Friday, March 5, 2010

Arena: Donovan to Return on Mar. 15

By Larry Morgan

CARSON, Calif. -- Los Angeles Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said the club is not interested in extending the loan of Landon Donovan to Everton of the English Premier League, despite reports that the Toffees will pursue such an arrangement.

Everton manager David Moyes was quoted by the Press Association in the United Kingdom as saying he was hoping to extend the loan which began Jan. 6 and is scheduled to end March 15. Donovan has played in eight games with Everton and has one goal and two assists.

"I am keen to keep Landon," Moyes said. "In the main he has done a really good job for us. It is very rare you can bring in someone in January on loan who can make a real difference to you but Landon has.

"Landon has been thrown straight in so we had to find out very quickly if he could do a job or not. But I think his manager at LA Galaxy would say the best World Cup preparation for him would be to start in their team."

Arena confirmed such sentiments Friday.

"We're not interested," Arena said before his club scrimmaged San Diego State. "Landon will be back here March 15. We're being consistent with everything we've said all along."

Donovan signed a new four-year contract with Los Angeles in mid-December, but several clubs were interested in his services during the offseason. Aside from Everton, those reportedly included Serie A side Livorno, Paris Saint-Germain of France's Ligue 1, Mexico's Club America, Scotland's Glasgow Celtic and even Liverpool of the English Premier League.

Donovan is coming off arguably his finest season. The nine-year MLS standout was named the league's Most Valuable Player, he led the U.S. into the finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, he was named to his ninth MLS All-Star team and he became the league's leading scorer in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Arena did leave an opening, however. MLS currently is in talks with the players union about a new labor agreement, and the start of the regular season -- the Galaxy open against New England on March 27 -- could be jeopardy if no deal is reached.

If the league does not start on time, Donovan then might be able to stay with Everton.

"Obviously the collective bargaining could change that," Arena said. "If we didn't have a league going on we would certainly entertain the idea of allowing Landon to stay there.

"If we have a league, Landon's going to be playing for the Galaxy."


Chad Hartigan said...

Very disappointing to hear as a Landon fan first, Galaxy fan second.

Unknown said...

I remember this from last year, and after the who Beckham think, I don't know what do think. I guess we will know that answer for sure on the 13th.

Anonymous said...

I am extremely disappointed by the scheduling of the Galaxy games in the forthcoming season. As a subscriber to cable TV, I will not have access to Direct Kick, on which almost half of the Galaxy's games will be broadcast. Even if I had DirecTV, one would have to purchase the DK package for $79. Even then, I would still not be able to view two of the games, which will be broadcast on Galavision and Telefutura (whatever they are). Evidently the MLS has been very shortsighted this year in not allowing all the games to be broadcast on standard sports channels such as ESPN, ESPN2, FSC and FS West. The self-serving MLS is not promoting soccer to the general public, and if the general public wishes to view the games, it will have to switch to satellite TV and spend an additional $79 to obtain the necessary software. And then there is Galavision and Telefutura. The MLS also faces mounting pressures from the collective bargaining unit. It is doubtful that the stodgy MLS can continue to function without making major concessions to the players' union and the general public.

Anonymous said...

The MLS has made it more expensive for the general public to view the games by requiring that they purchase Direct Kick for $79. Only subscribers to direcTV have this option. Cable TV does not offer DK. Since about half the games are on DK (and another two are on obscure stations Galavision and Telefutura), the general public will have severely restricted viewing. This is hardly conducive to promoting soccer in a country where soccer is only a minority sport. The stodgy MLS is due for a major overhaul, not only because of its ridiculous scheduling of the games, but also because of mounting pressures from the players' union, which may even cause cancellation of some of the early games. I personally would not spend $79 on the MLS.

Anonymous said...

FYI...the FS West and Prime Ticket schedule for the Galaxy has not yet been annonunced.

Anonymous said...

Also, you can see MLS games on cable providers through on demand.

Cum on you Blues said...

Whether Landon stays here at Everton a little longer or goes home immediately to the Galaxy is a matter for the clubs to negotiate. As a fan all I will say is that he has been a great favourite here and the Everton fans will welcome him back again anytime.

He will always be able to say with pride that he has worn that famous number 9 shirt once worn by the legend 'Dixie Dean'. Not too many players can say that!!!

Google 'Dixie' if you guys don't know already. The greatest striker ever to play the game.

I hope he goes back to LA a better player (except during the world cup of course) for the benefit of his experience, and helps to give you a fantastic winning MLS wishes Galaxy fans and thanks.

Cum on you Blues said...

One more comment to make:

For anyone not used to watching live English Premier League games, the difference between that and other leagues around the world is the pace of the game. That extra pace is not always obvious from watching on TV.

I watched a German League game in Berlin last week and it is at a slightly slower pace to EPL although the skill levels are similar.

Landon will not have aquired any more skill from his experience.......he always had that. What he will bring back to LA is that he will do all the basic things so much faster every week. If he passes any of that speed of thought, and action, to the other Galaxy players then I think you will be in for a treat and have a very successful season.

If any of you Galaxy fans are ever in England please come to Goodison Park for a game. Wear your Galaxy shirt with pride and you will receive a great reception!!!