Eye of the Hurricane

February 19, 2010

Donovan, Adu, and WC2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — caghorbi @ 6:29 am

Landon Donovan was awarded Player of the Month accolades yesterday from his new team in the English Premier League, Everton FC, after a stellar first month with the club.  You read that right.  Yes, that Donovan, who gave up his captaincy in Los Angeles to David Beckham and was told he would never be able to succeed in any league other than watered down MLS, won player of the month awards for a team in the Premiership.  Hundreds of Everton fans waited in line for hours, little kids and grown men amongst them, just for a chance to shake hands with the new star.

Major League Soccer are going to have to think long and hard about who to promote as the next “face of the league,” as it has become a near certainty that Donovan will ship overseas permanently after the season is over.  He is currently on a three-month loan to Everton, but given his recent levels of extraordinary success, European teams are chomping at the bit and will pay close to a $12 million transfer fee if given the opportunity for Donovan’s services. Is this a good thing for Landon?  Yes, of course.  Will I miss seeing Landon play in MLS?  The answer to that is also a definitive yes.

In other American soccer news, Freddy Adu has been making a name for himself after a recent loan to Aris Thessalonkia F.C of the Super League Greece, the highest level football league in Greece. Before the loan, Adu had languished on two different teams (Monaco and Belenenses), and many American fans were down on the former soccer icon.  After a two-year goal-scoring drought with the aforementioned teams, Adu has scored two crucial goals in the past two game for Aris, and has earned a spot in the Starting XI. Adu is joined by American Eddie Johnson, who came onto the scene with numerous key performances for the US National team early on before hitting a major slump at both the club and national level.  Johnson is still only 25-years old, and is looking to revitalize his career, as is Adu.  The team’s fans, legendary in their passion for the club, have taken a decidedly strong liking to both Americans for their play.  Johnson scored his first goal for Aris (assisted by no other than Adu) in one of his first appearances with the club as well.

Finally, World Cup 2010 is approaching faster and faster, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Some American stars are returning from injuries much faster than anyone ever expected, including striker Charlie Davies. Davies held his first press conference with Sochaux yesterday announcing his expected return to training in the next week. Midfielder Clint Dempsey also expects to return to Fulham F.C. of the Premiership before the season’s end. Luckily, the Americans had a fantastic draw for group play, as their pool consists of England, Slovenia and Algeria.  I was expecting the USA to get another horrendous draw (as they always have), but that honor went to none other than our friends in North Korea, whose group consists of: Brazil, Portugal and Cote D’Ivoire.  Good luck scoring a goal in any of those matches, guys.

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