SBI MLS Player of the Week: Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan

By IVES GALARCEP

Landon Donovan delivered a storybook ending to his chase for the MLS career goal-scoring record, while also providing the perfect response to suggestions he no longer capable of dominating a game.

The LA Galaxy star scored two goals and registered an assist in the Galaxy’s 4-1 romp over the Philadelphia Union. The virtuoso performance, which came just three days after being left off the U.S. World Cup roster in stunning fashion, helped Donovan earn SBI MLS Player of the Week honors.

Donovan beat out a field of candidates that included Portland’s Max Urruti, Vancouver’s Gershon Koffie, New England’s Diego Fagundez, Colorado’s Dillon Powers and San Jose’s Jon Busch.

What did you think of Donovan’s performance?

Share your thoughts below.

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29 Responses to SBI MLS Player of the Week: Landon Donovan

  1. Julio says:

    I think it is great, fantastic ever for Landon, the MLS and for soccer in America. The timing for Landon to break the MLS record, a brace and an assist no less couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you Landon! The commenter Brett with one of his great posts on the previous thread got me thinking.

    I believe naming the 23 last Thursday and leaving Donovan out may turn out to be the BEST thing (so far) that has ever happened for U.S. Soccer. How Cow, the internets are going crazy, soccer is spoken on TV (I was at a local sports bar/restaurant on Thursday and ESPN were on most screens and they cut in, Landon Donovan was Cut). I never saw so much interest in the sport as I have seen in the last few days.

    Now we have something. We will see it beginning tomorrow evening in the Azerbaijan friendly. That match will maybe set records for viewership, mainly thanks to Landon, his being cut, and what he did in a MLS match yesterday. We couldn’t buy that kind of promotion at any price.

    What we all want, at least I hope so, is for Soccer to grow in the U.S., especially in our youth programs, you know, develop our own talent and all that. The main way we can do that is by generating interest. This is the perfect time to play our first send-off, only 5 days after the Great Donovan was cut, and the time for the USMNT to showcase our new superstar, Julian Green.

    Like Micheal Bradley said after the Mexico friendly, he got his first taste and NOW WE CAN REALLY GET HIM GOING.

    • vik says:

      I still feel uncomfortable without him at the world cup. I think he takes penalties better than dempsey, and he has experience taking them in a WC. Also his passing, vision, acceleration etc.

      Also, I’m not sure if Green is ready to be unveiled as a “superstar.” Kid is talented, but hasn’t played many professional minutes in a first division game. Still, here’s hoping that he’s much further along than it seems.

    • Bo says:

      It’s not going to set records for viewers. Julian Green is not our new superstar.

    • Josh D says:

      It couldn’t have come at a better time? How about the 7 or so games he had prior to the USMNT camp? You know, so that he would have come in on fire and not sounding defeated before it began? So you know, he could have forced Klinsi’s hand.

      If Donovan came in scoring goals and assisting than he would have been on the plane. His weak play gave Klinsi the excuse he needed to drop him IF it was personal.

      Well done Donovan. Just wish it didn’t take a World Cup snub to try. Blame Klinsi, but it’s Donovan who disappointed me.

      • Lorenzo says:

        Once again, not much substance to your rambling. You are basically saying Donovan should have come in scoring goals left and right to force Klinsmann’s hand… Like who? Altidore? Johansonn? Zusi? Green?

        Bit of a double standard don’t you think?

        Everyone on the frickin earth knows that LD can flip a switch and turn it on. We are going against Germany, Portugal, Ghana. What switch is Davis and Wondolowski can flip?? This is a decision that does not give us as good of a chance as we could. I

        What about what Chandler could have been doing but didn’t?

        Crap, just like your argument. And I’d the idea is World Cup 2018, that is just ridiculous to sacrifice Howard and Dempsey’s last World Cup and p!ss away our World Cup now and the work so many did to get to this World Cup.p in the qualifiers.

        • Josh D says:

          Everyone except Jozy and Aron are coming in hot. Aron has been playing injured hence his drop. Luckily for Jozy A. He and Donovan aren’t competing for a spot and B. he’s been playing well for the US during his dry spell.

          Chandler was playing fantastically well before his injury. And again, he doesn’t play Donovan’s spot.

          Your ramblings hint at not knowing basic player choices: Donovan doesn’t play everywhere so stop comparing him with others who aren’t competing.

          Finally, pissing away this cup? Donovan was never going to be our savior. We were in over our heads before and we’re still scrapping to pass the group stage this time.

        • 1st Time Caller says:

          “Everyone on the frickin earth knows that LD can flip a switch and turn it on. We are going against Germany, Portugal, Ghana. What switch is Davis and Wondolowski can flip??”

          EXACTLY

      • unbeknownst says:

        Spoken like someone who hasn’t watched Donovan play this season (even through you’ll claim you have).

        Donovan’s Opta stats this year have been fantastic.

        Moreover, Donovan has proved to be a cerebral player, with intangibles that didn’t always show up on the stat sheet. Basically the type of player you want in international competition.

        However if you want stats: Donovan over the past calendar year has created over 123 chances either for himself or teammates. Likewise Dempsey has only created 45 chances, Wondo only 32 chances created in the same time period.

        Klinsmann should of let Donovan play in the friendlies leading up to WC before cutting him. However we all know how Donovan would of showed in those games, and therefore Klinsmann wouldn’t of been able to cut him after that. So he did it now.

        • Josh D says:

          So we give Donovan a free pass for life because he might become good at the World Cup? Nice.

          I’ve seen him play a few times this season, and like many I have not been impressed.

          I have always said he should have gone. But people taking it personal are acting crazy and disrespecting the team going. We still have a good team and I’m pumped to see them take on the world!

          • beachbum says:

            Josh D, in his last 3 games LD played well and late; in the game at RSL up there in the mountains sprinting around, then went to Portland next and was the best player on the filed by some accounts, then yesterday. he played well in both games before the 30 convened and looked fit and quick…then whatever happened in camp which none of us saw, and then yesterday when he was great

            some of us even said he looked like he was peaking his form before the 30 met. Jurgen certainly can also see this if us posters can, but he just wants to go another way obviously

            it’s really not so difficult to understand if you take the soccer part out of the equation imo and explore some of the other reasons a decision like this can be made

            and Jurgen will use this to rally his team and challenge them, you know, the old “see what they’re saying about us, without LD we can’t win, blah blah blah”

            but that’s not it. I still think we’re good and can win and I think others who are speaking up about this decision believe that too…AND that LD was dropped for other reasons besides soccer ones

            guys get dropped and moved all the time for personal reasons and things outside of soccer, or whatever sport they play

            just expressing an opposing perspective to yours on this, as I understand it, tho I get you don’t agree.

            • Ali Dia says:

              I liked this, beachbum. The form-based arguments will always go in circles, because (1) nobody will ever agree on what the appropriate evaluation window isand (2) nobody has access to the observations data collected in camp, which would certainly be critical to any decision. So everybody just cherry picks to suit their viewpoint.

              There seems to be an assumption in a lot of the outrage comments. Namely, that not including a player on account of a negative personal relationship is unethical. This is incorrect on a very basic level.

              • beachbum says:

                I understand what you said.

                this happens all the time. it is the coach’s responsibility to manage these things optimally. it may all happen. we’ll see

                why invite him to camp then? that is harsh to me…if we are agreeing it’s personal.

              • Ali Dia says:

                For the record, I do NOT necessarily agree that it is personal. I have no idea what his reasons are and don’t expect to ever really find out (is that even possible?)

                I’m simply saying that it wouldn’t make a difference if it was. His discretion. How it works. How it should.

            • Josh D says:

              I agree and think your response was well written, and it’s nice for a change to see a response that doesn’t get personal.

              I think it’s obvious to a lot of people that this was a decision based in part on grudges. Klinsi is a man who wants loyalty and I assume he saw Donovan’s sabbatical and the times he “got injured” before games as personal attacks. Plus who knows what happened at Bayern.

              But I don’t think it’s all personal as others have pointed out better than I did. Klinsi has a system and Donovan hasn’t been there during those building moments.

              Brooks v Goodson is a toss up. Brooks won because of his youth. Green inclusion is partly a result of him signing up with us and I have no problem with that personally. Chandler is because we need SBs who can play Klinsi’s system.

              I just think the team moved on from Donovan and now that’s he’s back, others have taken his spot. No one took Chandler’s so he’s back.

              I’m excited to see what happens tomorrow. I think that’ll go a long way toward finding out if there are now factions within the team and if the players are playing for Klinsi. Maybe they pull a France 2010.

              • beachbum says:

                cheers JoshD. I hope no France revisit, yuck. now Jurgen can challenge the team with “how will this World Cup be remembered? by you all proving I’m right to believe in you or not?” something like that, old school motivational practice. I think we’ve seen him do this before.

                do you think LD would have shown well in the friendlies? I’d bet the other players think yes, so Jurgen will use that to motivate those he kept too

                but LD got the harsh treatment in the process imo. there’s got to be other ways to unify and motivate than to target one guy as this appears to me, especially the guy who laid out for the program since a teenager, my opinion

                I think Jurgen thinks we’re relatively inexperienced soccer fans and therefore kind of dumber soccer fans and culture, probably true too, so can say it’s this or that and off we go to read about it and just be told

                it’s good to see you’re not there

              • beachbum says:

                to motivate the team is the wrong term…to make them believe…that’s it.

      • Gary Page says:

        The ignorance on this issue astounds me sometimes. I bet a lot of people voicing this sentiment are the same ones who were saying 3 and 4 months ago that Dempsey was washed up and would never start. Wayne Rooney once went something like 18 months without scoring for England. Almost every attacker has ups and downs. Donovan has more goals in the WC than Rooney, Messi, and Ronaldo combined. Anybody who thinks that both Davis and Wondo are better than Donovan obviously don’t know jack about soccer. Also, they go around repeating this canard that he has been unfit and out of shape. Anyone who follows the Galaxy knows that is complete b.s. and has been for a couple of months.

  2. Bradley's Missing Mop says:

    Did we expect it to happen any other way?

    • Neruda says:

      He did what every other snubbed MLS player did by hitting a goal (or two).

      I watched part of the first half and it was unwatchable unless your an LA fan. If LD and LA raised the intensity a few notches then the Union lowered the intensity a few notches. In fact it was more like detensity from Philadelphia. Even snubbed Edu scored a goal in the end.

  3. User222 says:

    JK stated that he got 7 out 7 ‘yes’ standby from the snubbed… the standby list will work based on a positional need. I doubt LD will be the first in…

    Tboyd for Jozy or Wondo
    Corona for Mix, Davis, Green, Bedoya, Zusi
    Donovan for Aron or Clint…
    Goodson for Omar, Brooks, Besler
    Parkhurst for Chandler, DMB, Yedlin
    Edu for Beckerman, Jones
    Evans… not sure

  4. Siberian says:

    Still one of the top five American players, in my opinion. As of today.

  5. Michael says:

    Um, MLS Player of the Week? How ’bout MLS Player of All the Weeks That Ever Happened – more accurate.

    After he scored those two goals, he turned a half-empty bottle of Gatorade and three orange slices into a feast for the entire locker room and the Angel City Brigade.

  6. beachbum says:

    have to give a HUGE shout out to Robbie Keane

    watching the game, I told my son his play shows what it means to love a teammate, how Robbie was intent on LD scoring and playing well, just intent on getting him off. and it was awesome. LD worked to return the favor all game. it was just great to see it

    • Bac says:

      Hey bud, glad u took the time to check out that other thread.
      I wrote u a long response, and then it can be put to bed and tomorrow is another day..
      Won’t really know till the real dance starts…huh..
      Till then there’s either a method to my madness or I’ve swung and missed..
      Either way..
      I Believe..

      • beachbum says:

        hope we play well. separate issue from what went down. funny I never really had you as an apologist

        anyway, maybe some day we get to toss a couple back together

        CHEERS!

  7. Neruda says:

    An LD article with less than 500 comments? Where’s the rage? Where’s the “I told you so klinsi”? Or do the rabid soccer fans on sbi realize that putting up two goals and an assist against wretched Philadelphia doesn’t really prove much other than the union are really terrible.