After initial uncertainty, Donovan pleased to once again be an MLS All-Star

Landon Donovan

By FRANCO PANIZO

KANSAS CITY – Landon Donovan was not entirely thrilled to be heading to his 13th straight MLS All-Star game.

That changed when he landed in Kansas City.

Shortly after arriving via a flight from Chicago on Monday afternoon, Donovan sensed the distinct buzz about this MLS All-Star game that will be played against Italian heavyweights AS Roma on Wednesday night. The LA Galaxy veteran quickly realized what hosting the All-Star game meant to a city that is starved for constant high-profile events, and one that might just have set the standard for what an MLS All-Star Week is all about with its highly-attended and entertaining festivities on Monday on Tuesday.

“To be honest, before I got here it was sort of, ‘Okay, it’s another one,'” said Donovan on Tuesday. “But since I’ve been here, I’ve been really impressed by all this: by the support from Sporting KC, by the people in town, by just the excitement around the game.

“Obviously, the facilities, we got to see their new offices downtown, (Sporting Park) speaks for itself and I’m actually genuinely very excited now about tomorrow.”

He may not be equally as excited to extend his current record of 13 straight MLS All-Star appearances, but that does not mean the 31-year-old Donovan could care less about that streak. Donovan admitted Tuesday that while he will not be thinking about it too much, he respects the record and is glad to have had the opportunity to extend it even after it seemed all but over.

“I’ve used this line before but when I’m on my deathbed I’m not going to look back and say, ‘Yay, I’ve made 13 straight All-Star games,'” said Donovan, who replaced injured Galaxy teammate Robbie Keane on the All-Star squad. “But it’s a nice feeling. I’m very proud of it. I really am, and I like to be a part of this group of guys.”

Based on the way the MLS All-Star squad lined up at Tuesday’s training session, it is unlikely that Donovan starts against fellow American Michael Bradley and AS Roma. Donovan should still see the field, however, and he’s determined to make the most out of whatever minutes he does receive.

“I want to win the game tomorrow,” said Donovan. “We’re in a groove now, a lot of these guys that played (in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final) on Sunday, and we want to keep it going. As always, this is a showcase event and we want to show ourselves well, so we’re taking it seriously.”

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5 Responses to After initial uncertainty, Donovan pleased to once again be an MLS All-Star

  1. Leo says:

    Interesting comment by Donovan.

    I wonder if the athletes of the other major league American sports feel similarly about their respective All-Star games, if it’s an event that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the sport or if it’s a product of inviting foreign teams during their pre-season to a supposed marquee event for your league.

    • Arjun says:

      I believe most do, its the same reason the NFL moved the Pro-Bowl, because most players just didn’t want to go and didn’t care. Its mostly just a vacation for them. The NBA All-Star game is just a showboating game with no defense and lots of dunking…

      • Andrew says:

        Yup. The USA Basketball team for the Olympics, on the other hand, is very prestigious and it’s a big deal for the players to participate. I think for a lot of players in all sports, national team commitments are seen as a point of pride.

  2. byob el paso tx says:

    Too bad NYCFC, Miami becks, Cosmos and Orlando wont be in 2014, because Donovan would go to one those cities in a heart beat, once his galaxy contract is done. I still think Red Bull might get him in 2014 or sounders or even a san jose comeback.
    What about australia since he wants to bust a becks over there.
    What about Everton or manU but i dont think he will go Mexico LigaMX.
    My guess, Australia or red bull or sounders.