Donovan’s Bayern debut a successful one

Landon Donovan 1 (Getty Images) 

by GIANFRANCO PANIZO

U.S. national team and LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan went the full ninety minutes, tallied his first assist and drew a pivotal free kick which led to a goal in his debut for Bayern Munich, a 3-2 victory over Al Jazeera on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Galaxy player, currently on loan until March, found German international Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 31st minute with a simple yet effective pass. Schweinsteiger received Donovan's pass and took a touch on the ball before putting it over the goal-line.

In the second half, a foul on Donovan turned into a deadly free-kick situation that Daniel van Buyten buried into the back of the net.

What did you think of Donovan's performance? Proud that Donovan had a good showing? Think Klinsmann had him playing the correct role? Or should he try to fit Donovan elsewhere during these friendlies? Think he just might stick around Bayern Munich longer than just two months?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Donovan’s Bayern debut a successful one

  1. TheUltra says:

    Good for Him, I hope he has a good run in germany. I loved watching him in MLS bu LA needs the cap space to build a new squad and Donovan needs a new challenge to better himself as a player.

  2. Gabe says:

    I think he looked dangerous for the most part, but I think Landon needs to finish the chances he gets. Granted, they weren’t the best of chances, but I think if he wants to stay in a position of impact then he needs to put those away.

  3. onionsack says:

    He is a top class player that gets way more crap from US fans than he deserves, i dont know if he will be a world star or not but he is not out of place at all on such a star studded side and in many ways brings talents that his teamamtes do not posses.

    Good on him i hope he becomes a fixture for Munich.

  4. mikeK says:

    Al Jeezera? As in the TV news network?

    I wouldn’t get too excited.

  5. biological says:

    youre right mike, what a lame game and terrible effort. i really wish donovan would’ve fallen on his face hard. what a putz… is that what you wanted?

    seriously, stfu and give support where support is due. it’s not the champions league final, but it’s a start.

    best wishes for further success landon!

  6. Tony in Quakeland says:

    “I wouldn’t get too excited.”

    Unless of course he flopped, in which case you would have decided it was conclusive.

  7. Tony B says:

    You’re right Onionsack. Landon is a very good player and a good guy. Why are so many US fans against him? Hope he does very well at Bayern.

  8. Jay says:

    He has a good showing in a meaningless game against a team that no one has heard of.

    With that said, of course this is better than having a bad showing. But it’s still hard to take anything out of this game given the competition. Hopefully it does translate into success when the league starts up again, but that’s no sure thing. Donovan doing well at a top tier European would do wonders for his career and the USMNT.

  9. beckster says:

    I hope he does well. It would be good for him and good for the MNT if he can play against faster, stronger opposition and be successful.

  10. Travis says:

    Like people said, its better than doing poorly. Lets just hope he can build on it.

  11. Nicole says:

    What’s really encouraging is that Landon saw his own shortcomings. In interviews after the game, Landon admitted he was bad in front of goal. He admitted that his legs got tired. He also pointed out that Al Jazira is NOT HSV and Stuttgart. So he is fully aware of what’s going on. He also said he has to get better and he is working hard to do so.

    Landon fit in very well with his team. He looked like he belonged out there.

  12. Carl says:

    Here is a nice 6 minute highlight video.

    link to troodi.com

  13. Larry says:

    Just the usual from LD. Nothing unexpected.

  14. Dave says:

    would still rather see him at a club like everton which needs a forward and where he would be first choice almost every week

  15. I called it in an earlier blog and someone criticized me. Even in his post-match interview, Landon agreed that his performance, specifically his finishing touch could have been better.

    That’s the Landon I want to see, owning up to his shortcomings and improving them to the level he knows he is capable of. It was a good start, but it was FC CNN for goodness sakes, I mean Al Jazira. If he keeps evaulating those shortcoming and improving with each time on the pitch, he will be a force to be reckoned with.

    I pray for continued success for the sake of Landon and the Red, White and Blue.

  16. JohnC says:

    Toni, Ribbery and Lahm- three players you could argue are the best in the world at their respective position and Donovan just held his own lining up with them. Hold the hate and give some love to the only US Player in the world who we can see play with such an amazing squad or would everyone prefer he go score 15 goals for Hammerby.

  17. mikeK says:

    Oh come now, be realistic. Good start and all, there’s no way and no how Landon is going to start a game for Bayern, baring injury to Toni or Klose.

    Do I want him to do well? Sure, I suppose. But am I buying him to be the next best thing because he played for Bayern Munich in a meaningless friendly? Nope.

  18. mikeK says:

    Toni, Ribbery and Lahm- three players you could argue are the best in the world at their respective position and Donovan just held his own lining up with them. Hold the hate and give some love to the only US Player in the world who we can see play with such an amazing squad or would everyone prefer he go score 15 goals for Hammerby.

    Posted by: JohnC”
    —————–

    And Jozy is no one? Villareal is a great squad, arguable better than Bayern. Sure, it might not have the history, but there is no denying thier play.

  19. zongzap says:

    I would like to know what position he played and who sat because he played

  20. JC says:

    I think I’m more surprised that Al Jazeera scored 2 on Bayern.

  21. Brock says:

    That is good news I just hope he continues to get starts and plays well in those games.

  22. John says:

    Yeah, this game was against Al Jazeera, in a friendly match. I’m happy for Landon, this should give him a further boost of confidence, but let’s see how he performs in the league.

  23. Brett says:

    Zongzap- He played the supporting striker role, playing behind Luca Toni at the start and later Miro Klose.

    Mike K- Villarreal are a solidly built squad with a good system, but they are no Bayern Munich.

    As for Landon’s debut, while I agree we should recognize the setting and opponent, we should also take note of the fact that Landon hasn’t played a competitive match since the end of October. He’s also in a new system with new players, so the fact that he was linking up and creating chances on the game bodes well for his future.

    I think his performance guaranteed him at least a sub, and definitely put some thoughts in Jeurgen’s head about changing his system on a more permanent basis.

    He knows having Klose and Toni up top is a bad idea because they are too similar. Donovan is just the kind of forward he needs to open up the field for the other striker as well as the attacking MF players.

    Lastly, Al Jazira is a tremendously wealthy club who happen to be located in a lesser league. This may as well have been a cup final for them, so you know they were playing to win this match. Bayern on the other hand looked not to care, slow and sluggish, for most of the match. They surely wanted the win, but not as badly as Al Jazira and it showed.

    And by the way, did you guys even see the strike on the first goal from AJ? It was a stunning, world class hit.

  24. WonsanUnited says:

    Al-Jazira is not affiliated with Al-Jazeera. It looks like they really expanded their stadium. Damn. All of these clubs in the Gulf are pretty good, probably on par with MLS.

  25. Jason says:

    I love the comments section, as it is always revealing of who is on crack.

    Donovan won’t start a game? Lahm the best in the world (not even in Germany)?

    Look, at team like Bayern MUST rotate players. They play too many games. Not to mention injuries. And top level managers tend to do something rarely seen in the US (and, apparently, some who comment), that is, vary their tactics (and lineups).

    When Bayern needs speed, LD will play. And hell play the week of European matches, and in the Cup. And might get a start or two in Europe, especially if BM have a lead coming home for the second leg.

  26. CSD says:

    Does Bayern play Fox News next? They have a good club, most people think they play conservative but their supporters think their style is main stream.

    Seriously Landon played in a friendly. I will have no opinion of his performance until more data is received from regular season games.

  27. Chase says:

    Lahm and Toni are the best at their respective positions in the world?

    Are you having a laugh?

    Toni was embarrassingly poor at Euro ’08 and Lahm is one of these players that is still living off his performance in the ’06 WC, he is good, but was also exposed in Euro ’08…

  28. Catamount says:

    Donovan kept up with the speed of play in this match. We’ll see how he does in a more challenging game. If he can combine well with Toni and/or Klose, he gives Klinsie a nice set of options and increases the tactical possibilities. In my experience passion and commitment often win out in these situations. Klose and Toni are known quantities in this department. Landon still has to prove he has the heart to match the quality. I think he can do it. I think he’s given himself a great opportunity.

  29. Dannyc58 says:

    1) What position did he play? Some of us don’t watch EVERY SINGLE football match ever played.

    2) Tony, how do you know he’s a “good guy”?

  30. smokedgouda says:

    Good for Landon on the assist.

  31. johnny2 says:

    good luck Landon!

  32. Julio says:

    What a duck this Tiger guy, no emotion. I understand you are to act like “you’ve been there before” but man show some emotion. Worst than a chick just laying on her back in bed.

  33. NOLA soccer fan says:

    hooray for donovan…i hope he does well so we can finally dispel the myth that americans cant play well internationally.

    plus i dont know about you guys.. but there is something fun about yelling “PIG FARMER” at the top of my lungs everytime bastian scores…

  34. frank says:

    I could have sworn his name translated to “pig f_____ ” :)

    still funny in the correct translation though…

  35. Scott A says:

    I found this, not sure if it’s correct

    No, it doesn’t mean “pig climber” or anything like that as some less scrupulous sites seem to suggest. Apparently Schweinsteig is or used to be just a place name, so Schweinsteiger is he who comes from Schweinsteig. “Steig” used to mean a pigsty. Pig farming was a big industry in Schweinsteig.

  36. Zachy T says:

    Keep up the good work Landon!

  37. Tom says:

    Lahm and Toni are the best at their respective positions in the world?

    Are you having a laugh?

    Toni was embarrassingly poor at Euro ’08 and Lahm is one of these players that is still living off his performance in the ’06 WC, he is good, but was also exposed in Euro ’08…
    ————–

    Toni seems to choke on international level but he’s still a excellent striker. He has showed it by being able to be the best scorer both in Serie A and Bundesliga.

    Cristiano Ronaldo never delivers for Portugal but you wouldn’t say he’s not one of the best wingers.

  38. I think Landon is a natural in the following striker role, and his simple pass for the assist was the type of play one would look for that position to make. On the other hand, where was the opposing defense in that situation? Al Jazeera was asking for it.

    One would also expect blistering on target finishes through opposing defense and creative linkup play in that position.

    IF Landon can live up to playing that role in a world class manner for Bayern against their league competition, it would be something for all Americans to be proud of, and it would bring something very valuable to the US national team.

    Landon did OK today, and it sounds like he knows he needs to raise his game a good bit further still to be the kind of footballer he would want to be. Lets wish him good luck and redoubled efforts. :-)

  39. Acme says:

    If I was Poldolski I’d be pissed that some Bundesliga wash-out is playing in my place too.

  40. Felix says:

    I rather he have a good debut than a bad one, even against Al-Jazeera.
    On whether he will stay or go after his loan spell, I believe it all hinges on his play. If he does well, Bayern Munich will find a reason and the will (aka money) to keep him. If he doesn’t perform well, he’ll be back in LA.

  41. tj says:

    You know, anytime the MNT’s all-time goals leader gets mentioned, it starts to sound like a bunch of damn catty junior high girls. I’d love it if those who talk so much trash about him would:
    (a) analyze why you think that way
    (b) chart the amount of time you spend on message boards
    (c) see if there’s a direct correlation between the two.

    That said, watching that 6 minute highlight video (thanks Carl), he should have had another assist if it weren’t for crap finishing.

  42. mighty! says:

    my thoughts are succinct and to the point

    link to farm4.static.flickr.com

  43. Ron Luc says:

    you all need to stop hating. But, I bet you could put Ives at any of these big clubs and he would perform. Right Ives?

  44. Chris says:

    If he can start, then great.

    If not, then he made a big mistake, when he could be playing for a Tier 2 team, like a UEFA Cup EPL squad and getting a lot of time on the field.

    But, maybe if it doesn’t work out in Germany, he can just sign somewhere else… I dunno.

  45. TCompton says:

    People are hard on Donovan because he’s good enough to be great, but not good enough to carry the US National Team.

    We so desperately want the National Team to be successful and to earn the respect from our European counterparts that we hold the better players in our country accountable for each failure.

    Is it fair? No. But it’s sport. And sport isn’t fair. And, as Americans, we won’t hesitate to throw someone under the bus if it’ll satisfy our thirst to hold someone accountable in place of acknowledging our own handicaps.

    That being said. I hate Landon Donovan when he’s playing for the Earthquakes/Galaxy against DC United; show’s a dissrespectful sign to the DC fans (who are ALWAYS innocent :D ); and continues to dismantle our defense. But those are all perfectly honorable reasons for my dislike of Landon Donovan.

    I hope he does exceptionally well with Bayern and earns a full contract with them.

  46. Wild Bill says:

    I wasn’t impressed in these highlights. Looked tentative. Hopefully, he’ll continue to get time and get his confidence equal to his talent. Should have had a couple of goals, he would have banged home for the USMNT. Wonder if he’ll replace Podolski’s mug in the video intro too.

  47. Donovan scored in extra time today in a friendly in Saudi Arabia.

  48. TimN says:

    Well, the guy has had a goal and an assist in his first two games, and you guys are bitching…I guess because he didn’t score a hat trick against Inter Milan. Some of you on here need to get a serious grip.

    I think he’ll be just fine at Bayern, and am hopeful he will earn a full contract. I can only hope the powers that be in MLS/Galaxy have the vision and decency to accept a reasonable offer should Bayern come asking. It’s better for Donovan and the MNT for him to leave L.A.

  49. Brett says:

    The goal was very well taken, but he won’t be pulling those off against the better Bundesliga defenses.