SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

Name:

Not much to tell.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Free Landon Donovan!

Now. Forever.

Perhaps the best U.S. player has been playing in the English Premiership recently. Yes, as a starter for Everton. Okay, Everton isn't among the top 4 in the Premiership, but it's having a good season, and Donovan is primary among the reasons why. He's achieved all that he can in the MLS, which is a second- or third-tier league. It's time for MLS to let him go. More importantly, it's time for U.S.A. Soccer to work with the U.S. pro league to help ensure that the best U.S. players are playing for the top European teams. Until the top 25-50 U.S. players are playing in the English Premiership, for example, with many of them starting, it's hard to see that the U.S. will be a serious contender to get past the Round of 16 in any World Cup.

The reason is simple -- unless your players are playing against elite competition year-round, it's hard to see how say half a dozen players who've played well in the Premiership can partner with a dozen and a half who are playing in the MLS. Not when the top players in Europe are playing in the top leagues in England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy (okay, so I highlighted the Premiership above, but I did so only because it's the league with the smallest language barrier, among other reasons). Read this article and see what you think.

The L.A. Galaxy most certainly are entitled to some amount of consideration. That's the way of the world in soccer, and Donovan's the Galaxy's most valuable asset. That said, the U.S. needs to get more of its best players playing in the top European leagues. That is, if the U.S. wants to make a serious run at a World Cup.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home