.S. says:

    Even if Podolski leaves, is Landon going to play? They’ve still got Toni and Klose as strikers, Ribery and Schweinsteiger on the wings. Is Landon really going to play ahead of any of them? He’ll have to be content playing off the bench, or waiting for those guys to get hurt.

  3. Acme says:

    Landy Cakes goes to Bayern, I go to Leverkusen.

  4. Modibo says:

    Third time the charm? Maybe.

    But let’s see if MLS is going to let him go. Remember Lalas’s declaration that MLS is expecting a price higher than Donovan would go for on the open market.

  5. Isaac says:

    A.S., Landon can play directly behind the forwards as an attacking midfielder/ center forward like he did back with LA, and occasionally the National team. Even then though there are quality players at that position. who knows, maybe Klinsmann might take Landon over Bastian or Franck

  6. cbr says:

    i dont get why he’d go there. like someone else said. the forward and the wing positions are locked down. The other poster forgot to mention Ze roberto and Alintop on the wings as well.

    I think the only way it makes sense is if he’s the insurance policy if Klose or Toni go down. Podolski’s ego is too large for a back up role….Donovan may be happy with it

  7. A.S. says:

    “A.S., Landon can play directly behind the forwards as an attacking midfielder/ center forward like he did back with LA, and occasionally the National team.”

    You mean in place of Bayern’s captain, van Bommel?

    I’m not a Bayern fan, so don’t follow them day to day, but the one thing that appears to me in a brief look at the recaps of their past few games is that Klinsmann really does try to play alot of his players. Schweinsteiger sat last game, and Podoski played instead of Toni in the Champions League match against Fiorentina. So maybe Landon would get a few starts here and there even if he’s not the #1 choice at any particular position.

  8. sidenetting says:

    it’s a big world…why is Landon stuck on Germany? I know JK is his connection but I would think he’d look at all his options

  9. Tim says:

    You have to remember that Bayern is a big club in the champions league that has its share of injuries and players who get out of form. For example Klose scored two goals in the whole second half of the season.

    Ze Roberto plays centermid for Bayern and this is his last season with them.

  10. andrew in tampa says:

    Landy could bring some pace to Bayern, something they’ll need as they go deeper into the champions league.

    What i really want to talk about is the US team for the Confed cup next summer. The draw takes place in less than two weeks. Let’s start throwing some names around. I say EJ recovers his form and gets a call up.

  11. Eric says:

    You also have to consider that having 2 big target-man type forwards, like Klose and Toni, might not be the way Klinsmann wants to play in the long run.

    Sounds like there are several options for playing time for Landon…and, in this case, he’s working with a coach who is a fan of his. It seems that might be his biggest concern about Europe…the drama queens that sometimes run some of these clubs.

  12. A.S. says:

    BTW, anybody know what’s the status of Altintop? He’s supposed to get back into the team at some point too.

  13. milkshake of despair says:

    What happened to the Americans Abroad post? Did I miss it?

  14. Isaac says:

    I’m actually a bit more worried about Landon just plain not performing well…..again. As cool as it would be for Landon to even go to this club, much less get playing time, we have to wonder if LD will deliver. A.S, I think Landon could play right in front of Van Bommel. then again that would require beating out Ze Roberto…..aye aye aye….

  15. Sam says:

    Landy needs to get away from the german league and go to spain or italy where a second/third chance in europe would actually be a real fresh start and wouldn’t have something on the back of his mind about failing in germany.

  16. TravelingHomeless says:

    Bocanegra deserves to be a finalist as well but Howard should take it :D He’s been a wonder this past year.

  17. Isaac says:

    Andrew. If anyones been paying attention you’ll notice that, as few as they may be, EJ is actually getting playing time for his club. That may not be saying much seeing as how is club is Cardiff City, but it’s a vital factor on the road to recovery. The next EJ call up will be interesting. I think Bob Bradley still has one more call up for EJ left in him. I mean why not? he did it like 30 times this year when we said not to….

  18. slambamsam says:

    From what I heard there is a good chance that Schweinsteiger goes to Italy this January, and if Podolski is leaving (I know the fans at Koeln have fronted Millions to get him back), I think Landon could get an opportunity at some serious time at Bayern.

  19. eric says:

    There are some good points above, but I still really don’t want Donovan to go back to Germany. He plays well when he’s happy, and he wasn’t happy there before. I don’t think it’ll end up well. Go to Spain, son.

  20. Tim F. says:

    I would have thought Bocanegra and Gooch would have been finalists with Howard. They were awesome this year.

    This is the best blog people. Vote for it as part of the US Soccer awards!

  21. A.S. says:

    At least according to the Soccernet game recaps, Ze Roberto is actually playing Left Back for Bayern right now (I guess Lahm is injured?). The other central midfielder (beside van Bommel) is Borowski.

    Look, maybe Landon is at the stage of his career that he’d improve more from being around and training with world class players, instead of starting and playing big minutes for a team of more mediocre players. You know, been there done that with a more mediocre team. I dunno. He’d certainly have the opportunity at Bayern to train with a lot of guys that have a lot of top-level experience. And maybe Landon will get into games at Bayern. But I just can’t see him being first choice at any position there – not with the squad they’ve got.

  22. mikeK says:

    Stupid stupid stupid, Landon. There’s an old saying, messed up by our favorite president, that goes “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, you hated Leverkusen because you never got off the bench, and now you want to step up to the giant of the German league? No, this isn’t a great idea.

    If Bayern does buy Donovan, he should be loaned out for a season to see if he can get his wits about him. To where, though? A cellar dwelling Bundesliga club is the obvious choice, but bear in mind, Michael Bradley is somewhere between the bench and a starting roll for newly promoted ‘gladbach, which stands a point out of relegation. Now, Donovan might be a better player, but is he that much better to warrant a loan and starting spot? I’m not so sure.

    So, in conclusion, Landon, I hope you enjoy the seats at the Bayern Munich games.

  23. JB says:

    Aaargggh!!! Is there some secret plan to make every U.S. National team non-defender ride pine for their club team? Dempsey, Altidore, Adu, Beasley, Edu, Bradley (starting to get more PT), Convey, Eddie Johnson (OK, he deserves to ride pine), and now Donovan – these guys need to get on the field for their clubs if the U.S. is to have any hope of improving and achieving at a higher level than WC 2002 (or even WC 2006).

  24. kpugs says:

    I hope there wasn’t even a vote on this, Huckerby was a lock for the award.

    Timmy deserves the U.S. award as well, for the Argentina game alone.

  25. kpugs says:

    JB, really? You really think a bunch of young kids can join new European clubs and immediately start? You know anything about this game? It took Altidore an entire season of warming the bench before he became a starter in MLS. You expect him, at 18, to just go to the runners up of La Liga with 4 world class strikers and just step into the starting lineup? Really? I’ll ask again, really?

    Have some patience…or at least some knowledge.

  26. JB says:

    No, I didn’t expect Jozy to start right away for one of the best clubs in Europe, but I was hoping that he’d be loaned out to a less talent-rich La Liga team where he’d see more playing time. Of course, that became less attractive to the Villareal management with all of the injuries that their strikers picked up.

    And yes, I do have some knowledge – didn’t you see how I listed the names of all those U.S. National team players? I’ve got mad name knowledge.

  27. Jamie Z. says:

    I love the cynical, defeatist reactions we’re getting from everybody on the Donovan story. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were all Brits. I think people should look at the situation differently — Donovan is a different ingredient than what Bayern are working with at the moment. If he were a miniature, balding, second-rate Luca Toni, I doubt Klinsmann would be giving him a look. But he’s not. He adds something different to the equation, and that, I imagine, is why Klinsmann is trying him out. These things either work out or they don’t, and all the speculation and amateur analysis in the world is completely irrelevant. Donovan will either click with the squad, or he won’t. Either way, I’m thrilled he’s getting a chance.

  28. Amit says:

    I think that if Landon goes to Bayern it will only be a Beckhamesque loan deal.

  29. bubba says:

    Jamie Z. well put. Let us see how Landon can fair in Europe, yes once again. It is a very significant opportunity that any player at the near hint to go to such a team would pursue it in a heartbeat. If Bayern happens for Landon then it happens, if he goes elsewhere then he goes, I just want to see him take his game to Europe and prove he can play out there. Best of luck to him…

  30. don garber says:

    Donovan would never play ze roberrtos position because it has alot of defensive responsibility and he lacks the link up play of ze roberto. he would never beat out ribery because he is one of the best midfielders in the world and in a league donovan could never get close to. that leaves schweinstiegers position or more likely he is going to be a third stiker. he wont start over toni or klose and if you go to the bayern munich boards, (not big soccer, the actual boards dedicated only to bayern) they hate him. best case they see him as a third striker if podloski leaves. third stiker at best.

  31. Betinho says:

    This is the right move for him.

    His ego wouldn’t take a move to anything but a top team. He’s simply not going to a mid table team in any league. He would rather stay home. I think his actions and interviews over the years have pretty much made that obvious. Unless somebody knows something different, the only major club courting him is Bayern (I’ve always loved Klinsmann). He’s going to go there with an his ego driving him. He’s heard all the criticism of his overseas exploits and will want to prove everyone wrong. When Landon is driven he’s as good as anyone. I expect nothing less but success for him.

    And the Bundesliga is a very competitive league. Hello? Anyone seeing a bunch of German players in other leagues? Anyone notice where Germany finishes World Cups? Euro Tourneys? The league is fine.

    Go get ‘em Landon! (2 offensive players on 2 big Euro clubs – here we come…..)

  32. victor says:

    So I guess that means with Landon’s 10 day training stint that we won’t see him for the November 19 scrimmage…wait, the roster is up…what? Kenny Cooper??!! Can’t wait to read everyone go nuts.

  33. Betinho says:

    sho’ nuff….there he is. LOL! I’m sure that thread is on it’s way.

  34. BlueWhiteLion says:

    Knowing people is half of it. Landon has the skills and would develop well in that competitive environment.

    Munich is not Leverkusen. It is a beautiful city in a “fairy tale” Bavarian city. Closer to Italy, France, etc. I think it would be a better living environment.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised that if they didn’t think it would work out between them, if nothing else, this raises LD’s profile, as well as prepares him for tryouts with others. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Klinsi has genuine interest. He is a forward thinking man.

  35. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’ll believe Landycakes goes back overseas when I see it. He doesn’t have the spine to fight for a position. He doesn’t have to do it in MLS, and he doesn’t have to do it for the Nats. Is he good enough? Sure he is. Does he have the sack for it? That would be a no.

  36. Betinho says:

    Sonic Death monkey – after months reading this blog the High Fidelity reference just hit me. Delayed but…nice one!

  37. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    RE Donovan- everyone likes to suggest where he should go but the fact of the matter may be that theres no interest in those countries. Hes not as valued elsewhere as he is in the US.

  38. BlueWhiteLion says:

    for all you who are deeply concerned: I mean “a ‘fairy tale’ Bavarian countryside.

    Phew, breathe easy, now.

    Jamie Z, rock on!

  39. Krista says:

    Very interesting roster for the camp.

    Landon is smart. If he makes a move anywhere in Europe he will pick a place that suits him. If it is a failure in any way he will be the first to admit it.

  40. thumpjosh says:

    +100 Jamie

  41. M says:

    Oh, here we go, a Canadian sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.

    Of course you want to trash him because you don’t have any world class players. Keep being jealous. I’ll be here to rub it in your face when he knocks in some fantastic goals for Bayern in the Champions League.

  42. eric says:

    The camp roster is barely news (even with Cooper), it’s not even for a game.

    The best thing about Donovan to Munich is that we know the coach is behind him, that is huge. I’m more worried about him being happy off the field than when with the team, because Donovan lets all that affect his play.

  43. Matt M. says:

    Doesn’t Landon have a hot actress wife with a part on a sitcom in Hollywood?

    Is he going to leave Bianca for nine months a year?

    I wouldn’t. He’s already getting millions. I’m not sure if Bayern will pay him double or triple the million and a half he’s getting in California.

  44. Just Me says:

    3rd Time is the Charm!!!

  45. BlueWhiteLion says:

    as the post takes a strange turn to delve into his marriage: if they have to be apart, that IS hard on a marriage. Of course, we know nothing about her work schedule, etc. She could fly in and out, perhaps. They have money for that.

    And a repeat: I don’t know LD, or his preferences, but Munich is a way different place than Leverkusen. It is big, and quaint at the same time. he is not far from the beaches of Italy, France etc. And work environment makes places much better too. Like eric pointed out, the coach is behind him, and has an American wife, all that makes it feel more like home.

    Be interesting to see develop.

  46. A.S. says:

    “These things either work out or they don’t”

    Really? Fascinating insight.

    “all the speculation and amateur analysis in the world is completely irrelevant”

    If it’s completely irrelevant, why are you reading the comments to a blog post? What exactly do you think goes on in the comments section besides speculation and amateur analysis? Do you think that Jose Morinho and Sir Alex are in the comments providing *professional* analysis?

  47. coque says:

    all these donovan haters need to get a life. dude is easily the best player in mls, and i hope he goes to bayern. you people don’t know sh!t. landon could definitely start on the wing , ribery plays in a much more advanced position.

    toni

    schweinsteiger – ribery – donovan

    van bommel – borowski

    landon would wreck right there, with other options on the team for once.

    also, think about this from bayern’s view. they’re looking at bringing in arshavin.

    link to soccernet.espn.go.com

    they can go tell zenit to go f*** themselves and bring in donovan for half the price ($30 million transfer vs. $15 mill?)

  48. BlueWhiteLion says:

    looks like some people have been taking logic courses. good for you!

  49. Tony in Quakeland says:

    “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were all Brits.”

    damn, Jamie Z, line of the year!

  50. Sir Alex says:

    In my professional opinion, I believe Landycakes will show quite well for the Bavarians.

  51. frank says:

    Not only is Klinsi a fan, but from what I understand Beckenbauer is also….

  52. José Mourinho says:

    I agree, Sir Alex. Donovan is fantastic!

  53. Mike says:

    Donavan is no Podolski

  54. José Mourinho says:

    Shut up, Mike!

  55. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    @Betinho

    Thanks man. Believe it or not, we also have a “Barry Jive and his Uptown Five” posting here as well.

  56. Kathleen Turner Overdrive says:

    All we need is me!

  57. Larry Y says:

    At very least Donovan offers something very different tactically. He can play forward or midfielder, offers pace and tracks back for balls. In particular, I can imagine he and Ribery running at defenses all game long. But first, he’s gotta pass the audition.

    If Donovan does go, I wonder how many questions involving David Beckham is he going to get.

    And how’s his German?

  58. BlueWhiteLion says:

    some of you may be interested in the German press’s take on Landon:

    Kicker had a video article on him. Tone was matter of fact, pointing out that two previous stints didn’t provide a break through, and yet he has scored 20 goals for LA. They see him as a replacement for Podolski. (Nothing new here)

    Sportbild.de had a photogalerie, chronicling his carreer from Leverkusen to the present day. link to sportbild.de

    Various drive-by articles proclaimed (with apologies to Ives) that he is the reigning US footballer of the Year, that Klinsmann thinks he is a “good guy, a very good player, and a high profile celebrity of US Soccer.” They say Klinsmann may secure the transfer of Landon, who is a “known entity” in the Bundesliga.

    Many reports talk about what we would consider the highs and lows, but none are sarcastic or cynical, just matter of fact. Actually, all things considered, perhaps lean to the positive side. There is no question of “is he capable.” There is an implied faith in Klinsmann’s judgment and Donovans accomplishments on multiple levels.

    Arshavin is still seen as a potential transfer, but who is wooed by Real Madrid. Anatoly Tymoschuk, his teammate, might come to replace van Bommel who is desired by Schalke. Pavel Prgrebnijak is also rumored to be a Podolski replaement.

    Landon is referred to in the Allgemeine Paper as a “potent striker.”

    Fact that may only interest me: Rumenigge referred to 1860 Munich as a team that was mentioned as early as the Old Testament times when it reports: “they wore peculiar clothing and wandered aimlessly around.” :)

    Einmal Lowe, Immer Lowe!

  59. Gene_SF says:

    Landon is a talented player, it is great that Bayern is giving him a shot, and I wish him well. But to tout him as a potential replacement for Podolski is a mistake. Podolski is a class above Landon at this point, though Landon is still young enough to change that fact.

  60. r.c. says:

    few people are asking why bayern would even want to sign landon to start with. clearly he’s not ribery, toni, klose, podolski, ze roberto, etc. nor does he ever figure to be. let’s face it, he cannot play at their level for sure at the wings, can’t really control the middle of the pitch, and will be too small as a forward. so, why for bayern? he’s an american, and as much as we doubt his ability to play there ourselves – the constant american skepticism makes for a far cheaper transfer than an equivalent european-based player. and he is at least serviceable in a number of positions and still only 26 years old with a lot of experience.

    why would landon go there? perhaps because this is his last chance to prove he can at least fit in at a big club and exorcise some of his demons. besides, they’d figure to pay him twice as much with half the responsibility. but at least with beckham in his offense in l.a., he’s surely outgrown mls.

    or this could be a publicity stunt to start generating interest for a smaller club… very similar to the way the adu machine played up hype on the big clubs after freddy for years to keep him relevant.