Arena on Donovan Extension: “One in a Million Chance”

Landon Donovan 5 (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

There is a chance, just not a very good one.

That's is how LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena described a potential extension on Landon Donovan's loan at English Premier League side Everton after the Galaxy's training session on Monday. The Galaxy head coach was in a high spirit when speaking about Landon Donovan's comments on Sunday about there being a "small chance" for loan extension.

"It was kind of like in that movie 'Dumb and Dumber', where the man says that there is a chance, it's just one in a million," said Arena. The Galaxy coach, who has remained in frequent contact with the midfielder throughout his loan, did not appear concerned about the comments.

"There is always a chance, it may be one in a million, but there is always a chance."

Donovan's teammates were unsure about when the Galaxy captain will return. Chris Klein, a Galaxy veteran expressed a great amount of pride with Donovan's play in England.

"We don't have the full details on when he'll be back yet so we're just going to keep an eye on the situation, but we're incredibly proud with how he's doing," said Klein. Its great to have a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy do so well in the best league in the world. That was always the knock on MLS, that our best player couldn't perform in Europe, but now its great for us to see him doing so well."

As the Galaxy prepares to face Costa Rican side Puntarenas on Wednesday, the club got a welcome addition in attacking midfielder Clint Mathis, who returned to training Monday as he recovers from knee surgery. Arena was unsure on when he will return to the playing field.

"This is his first day running, said Arena. It's nice, but he's not days away, he's at least several weeks away from being in game shape."

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90 Responses to Arena on Donovan Extension: “One in a Million Chance”

  1. kyle says:

    Bruce, let the bird fly from his nest

  2. jake says:

    I think Mathis is an infinite number of days from being in game shape…

  3. Josh D says:

    Arena goes from “no chance” to “one in a million” and “there is still a chance” which tells me Landon has said “Oi coach, you better let me stay!”

    I think he’ll stay on to the end of the season now more than ever.

  4. K1p says:

    From beautiful give and goes with young talent like Rodwell to having to chase down shanks from the Galaxy back line. For the love of humanity Bruce, let him stay!

  5. LukeInNC says:

    Practice??? We’re talkin about practice???

    Just let him stay in Everton and get better there until MLS openers.

  6. bryan says:

    haha love that he quoted Dumb and Dumber. however, we went from “no chance” to “one in a million”. which means this will probably happen.

  7. I want Lando to stay more than anyone. But if your Bruce Arena, you judged and keep your job by winning. And you win more games with LD than without. Simple as that. He has no incentive to let him stay. At the end of the day, it’s a business.

  8. World Market says:

    Didn’t the one in a million chance thing become realized in Dumb and Dumber? Floyd got the girl. Landon, stay at Everton.

  9. Sean says:

    I can’t believe we are discussing Dumb and Dumber on a soccer blog.

    But yeah, there are two dilemmas here, MNT fans want to see Donovan stay because they feel he will be better prepared for the WC and a permanent move to Europe.

    On the other hand, Bruce Arena has a job to do and that job becomes easier with Landon Donovan. I would like to see Donovan stay, but as long as he is staying fit and in form, I could care less.

  10. the guy says:

    The USSF has done so much for MLS in promoting the league, insuring it has a TV deal etc.. I would hope that US Soccer decides that this is the time to use its clout to get Landon an extension and eventual transfer as it will open immeasurable doors for US players in Europe in the future.

    There is no problem with MLS becoming a showcase for our younger players and then selling them. Just like, Portugal, Holland, even French leagues.

  11. sarahsmooth says:

    What a mickey mouse league. Welcome back to the Toledo Mudhens, Donovan, hope you enjoyed your time in the big leagues.

  12. reverb says:

    Maybe that’s all Everton needs to do…, literally put another 1 in a 1,000,000. $11,000,000 ought to do it. Come on Everton. Oh, and Buck Fruce.

  13. Charles says:

    What an appropriate movie for this topic.

    Dumb, LAG fans WANTING him to leave.

    Dumber, discussing this over Columbus playing in CCL.

    I agree it is a big deal, but lets focus on a game that means something, not whether Landon stays on a team in 10th place.

    (SBI-Charles, why don’t you settle down. The day just began. Let us worry about what to focus on, and when to focus on it.)

  14. gothenburg matt says:

    barring a work stoppage, no chance donovan stays. yes, the ussf has some clout with mls, but i’d be amazed if they would even attempt to use it in matters of player contracts. it’s not as if the galaxy are trying to hold landon out of national team fixtures… just everton ones. i’d love for him to stay, but i really doubt it. and to be fair to mls, seeing to it that your best player honors his contract and returns to his team does not make a league mickey mouse. giving up players to superior leagues just because you’re beholden to them; that makes you mickey mouse.

  15. BSU SC says:

    I say do a trade. Everton get Landon and the Galaxy get $5 million and Jo since he’s not playing anyway. I think that’s fair enough.

  16. The Gas Man says:

    Dude Lloyd didn’t get the girl, she went back with the husband. Lloyd gave directions to the Hawaiian tropics models.

  17. afrim says:

    Arena said the same thing about Beckham before he extended his loan.

  18. Capt. Obvious says:

    Thing is, Arena has no say in this anyway. MLS will decide if he is going or not, in the end Arena’s wants and desires are insignifigant if MLS decides its in the legaues best interest to sell.

  19. Skinn says:

    Jo’s not playing for Everton, because he’s now with Galatasaray.

  20. I appreciate what Bruce Arena gave to U.S. soccer, but the guy has always come off as an arrogant jerk. Landon has given a lot of his soccer life over to that man, and while Arena must look out for the Galaxy, you would think that he would have some interest in doing what is best for a player that gave him some of the best moments in his coaching career. Maybe Bruce is scared to coach a meaningful game without Donovan since most of his success has come because of Donovan.

  21. BlueWhiteLion says:

    great post

  22. alexandria says:

    I think doing well in the world cup means more to me then him playing at everton, it’s no surprise that english league players are worn out by the time the world cup comes, his best bet for his future is to come back, rest, get his mind focusing on the world cup, then work on a deal for next season, that in my mind is the best option.

    And can we please end the Mickey Mouse talk its ridiculous name me one other European entity that is as lucrative as Mickey Mouse? It would be Mickey Mouse of the league to sell Landon For less then they deem him, part of proving you belong is setting appropriate prices for your commodities and like everything prices are subjective.

    Is landon worth 10, 15 million dollars, to MLS yes, and if someone wants him thats what they need to pay. None of us here would sell something that we hold dear at a discount, unless it was a fire sale, because you desperatley needed the money, they don’t and so they are charging what they deem him, and I don’t think its too much, Walcott was sold for more, Berbatov was sold for more, hell even robbie keane was sold for more.

  23. Nicole says:

    I’m not sure Landon is going to appreciate being equated to “Dumb and Dumber” by his head coach. Landon has been very respectful so far…not so Bruce, it would seem.

    This might get very interesting if Landon feels he’s been direspected. He doesn’t go for that.

  24. OmarVizquel says:

    DONOVAN IS HIS BEST PLAYER. He wants to make the playoffs and win the MLS Cup! He is no longer the coach of the national team. His job is to win for the Galaxy. How is it in his interest to let Donovan go?

  25. Everton should BUY Donovan. No more of this “extended loan” nonsense. I’ve said it before on here but it’s worth repeating, LAG & MLS will not loan out BOTH of their high profile players during the first half the MLS season, it’s not good business for them. Only $$$$$ will persuade them to let go of either or both.

    Everton/Chelsea/Whoever, SHOW MLS THE $$$$$!

  26. Skinn says:

    blah blah blah … except he’s not coming back to rest, he’d be coming back to play.

  27. alexandria says:

    Thats not true, the team has the final say, Look at Twellman, MLS was willing to sell him but they turned down the offer because Steve nichol said no, that twellman was indispensible, Hence His if I’m worth more then pay me more comments. MLS sets the price thats it.

  28. BlueWhiteLion says:

    how about a new movie: “Goal! IV: Wiping Out the Memory of Goal III”

  29. Karl says:

    Bruce should but his Nat Coaching Hat on and let him go. If this was 06 it wouldnt even be a question.

  30. OmarVizquel says:

    Everton doesn’t have the cash.

  31. OmarVizquel says:

    Maybe Bob Bradley will lend him his Nat Coaching Sweatpants…

  32. alexandria says:

    Really, he’d play four games, five at the most then he’s in National team camp. I think its fair to say thats resting compared to what he’d be doing with everton.

  33. Lil' Zeke says:

    MML owns Donovan’s rights, which is more than you’ve got Minnie

  34. sarah-is-smooth says:

    Would love to see Donovan hold out. He has all the leverage against LA. Players do it all the time in other sports. US Soccer needs him to play to be in form for the World Cup. What are they going to do, threaten to keep him off the World Cup team? That would be killing the US changes, they wouldnt risk that.

  35. Jason says:

    Anyone know what channel the CCL game is on tonight?

  36. Steve C says:

    I live in Toledo and love my Hens! Could you please rephrase and call them the Louisville Bats? =]

  37. kelvin says:

    I never liked Bruce. I didn’t like him as the national team’s coach and I don’t like him now.

  38. Brett says:

    REALLY don’t give a raton’s culo what Bruce Arena thinks. The Galaxy and MLS are run by businessmen and if the numbers agree, Donovan is gone.

    Personally, I don’t care if he stays or comes back right now. He needs some rest before the cup camps begin. After the world cup someone will pony up the dough.

  39. Sean says:

    MLS put yourself on the map for developing a great premier league player. I understand the selfishness, but he needs to be tested week in and week out for the USMNT to play up to its potential. Quit being blinded by the money side of it. The man has given 7-8 years to MLS, the time for him to leave is now.

  40. war says:

    Yakubu for Donovan + a couple million…

  41. alexandria says:

    FSC at 8 et

  42. joshstpaul says:

    nice thoughts.

  43. Charles says:

    No but you can find out what Landon had for breakfast on every US soccer blog.

    This loan is a good idea for US soccer players, I hope more of them can do it…. makes them more money, makes them better, but man this is getting annoying.

    Get him home, so all the Euro only lovers can quit paying attention again.

  44. Juan Petrovalo says:

    one in a million chnace Arena ever coaches outside the MLS………………

  45. alexandria says:

    Booo!!! No way Yak sucks. I think they should loan some reserve players instead. I never understand why Prem teams don’t do it. They could loan reserves, they could play a whole professional season and then come back in the january transfer window with a ton of experience. Seems Like .a win-win

  46. Skinn says:

    No. He’d play 4 or 5 games, then go to National team camp.

  47. Zoti says:

    FSC if I’m not mistaken.

  48. war says:

    odd, “reply’ isn’t working. Yes Alexandria, the Yak is bad, which is why i think Everton should send him to MLS. He’d probably be a star.

    The could probably loan them petelin and arnoux

  49. hank f says:

    It would seem to me that Donovan* excelling in the “best” and most high profile league in the world would be a good thing economically for the MLS. It would, I think, drive prices up for MLS players in general and make the league taken more seriously. Though it may not want to be a selling/developmental league, that would not be a bad thing for the MLS monetarily. The Dutch and the French seem to be doing ok in that regard.

    *Alongside Dempsey as well, who prior to injury was emerging as a very good EPL midfielder, just under the top tier, IMHO.

  50. c3j1v62 says:

    SICK BURN. I love SBI.

  51. Dave says:

    Your (and Bruce’s) lack of faith in Mathis is disappointing. I’m sure that Clint’s strenuous regimen of beer and Doritos will have him in game shape in no time flat.

  52. Sninho says:

    The worst part about it is that Bruce got the quote wrong!!

    Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me… ending up together?

    Mary: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really…

    Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

    Mary: Not good.

    Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

    Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.
    [pause]

    Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*

  53. Freddie Footballer says:

    exactly what I was thinking. “So you’re saying there’s a chance!!” Freakin’ classic.

  54. EricPZ says:

    Donovan will be worth more after the WC this summer when the transfer window opens. May as well use his recent performance to sell tickets before the WC. He just signed a new 4-year contract. MLS is in no rush to sell him. Arena wants to win silverware and Donovan is a part of the team.

  55. Bobeto says:

    Why do I think “money” is that one in a million chance?? Maybe 20 million would be more correct.

  56. bryan says:

    hahahaha im absolutely watching that movie when i get home.

  57. bryan says:

    but it was MLS who decided, really. sure, they got input, but MLS makes the decisions. if the right amount of money comes, MLS will say yes without talking to Bruce.

    I’m willing to bet that.

  58. bryan says:

    honestly, i think people are just surprised that Bruce isn’t showing more support for something every USMNT has been hoping for…LD playing well in a top 4 Euro league.

    I get why, he is the coach and it would be weird for him to say he wants it. But I was hoping for a little more from him in regards to how this is an incredible accomplishment for LD and US soccer. Or, how it COULD be if given the extension or trade.

  59. dbag says:

    MLS is what it is, it may never change. They are trying to be like other European Soccer Leagues but are structured like the other US leagues NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL. All these leagues try to make as much money as they can and keep superstars where they can to make the most money. Its like Lebron rumored to go to New York. Or why Beckham is in LA and not KC. It sucks to be a player if you are good enough to be elsewhere, but you just have to bind your time and leave when the opportunity presents itself like dempsey. Young players benefit from generation addidas, maybe the best idea in all of professional spports, and get bitten from lack of development or moves abroad. Its MLS, we must deal with it.

  60. Ja Ja James says:

    Can anyone recall Arena stating in the last World Cup cycle that U.S. players need to get to Europe and play? I recall him getting criticized by the MLS for making that statement. Ironic now that he is coaching their “flagship” franchise that happens to have the MLS’ cover boy.

  61. bryan says:

    if everton are serious, yet dont have the funds, lets see them offer $$$ with a trade. that can happen even though the window is shut, right?

    i’m willing to bet that Bruce would jump on board if he was at least given 1 or 2 players who are promising prospects. granted, it may be on loan, but it’s something to think about.

  62. malkin says:

    “Husband?!?! Wait a minute . . . what was all this “one in a million” talk?”

  63. Chris says:

    Arena’s comments are understandable but so hypocritical. When he was managing the national team he always stated that Landon needed to test himself every week in Europe in order to reach his full potential.

    How does no one comment on this?

    jake said…

    I think Mathis is an infinite number of days from being in game shape..

    Hilarious!

  64. tnnelson says:

    word. and use the transfer fee to buy another badass player and continue the cycle

  65. I understand that. I even thought I stated it pretty clearly. It obviously isn’t in HIS BEST INTEREST (CAPS LOCK FOR EMPHASIS). However, I would think that Bruce might want what is best for a player that has probably had the most positive impact on his career of anyone he has ever coached. There was a bygone era where we didn’t make every decision according to what is best for us, but what is the right thing to do.

  66. sarah is smooth says:

    He should just hold out and then go to the National Team camp.

  67. forest says:

    Arena despererly wants to make love to a school boy

  68. OmarVizquel says:

    Someone needs to put some Beano in Bruce’s coffee.

  69. BF says:

    The reason they don’t is that their reserves play at least once every 2 weeks against other Prem reserves. Especially for the clubs playing in Europe, these reserve teams can be loaded with talent and guys trying to stay in form to get called up for the next game. Clubs usually only loan guys they think might not fill in for injury in the next couple of weeks. Probably the MLS just doesn’t market itself right to get some of these younger and/or developing players on loan.

  70. King Zog says:

    From Bruce’s perspective it would make more sense to wait for Abramovich’s millions after the World Cup. He could then have Landon before the cup and the availability of quality DPs should notably increase after the tournament. It would constitute a quality player throughout the season and a larger profit.

  71. kpugs says:

    I don’t get how this is still a story. When he signed the MLS extension I immediately made the call that it was an anchor and not “insurance” for Landycakes.

    He is completely effed, if he wants to play in Europe full time he’ll have to wait until he’s 30. How anyone could possibly think an MLS extension would somehow make it EASIER for him to move to Europe is beyond me. He should never have signed.

    It was just plain stupid…ha has no leverage whatsoever.

    (SBI-Kevin, my man, how many times am I going to have to explain to you that you’re wrong? If he doesn’t sign the deal he never goes on loan. if he never goes on loan he never gets to show EPL clubs that he can actually play in the EPL. Therefore, he never gets a transfer offer close to what MLS will take. That means he’s waiting two years until his old deal is done to leave on a free at age 30. By signing the deal, and securing the loan, he has now shown what he can do and will now fetch MAJOR transfer offers this summer that MLS won’t be able to turn down. How in the world is he “effed”? Because he can’t stick around Everton to play for another two months?

    Mark it down. Donovan will move to Europe this summer. Book it.)

  72. madmax says:

    Two more years of serving Buddle and Gordon is frightening. One of my favorites at ESPN, Jen, reported he watched a pre-game warm-up where Gordon didn’t put one shot on goal.

  73. Everton Girl says:

    Hi

    I’m an Everton fan from Liverpool. Supported them my whole life, go to every home game and most away games. I can honestly not remember somebody coming in to a team, mid season nevertheless, and have such an impact on and off the field.

    He has brought a feel good factor to the team and fans. It’s rare that the Everton fans get so attached to players in such a short space of time, I’ve seen countless players come and go but only a handful are revered in the way Landon has been. This to me says it all about the type of guy he is and player he is. We are willing to give everyone a chance but those who truly understand what it means to play for our club, work hard, play passionately and leave everything out on the field are the ones most appreciated by our support. Landon has done this from minute one and thus will forever have a place in Evertonian hearts.

    He just fits into everything Everton fans love in a player, everything just seems to fit both wiht him and Everton as a club, fans, players, staff…it’s just ‘right’.

    Rather selfishly I want him to stay here with us permanently but I entirely understand it is a difficult situation with him being so loved and important back over there too.

    So, thank you Landon, hopefully this weekend is not a goodbye, just see you soon. You’re most welcome back here anytime.

    Always in Evertonian hearts.

  74. BlueWhiteLion says:

    ditto. Mudhens are great, and their stadium is even better!

  75. sarah is smooth says:

    In any event it can’t look good to any young player looking at MLS and seeing how MLS makes things super difficult to leave, almost to the point of being trapped for life.

  76. JM says:

    The notion that the MLS/Galaxy should let Donovan stay for the good of the USMNT or the good of Landon’s career is so naive. Their responsibility is to their business.

    In their haste to present their entitlement-like argument, people lose sight of the reality that the Galaxy will never get value for Landon’s spot if he leaves.

    As the lone grandfathered player, Donovan only counts $350,000 against the Galaxy’s cap. Once he leaves, that exemption disappears. Hence, the Galaxy are left searching for a player who will accept a salary less than the league maximum of $400,000. How many players are going to take less than $400,000 and match Donovan’s productivity?

    The league and Galaxy are smart to hold out for the big money this summer. They need to generate maximum revenue in the transfer, because there is no way they will get equal value on the field.

    They’ve given the Premier League clubs a little taste, and are leaving them wanting more. It’s great business.

  77. Brad says:

    Everton might wish they paid through the nose for Donovan once Anichebe starts flubbing passes and giving away possession…

    Maybe I’m being selfish in wanting to watch Donovan in the EPL and Europa leagues, a season in the MLS before the World Cup shouldn’t affect his play in June. More important to the USA team is that everyone get healthy…

  78. JM says:

    As far as these cash + barter deals being proposed, you can forget about them. Every player under a professional contract with Everton is going to make more than $350,000 (about 233,000 pounds per year, or about 4,500 pounds per week).

    What the MLS/Galaxy should hold out until summer for is an elaborate package, similar to what AC Milan provided for the Beckham loan extension:

    (1) a lot of cash – $15-million as a floor
    (2) multiple friendlies in Los Angeles over a period of years
    (3) contract to appear in the MLS All-star game
    (4) contract to appear in the World Football Challenge
    (5) contract to house the Generation Adidas program for a winter

  79. The bums will always lose says:

    +1. That was funny.

  80. Jank says:

    Yea, really, maybe Bruce doesn’t understand the impact of our top player playing in the best league in the world and playing great. If Landon goes to EPL and plays great soccer for some years then this only increases the attention soccer gets in the USA. It will only open up more opportunities.

  81. madmax says:

    Jo has great hair better than Xavier, LA may be his spot.

  82. Sterlinho says:

    I’ve got a poll going on whether or not you think Landon should stay at Everton or go back to the Galaxy. What do you think?

    link to theendline.com

  83. madmax says:

    (6) 70 virgins

  84. Jank says:

    Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking and low and behold someone mentioned it.

    I really hope MLS/Galaxy can get something like that from Everton like they did from AC Milan!!

    The more the best teams and best players from Euro leagues come to USA, set up camps and play matches the more exposure soccer gets in USA. The more young players watch it, the more talent comes out of the woodworks and overall quality of talent gets better.

    I know MLS and Galaxy want to put the best product out on the field and this would include Donovan but I think they need to look at this long term!!

  85. kenny_b says:

    I thought she was married and he didn’t get her in the end. I haven’t seen the film in a while though.

  86. Matt Mathai says:

    It’s a Mickey Mouse league because it wants its contracted players back? What universe do you live in?

    If Everton, or any other club, want’s Donovan’s services, they’ll have to pay for it. There isn’t a contract in the world that can’t be broken by waving prodigious amount of cash at the contract holder.

  87. kenny_b says:

    Even if they did, the transfer window isn’t open.

  88. kenny_b says:

    OMGLOL!

  89. Mark from LA says:

    Fun post, thanks for articulating Donovan’s impact

  90. Mark from LA says:

    Ives with a riposte! But will it be Everton? That now becomes the multi million dollar question.