Who will replace Landon Donovan in MLS?

Landon Donovan

By IVES GALARCEP

How do you replace a legend? How do you replace a player who will walk away as the best player in the history of Major League Soccer? That is the question facing the Los Angeles Galaxy, as well as MLS, with Landon Donovan set to walk away from the game after the 2014 season.

Teams deal with losing players all the time, but for MLS, losing Donovan is a signature moment, one that will leave a void for years to come.

In my recent Goal USA column on the subject, I discuss the task of trying to replace Donovan in MLS, and just how difficult that will be.

Give the column a read and let me know who, if anyone, you see being able to replace Donovan in MLS. Think one of the league’s young talents has the qualities to fill the void? Think we are a few years away from seeing anyone close to replacing Donovan?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy. Bookmark the permalink.

105 Responses to Who will replace Landon Donovan in MLS?

  1. Jon says:

    I will.

  2. Dinho says:

    Good question. In my mind, it has to be someone that is a goal scorer. As good as Luis Gil might be, the reason Landon won our hearts is that he came through in the big games (for club and country) with big goals.

    So, find me a young goal scorers that is in the USMNT picture/future and will stay in MLS for their careers……. You got me.

    I think the answer is no one. At this point, US soccer has a bit more respect internationally, so any young striker doing well for the country will likely go abroad, whether or not that is the best decision (i.e. Agudelo, Altidore)

    • Ian says:

      That’s just it. Any future “Donovan-caliber player” (Do we have any now? Nope.) will head to Europe.

      As maligned as LD’s decision to stay stateside was – often from commenters on this very site – it was a decision that cemented his legend in our league and country. It was a selfless decision to promote soccer in America, rather than chase success in Europe, where he probably would have done well, but ultimately would have been just another face in the crowd.

      • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

        Like you said, they will head to Europe to join Dempsey and Bradley.

        • Ian says:

          Dempsey, who spent his prime years at Fulham? That Dempsey? Bradley, who was offered God money to play at TFC? That Bradley?

          They’re both great American players, but they’re not truly Donovan-caliber. It’s apples and orange, my friend.

          • danny says:

            “Truly not Donovan caliber” and “selfless decision to promote soccer in America”? haha- are you Donovan’s Mom?

            • exactly says:

              exactly. Dempsey has 57 career league goals in 6 years in England. He carried Fulham to midtable status. It was his age and bias that kept him from joining a CL club.

              Donovan has done nothing in Europe compared to him.

              • Matt says:

                And yet Donovan has Dempsey beat on both Goals scored and assisted for the nats.

              • DanO says:

                To Matt:

                Donovan 57 goals in 156 caps, 0.37 goals per game
                Dempsey 39 goals in 109 caps,
                0.36 goals per game

                Donovan has a number from PK’s, Dempsey very few. They are even in my mind as goal scorers, maybe even a slight edge to Dempsey.

                Donovan has 58 assists, Dempsey 19, so Donovan is ahead there for sure.

          • DanO says:

            More like different kinds of apples. They are different kinds of players. All 3 have been essential to the USMNT at different times and in different ways. I consider all 3 to be the best American players I have watched in my lifetime, and I would definitely put Dempsey and Bradley in the same neighborhood as Donovan.

          • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

            I was saying the players would join Dempsey and Bradley in Europe…both play in MLS, where they both chose Europe years ago….so the trend seems to have reversed…..
            so I was being sarcastic.

            • Eurosnob says:

              I think it is a little premature to say that the trend has reversed. Dempsey came back when he was over 30 for his last big payday – no one can fault the guy. Bradley was a special situation. He was not over the hill, but TFC/MLS clearly overpaid for him and he took the more money/less risk/less upside to play in Canada. One player does not make a trend.

          • Roberto says:

            Seriously bro? I’m not american and in South America the few people who follow this sport in the US (mostly living here) prefer Dempsey….by far!!! because he has south american technique and flair plus the speed and athleticism of Europe. Donovan Is seen mostly as a whiny little boy who has talent but thats it.We can’t stand those personalities! he and taylor twellman remind me of Robin the boy wonder, annoying and whiny. sorry Donovan fans, but you must be of the same kind Landy is. on the other hand Dempsey is a warrior and a leader and personality wise stronger than Donovan.

      • Dinho says:

        I wouldn’t say it was entirely selfless.

        LD chose to dabble in, but not commit wholeheartedly to the Euro road. Whether that was to further the growth of American soccer or ensure that he maintained his role as the big fish in a small pond…. that’s debatable. Don’t discount the size of this man’s ego.

        That said, I agree with you that there will not likely ever be a true replacement for Landon. And, the league and US Soccer owes a lot to him.

      • Wood chip zip says:

        Darlington Nagbe is better than Donovan and I doubt he will ever leave MLS. While he is not quite as homegrown as Donovan most of his soccer education occurred in the US. If MLS refs ever get fouling under control Nagbe could easily replace Donovan in MLS and the USMNT

        • Tom says:

          He’s really not. Not close.

          • Hey now says:

            so wrong. Ask Diego Valeri how good Nagbe is.

          • Wood chip zip says:

            Tom, there is reason why Nagbe is fouled more than anyone in MLS by a long shot. No one can handle him. His passing and vision are excellent too. As soon as he gets his US citizenship he will be playing for the national team and people will see.

      • GW says:

        “It was a selfless decision to promote soccer in America, rather than chase success in Europe, where he probably would have done well, but ultimately would have been just another face in the crowd.”

        Selfless is a bit much.

        You’d have to ask him but it seems to me LD stayed n MLS because he never really had a burning desire to play anywhere else on a long term basis.

        LD has always done was he thought was right and what he wanted to do. I don’t think he felt that it was his job to validate all those USMNT fans who wanted some kind of super hero in Europe to ease their pain.

        He preferred to carry the American flag in the World Cup.

        It should be glaringly obvious to anyone that LD marches to his own drum beat. There was a lot of “f++k you” to his critics in his decision to stay home.

        And his life and career have turned out just fine thank you very much.

        • Lil' Zeke says:

          Would it be a “f++k you” to his critics if it turned out “f++k you” wasn’t a huge motivator for him either?

          In Azteca for example, I’m pretty sure he just had to take a whizz.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Landon himself started abroad and did loan stints so the on/off switch argment is inapt. Dempsey and Bradley started here, went away, came back. Which pigeonhole do they go in? Whether going abroad is good for Jozy depends on individual years you’re talking about.

      I would expect MLS right now to focus on someone productive — from anywhere — like Wright Phillips. They then might reward a committed American who shows well over time. I wouldn’t annoint people “just because” since Yedlin could be gone in two days or three months.

      Since so many of the Americans started here or did a stint here, the idea you have to go abroad is oversold. Some players benefit, others sit and rust. There is self-benefit to the social good of staying here and helping this league, because we will pay certain elite players well, and you will not worry about playing time here.

      I’ll be interested what LA does. I think their competitiveness is eroding again. They need someone more like Keane’s quality to hoist themselves back up top, but I could see them picking up Kljestan, which won’t get it done, is a come down from Landon. Gordon definitely won’t be enough. So it will be a pivotal decision in terms of LA’s short term arc.

  3. JayAre says:

    This is easy. Dempsey, Bradley, Zusi, Besler, Gonzo, maybe Jones. The list goes on.

    • Ian says:

      How will any of those guys replace LD at the Galaxy? They won’t.

      • danny says:

        Well for some time now, Robbie Keane has been the more exciting and productive player on the Galaxy than Donavon… so you could say he has already been replaced on the team he plays for in MLS. The whole face of American soccer, legend, blah blah is a different story.

        • EA says:

          I’d argue that Keane has been productive BECAUSE OF Donovan – not instead of.

          Unless you think that it’s purely fortune and blessed skill that Keane and Zardes have 20+ goals between them this season.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      No one.

      Seriously. There will be stars and great players. but there won’t be another Donovan. He was the guy that took us from a sport that raised eyebrows to one that is on the cusp pf going completely mainstream. Even his (mostly imagined) shortcomings helped do that. Even the unanswered questions will only contribute to his mythical status.

      He was a unique talent, a unique personality at a unique time in ther history of our sport. There will be bigger stars, but there won’t be another him

      • SilverRey says:

        This. With a caveat. Was there a replacement for Wilt Chamberlain? Sure, but it took a while. Has Lebron James eclipsed Jordan? Who knows, but I look forward to having the argument whether the next big player has eclipsed Donovan!!

        (btw it might take a while, and I’m not sure that player is on the field right now)

  4. Dennis says:

    Donavon came to the MLS at a unique time in its evolution. Some argued he should have stayed in europe to develop, others believed his commitment to MLS helped the league grow and did not hurt his development. There is no US player with the stature that Donavon had at a young age (U-17 WC Golden boot), national team starter and even 12 years ago he played an important role for the USMNT. I suppose a Julian Greene might be the closest in talent, but he will not be in the MLS until many years from now. (Same for Agudelo, Mix or any other young US player you might imagine has the talent.) Even if one of those did chose to play in the MLS, the league is not the same now as it was when Donavon came in.

    There will be no replacement!

    • Dinho says:

      Totally agree, except I think this applies to Donovan. Not sure who Donavon is. :)

    • slowleftarm says:

      Come on man. Julian Green is the most talented American player? Can we let him actually do something before we say stuff like this?

      • JayAre says:

        Remember how we crowned Agudelo after scoring against Argentina?

      • danny says:

        Unlike Agudelo, it clear that Green has a great skills. Whether he will be able to translate and develop those skills into great performances at a high level- we shall see and it will be fun to watch as he will try to do this in the most competitive soccer environment in the world. But right now, I’d argue his raw soccer skills are comparable to Donovan’s and clearly better than what Agudelo’s were when people were saying he was the next big thing.

        • slowleftarm says:

          I don’t know about that. When Agudelo was Green’s age, he had several appearances for the USMNT and a full season under his belt in MLS, obviously a much higher level than the German fourth division. I think Agudelo’s progress was stunted by having a clown coach like Hans Backe at RBNY.

        • Brian I says:

          I don’t know about you but most people, and I agree, think Agudelo has all the skill, physical and technical, in the world to be a great player. It’s developing the drive and consistency that will be the deciding factor if he reaches his potential…the kid needs to get games fast!

    • H-Town says:

      It is Donovan, not Donavon. We should probably spell his name correctly since he is the best USMNT player ever.

      Number 2, it is MLS, not “the” MLS. For example, would say “The Major League Soccer is progressing” or would you say “Major League Soccer is progressing”? Exactly…

      • Ian says:

        Did you actually read the comment or just go straight for the pedantic assessment? Some people…

      • TheFrenchOne says:

        Thanks for contributing absolutely nothing to the conversation. Your high school english must be beaming though…

  5. JayAre says:

    “Not I,” said the cat, “meow, meow.”

  6. Josh says:

    People said the same thing about Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan. They all serve their time and place. Because of players like these I can be excited for the future. For every Michael Jordan their is a Kobe and Lebron in the wings that was inspired. We should have a better player by the next WC. He might not be as influential in the states, but its only a mater of time before we have our own Messi.

  7. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

    No one, MLS is growing and their will only be one Landon Donovan.
    Only the big fancy DPs can be replace, for example there’s the Beckham dps, the American dps like Dempsey and total fail dps.
    So the next Beckham dp will probably be Christiano Ronaldo or messi, which those take time to replace.
    The next American DP will be jozy or jones which is in the making.
    The next Landon Donovan will never happen, due to MLS growth, American soccer growth, and no good American soccer player will stay in MLS like Donovan did for years and years.
    So practically, the real question is, who will stay in USA and in MLS, and break Donovan’s records and deny European contracts and offers………no one. Donovan was old school and afraid of playing over seas and leaving his beach house.
    If MLS gets their issues fix like free agency and salary cap stuff, maybe there will be another Donovan but with ligaMX down the border, paying way more and MLS going vs ligaMX, it won’t happen.
    For instance, ligaMX dreams of having their best mexican players in Mexico like they use to do, but things have change so much that every good mexican player leaves ligaMX for Europe and MLS will be like that.
    Only if MLS becomes the real deal, with 26 to 30 teams, big spending, good academies, good recruitment, and specially have the best SECOND DIVISION IN NORTH AMERICA AND SOUTH AMERICA. If MLS wants to be huge, then start working on a second division, without a top second division, MLS won’t have Donovans or any maradonas.

  8. Adam M. says:

    Dempsey already replaced Donovan as the face of US soccer and MLS, and he is playing at a higher level than Donovan had been (consistently) for some time. Donovan never sold out stadiums, hasn’t been a top goal scorer in MLS for years, and was never much of a showman. I don’t mean to diminish his place in the league’s history, but the increasing quality of play and product over the last few years, in my view, means that Donovan stopped being an irreplaceable figure more than a few years ago. Its a shame he’ll stop playing at 32, when his skills are plainly still good enough for MLS, but I hope people no longer begrudge celebrity types from taking personal time when the deem its necessary to their mental health.

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      I agree with you Adam. I don’t think the Dempsey has replaced Donovan as the face, but other than that….

      MLS is great league now and getting better by the second. That was not true when Donovan started. Who is the face of the NFL ? I am a Seattle guy so Russell Wilson…I have a feeling many others would prefer a different face. So I can say Ozzie Alonso all I want, others will have a different stud that played last Wednesday.

      • bb says:

        Yeah Dempsey definitely hasn’t replaced Donovan as the face. I’m also a Seattle guy, but I imagine the face of the NFL is more like a Manning or Brady. Being the face of the league transcends who is playing well, or who is the captain. It’s about exposure, being an ambassador. Dempsey never has been the face, nor will he ever. The next face of the USMNT is gonna be Altidore (if his play picks up) or MB (if he does more interviews and ups his camera charisma game) It’s all about marketing. Donovan was the guy in all the MLS highlights. He was (and still is!) the one in the ESPN commercials, Footlocker commercials, endorsements. Being the face of a league or team means that when casual fans who know nothing about your sport, can immediately pull out one name off the top of their head, or can identify one player face from a commercial. Donovan was that guy for MLS for a long time, maybe up until Beckham came over? But MLS (and maybe the USMNT) don’t have a guy like that right now.

    • Bo says:

      I disagree. Dempsey has not replaced Donovan as the face of US soccer or MLS. I wouldn’t go to a game to see Dempsey play, and he didn’t draw many fans when they played Chivas.

      LD hasn’t been a top goal scorer in MLS he IS the top goal scorer in MLS.

      • Brian I says:

        He is the top goal scorer but lets not confuse that with the best goal scorer (he’s not an outright center forward anyway, so not criticizing him for that), he has been the most consistent scorer over a long period of time but has hasn’t put up many huge seasons, in terms of goals, that you would expect from the top scorer in league history.

        If I had to choose between LD or Dempsey in their prime to watch, and I’d prefer both haha, but I use to choose Dempsey. When they were younger Clint brought that unpredictability that you didn’t see every day in MLS. I’d tune in to Rev games just for him and his horrible hair!

  9. Mike Petke says:

    Eric Alexander is the new face of MLS.

  10. I Make Everything Worse says:

    Tim Tebow? Jon Busch? Sepp Blatter? Tiffany Milbrett? Johnny 5?

    They are all good choices.

  11. CamRahn Bay says:

    Alan Gordon?

  12. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

    By the way, soccer is a global sport, it’s not the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL. Where Americans say, I want to be the next Michael Jordan or joe Montana.
    MLS will just be another soccer league in the world fighting for respect and young players will dream of playing in MLS and then going to Europe.
    MLS will be a stepping stone for all American players dreaming of Europe, and honestly, I see mexican players learning English in order to play in MLS and then Europe.
    MLS will become the best stepping stone league for North and South America, in order to play in Europe.
    That’s why MLS should rebrand and think of the future, for example:
    Americas Elite Soccer League AESL
    Americas Elite League AEL-1
    Americas Premier 1 soccer AP1S
    Americas Soccer League 1 ASL-1
    Americas National Soccer league ANSL
    Think of the present and future :)

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      There is a huge problem with the whole stepping stone theory.
      Where do the players go ?

      Stoke ? Sunderland ? those are a step down, plus you play for a loser in misery year after year, so when the money isn’t a step up, then what ? Get good enough to join Barca ?

  13. PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

    Mehdi Ballouchy already did

  14. apw says:

    So Anderlecht just signed Belgian international Steven Defour at attacking CM, looks like Sacha will play even less.

  15. The Squad says:

    Good topic…

    Landon Donovan put a face on the US soccer and the whole project 2010 business.

    Guess you could say he was THE guy for quite a few years..

    Unfortunately, the fact that the author put the question out there is troublesome..

    The heir should be apparent right now..

    As a league, MLS teams field quite a few guys who can positively impact the outcome of a game or even a single possession..

    and they can do so with the flare and confidence Landon showed game in-game out..

    The US Men’s National team program is in a really positive place..

    It seems that the proper emphasis has been placed on develpoment, structure and expectation..

    The braintrust behind the decisions of the last 10 years or so have no doubt recognized that the US needs more than one player with Landon Donovan’stype of on and off the field impact ..

    hence the decision to go without him at the recent Cup..

    Too many skilled players in both MLS and the USMNT to waste time with a “baby-Donovan” search..

    The media find a darling and and Landon will probably deliver a fantastic Hall of Fame speech in a few years..

    meanwhile, Let the current and future crop of players simply play the game..

  16. exactly says:

    Honestly did Donovan really become the face of MLS and US Soccer?

    I never followed US soccer until 2007 and only payed attention to MLS due to Beckham. I had never heard of Donovan. I knew of Dempsey due to Fulhamerica. My point is to honor the man Yes. LD is the best MLS and US player ever but had he stayed in Europe it would not have setback MLS. MLS was floundering and barely staying up but was taking baby steps. Beckham is what made MLS. Not Donovan staying at home. Him staying at home (because he didn’t want to challenge himself in Europe after flopping there). Don’t believe that he wanted to grow the league. That’s ridiculous. He failed and didn’t want to fail again so he stayed in MLS. Then he went back and failed again. Then he came home and went to Munich and failed and came home. Then a loan to Everton and he did well on a short loan.

    the point is let’s not oversell his accomplishments. He scored against Cuba and El Salvador in Gold Cups and played B squads from Scandinavia. Dempsey and Bradley and Altidore could not do that as they played in Europe and he played in MLS

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      You should have stayed watching whatever you watched before soccer, you really have no idea…..or you are tolling, either way, yikes.

      You started watching MLS to follow Beckham….lol

      • exactly says:

        No I was not really aware of MLS until Beckham appeared. That gave it a lot of press. Honestly none of my friends into sport can name any NT member or Donovan but they know Beckham played in MLS. they now know who Dempsey and Howard and Jones are

        • beachbum says:

          welcome to the party to you and your friends! your historical opinion highlights perfectly how much MLS/soccer has grown in the USA, and whether you understand or appreciate that or not, Landon deserves your gratitude that you undersell him on

          to me you’re the perfect example of who Jurgen thinks we are as a soccer country

          • GW says:

            beachbum,

            “to me you’re the perfect example of who Jurgen thinks we are as a soccer country”

            Do really believe that? You could be right.

            My guess is there are more people like “exactly” than there are like you.

            Which would make what you say is JK’s opinion fairly accurate.

        • Yevgeniy says:

          How one can be a soccer fan living in US and not know who Donovan is – beyond me!

  17. mdc says:

    Why are we assuming he needs to be replaced? I think he is almost an afterthought in the MLS already. Sure he is solid but if he wasn’t playing with Keane, Beckham, etc he wouldn’t have seemed half as good over the last 3-4 years. There is plenty of young talent out there, even at LA. Get Villareal back and let him play.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      “Why are we assuming he needs to be replaced?”

      That’s the key question. I don’t think he does. MLS today doesn’t need Donovan and won’t need him tomorrow.

  18. FRANK says:

    ASK JERGUN WHERE TO GET ANOTHER DONOVON
    MAYBE DAVIS

  19. LTR says:

    DEMPSEY and Bradley and Howard are the faces of US SOCCER.

    Not Donovan. He never sticked it out in Europe. The others did even when it was hard and tough and faced lots of bias against YANKS. Dempsey scored 17 league goals in England on a team like Fulham. Dude has 57 league goals in England. What has Donovan?

    you can score against Chivas USA but Dempsey had a hattrick against Newcastle

    but yes Donovan is a US and MLS Legend but Dempsey is a Legend in the making

    • Wood chip zip says:

      Dempsey is not the player Landon was/is. Landon did not need to go to Europe to get big money and improve as a player. Dempsey did and to his credit he accomplished both. Once Dempsey could get big money stateside he came back to MLS. Donovan is one of many people who helped make that a possibilty. Now Dempsey is playing in a place where he gets the respect he deserves and rarely got in Europe. Again Landon’s contributions to MLS helped make this a reality for Dempsey. For me that’s the legacy of Landon – respect. He went to Europe and did not get the respect and support he needed and decided not to put up with that and tough it out the way Dempsey had to do over and over again. Instead he came home and carried a league and national team on his shoulders for many years. When Beckham was disrespeciting the galaxy and his teammates by constantly going back to Europe who called him out on it? Donovan. When Donovan did have a successful stint in Europe it was in a situation where he new the coach supported him and believed in his talent. Donovan got more respect from the Everton fans than Dempsey ever did from the Fulham fans. Yes fulham fans loved his goals but few were ever willing to give his talent the credit it deserved and that his production warranted. What US player is so hated and yet so respected by Mexico’s fans? Donovan. He did things his way, how American. US Soccer legend

  20. Double says:

    Football wise I can’t think of any player that looks like he’s about to take over Landon. I’m sure they’ll bigger stars but mainly due to marketing.
    I guess we need to wait to be told who that player will be.

  21. Mark says:

    No one.

  22. Efx22 says:

    If this was 10 years ago then this is a valid question. In this stage of the MLS we have to ask who are the players that will sustain the league. The fact that we have players like Dempsey ,Bradley, and Beasley back in MLS to be the face of the league speaks volume. We also have fresh new talent that are starting to make a name for themselves in this league Gonzalez and Besler for example even Suzi who should be playing for a few more years. Im not a big LD fan but fact is fact and that is that for way too long he was MLS. This in my opinion is no longer fair for LD or the league.

  23. beachbum says:

    you can’t replace him…but now the league doesn’t have to

    the entire league stands by itself now, as it should be

    • Ali Dia says:

      A great comment. It is a fitting and romantic tribute to say that nobody will ever replace Donovan, but it is a legitimate and equally credible compliment to say that nobody has to. Donovan gave the league an in-house, American star when it needed one. Unique, different, exciting to watch… his ability was easily apparent and could be appreciated by new fans of the game, while also having the subtlety to please the more sophistcated palate. Before Donovan, there weren’t many individual players who could convince a person to buy a ticket or watch a game in MLS based on the opportunity to see them play… and almost none once you subtract out the skeletal remains of Lothar Matteaus, etc. and his embarrassing ilk of entitled “retirement tour” clowns

      It is similar to the argument many make about the NBA’s financial transformation and successful growth during the late 80’s and early 90s owing significantly to the starpower of a very small number of players (Bird/Magic and later Jordan). They made the game accessible and appealing for a broader audience, a benefit to future players and the domestic game generally. It isn’t the whole story and the league itself deserves plenty of credit (you could use Tiger Woods as a counterpoint, who carried golf to spectuclar heights among casual fans that most now accept are not sustainable in his absence).

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Yep. The MLS has come along way

  24. Conchy Joe says:

    I don’t think anyone mentioned above will replace Donovan anytime soon. Kyle Beckerman has the MLS games and MLS minutes, but comes nowhere close in goals. Chris Wondolowski may get another 51 goals if he can stay healthy and productive for another 5 years, but at age 31, that is not a given. Even then, he’s nowhere near Donovan’s 124 assists.

    So, we’re looking for a young star in MLS that is likely to stay in MLS that will score and assist equally, and play for well over 10 years without too many injuries.

    Yeah, I don’t see that person right now. And, no, it isn’t Dempsey, who’d need at least 100 goals and 100 assists to come close to Donovan’s MLS performance. Dempsey could have been the guy, but he was gone for too long.

  25. Roberto says:

    If Brazil worried about replacing and crying over say….Romario they would be doomed, they move on.. If Argentina worries about replacing Maradona the same…move on work hard on the next that will eventually come (messi)..Can you imagine Germany crying over beckenbauer? they are World Champs today!!! and you guys cry over…..Robin the boy wonder Donovan?? ….with all the progress made and the millions of kids of all ethnicities playing the sport??? why are you worried? get over it and work hard!!! maybe the ones crying abvout it have the same kind of personality as Donovan whining and jumping after each tackle. please focus about producing players like dempsey cause you sure have enough athleticism and speed. You need guys with South American talent but who will also play with a broken nose….and not whine. Maybe you shouldn’t worry about repalcing Donovan , you should worry about replacing the crying fans who live from the past and whine like little landy.

    • Dinho says:

      Wow. Just, wow.

      Hope you don’t fall too hard off that soapbox.

    • Conchy Joe says:

      Um, topic is MLS performance, not “Compare with Brazil…”

      Donovan is right up there in games played, minutes played, and is on top on goals scored and second in assists. Statistics don’t lie, cry, or hate.

      • Roberto says:

        um um um….so what? just said a truth…move on I dont care if its the topic or not..I make the topic

        • beachbum says:

          relatively speaking, Landon as important to US soccer as any of the others you mentioned to their countries imo. While Germany and Brazil have been chasing the dream and winning the World Cup as a passionate nation for generations and generations, we here in the US have not. Many US fans have enjoyed and respect LD’s immense contributions in the overall efforts taking us from that relative zero to where we are today, both domestically and internationally. Some clearly can’t stand that reality and whine about it

  26. Harry Knuckles says:

    It’s a shame we won’t get to see him play one more international game also. After all he’s done, he deserves a proper goodbye. Much respect for this man.

    • GW says:

      It is an unimportant question to me.

      I don’t think of Donovan as an MLS player.

      I see him as a USMNT player who played in MLS to stay in shape for the USMNT. .

  27. ShaneO says:

    Jurgen Klinsmann will replace Donovan

  28. Cylo says:

    we know it won’t be Yedlin.

  29. MiamiAl says:

    Eddie Johnson?

  30. KB says:

    Think Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Messi, or Rooney would be the wave-the-wand candidates. Of those, it would tough contractually for all of them except perhaps Ibra. Steven Gerrard would be another more practical possibility, IMO.

    • John says:

      Ibra at 32, (33 in a couple months) I think is the only one there’s really any shot at. Wasn’t he hanging out in LA during the World Cup?

  31. Perry Singer says:

    Someone who has Donovan skills or someone who has his own great skills playing.

  32. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    You replace donovan not with 1 player but with many. MLS needs 2 spread more talent across teams. Raise quality, make the league tougher and more competitive.

  33. ALEXIA says:

    Why not Benny Feilhaber ?

  34. the original jb says:

    Yes now the true test for MLS has come. The quality on the field has grown to the point where it is so far beyond what is was when LD started that it clearly doesn’t need him on the field as there are so many good quality players. BUT are there enough players that can be used to market the league and keep it growing? LD’s success with the USMNT over the years made him the perfect face of MLS. The goals/assists stat for the USMNT still boggles my mind, don’t think that is appreciated nearly enough. I can envision a great striker breaking the goals record, but I think the assist record could stand for decades.

    I think MLS should use the handful of USA internationals as the core of the marketing push. I thoroughly appreciate what the foreign dps bring to the league, but the casual American fan would probably relate more to Besler and Zusi, and sprinkle in some Henry and Keane.

    For my part, I’m taking the fam to see the galaxy play the crew this weekend, our last chance to see LD.