Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eureka!

I've always had a thing against Landon Donovan. The tag of "best US soccer player of his generation" rang a bit hollow when you looked at what he's achieved on a global scale. His two aborted attempts at Bayer Leverkusen in Germany really frustrated me.

You see, the guy has undeniable skill. He might not be considered world class per se, but he definitely is the best player in the MLS pre-Beckham by a country mile. If he had stuck with it and tried to develop himself in Europe at an earlier age, I believe he would've achieved much more and became a far better player than he is today.

What I find really irritating wasn't that he had tried to play at a club and failed, it was the manner of his failure. It wasn't based on not being good enough to get into the first team. It wasn't about a bad atmosphere or a league that was too difficult for him. It was his inability or unwillingness to experience life outside of the US. His first stint in Germany was at a very young age (16, I think), and he struggled to adapt to life in Europe and so he was allowed to go back on loan to the MLS until he matured enough to be able to handle the situation. In San Jose he prospered, and was consistently the best performer on a mediocre team. He publicly spoke about his nightmare in Germany and not being able to cope with the move away from the US.

Then came the second stint at the age of 23. Bayer Leverkusen wanted a player of his calibre back to contribute, and he was forced to leave the US again. Once again, he failed to adjust to his surroundings and a move back to the MLS and the LA Galaxy followed suit. I was really disappointed to hear about it at the time, since I thought that surely Germany cannot be THAT bad? And even if its not exactly where he'd like to live, it is more than simply a positive career step and going back the mediocrity of the MLS was the least ambitious thing I have ever heard of.

My friends struggled to see why I was so upset. Surely he had a right to choose where he wanted to live? My grief was in the fact that he was living my dream and making a mess of it. He had the talent to be a world class player, he was a professional footballer with everything he ever wanted.. and he couldn't leave the comfort zone of "America, the Best Place on Earth".

Landon came out recently and said that he is now dreaming of a move to Spain or England. He recognises that his game would improve drastically over in Europe, but he's unsure now whether any club would sign him after his antics in Germany. He's finally matured enough to think with a professional mindset.. but he's almost 27 now, and a lot of time was lost where he could've further honed his craft in more competitive surroundings.

As a person, I don't know Mr. Donovan and have little regard to how his life turns out to be. Its the concept that bothers me, the fact that his reluctance to put some pressure on himself to further improve on his God given talent stems from his inability to leave the US cocoon. When I first went to university, my roommate who hails from New York asked me why anyone would want to live anywhere but the United States. His lack of geographical orientation astounded me, and I wondered sometimes how many Americans can locate any given country on a map of Europe if presented with the challenge. I'm sure there are many worldly and knowledgable yanks, but the majority seem resistant to the fact that the world holds much more than just the 50 states. My roommate went on to developing a fondness for Europe and a willingness to travel around the world, despite his initial reluctance. It took him 6 years, but he came 'round in the end.. as did all the other Americans who I'm proud to say took a piece of Europe back home with them. May it extend to affect all of the people surrounding them.

So, Landon, I'm glad that you've finally had your moment of enlightenment. There's more out there than simply the good ol' US of A and the MLS. Time to see if firsthand.

5 Comments:

At 1:30 PM , Blogger who, me? said...

interesting.

we had a couple of that too in Malaysia a few years back. one of the most gifted (there's that word again) sprinters in recent years broke all sorts of national records, then get sent to the States.

got homesick after 2 months and he was allowed to go crying back, and the Yes Men said "ah, its ok, he'll do just as well at home".

bollocks turned out nothing much has happened since and his talent gone to waste, hitting his peak when he was just 20 (before the move Stateside).

good to see that conscience is colour blind. or affirmation thereof. good luck in Bahrain dood.

 
At 6:26 AM , Blogger fr7ty said...

السلام عليكم

موقع أكثر من رائع شكرا لكم

موضوع جميل جدا يستحق القراءه

يوتيوب فيديو فرحتي

http://www.fr7ty.com

منتديات نسائيه

http://www.fr7ty.com/vb

 
At 7:14 AM , Blogger Anonymous said...

wtf is that fr7ty...jibberish???

 
At 11:24 AM , Blogger Mo said...

I'm happy to announce that Mr. Donovan has recently moved on loan to Everton FC and is doing quite well.

He recently came out with a press release about how happy and welcome he feels in England, and how he may consider extending his stay at the expiry of the loan agreement.

Well done, Landon.

 
At 11:01 PM , Blogger leblanc_jean_michel said...

i fucking hate w.o.w its taking for ever to download so i can see what the big fuss is about and its pissing me off and in the mean time your talking about soccer.... >.< really? soccer is just a bunch of retards running in a big feld trying to kick a ball in a giant net if you miss that net..... FAILURE.... honnestly i played when i was in high school and i was good at it you know why cuz anyone can play soccer if you want a real sport try football or rugby... yeah never heard about thoes have you....tool!.... your in the usa what are you the biggest homo in the states soccer?...soccer? hahaha everyone is cheering for hockey and foot ball and your the faggot in the back going yay hes kicking the ball....hes kicking the ball again....look...guess what hes doing....... KICKING THE BALL!!! THATS ALL THEY DO! THATS ALL THE'LL EVER DO, BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE ONE OF THE GAYEST "SPORTS" IN THE WORLD EXCEPT GOLF AND TABLE TENIS OF COURSE BUT THATS ANOTHER STORY.


PEACE BITCHES!!!

 

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