Monday, February 1, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

More Major League Soccer love this week as two of our three brewski honorees hail from the domestic league while the other is a product of the American college system.

1) Landon Donovan

The cross-the-pond Major League Soccer product made waves this past week scoring his first goal for his English Premier League team, Everton. It was no Clint Dempsey super-strike, but the goal put LD on the score sheet and fueled Internet rumors of an extend loan deal for the Los Angeles midfielder.

As we've said time and time again any goal-scoring exploits for our boys overseas is good for the domestic game and the American soccer movement. Even if Lando doesn't come back at the beginning of the MLS season he is still a developmental success story for the league.

Donovan is the highest profile player MLS has ever had and continued success aboard is only going to help the US National Team this summer in South Africa. Fans of American soccer have to balance the want of Nats team success versus that of the league's profile with or without LD. It's a tough call, but we're willing to sacrifice the Galaxy's 2010 success at the expense of a Landon Dovovan sharp off a half season in the EPL.

Donovan's contributions to his new Everton side have already been well received by the Toffee faithful and his and fellow Nat Tim Howard's stellar play in goal has reversed the club's fortune's in England.

Here's the goal (fingers cross it hasn't been lawsuited out of the Inter-web-o-sphere):

2) Stu Holden

Speaking of developmental success stories for MLS... Stu Holden, a midfielder for the Houston Dynamo or should we say former midfielder for the Houston Dynamo. The USMNT starlet (and current replacement for Dempsey if he can't shake his injury) penned a loan deal with English Premier League mid-tablers Bolton.

Word on the street is that the "Iceman" is suffering from a mid-hamstring strain and so he didn't feature in the Wanders weekend action, but should see some PT real soon.

Going back to our point above; even as we, as fans of MLS, mourn the loss of our marquee players to foreign league, we need to be proud that the products of our league are desired in far away places. For now and the near future the league is focused on smart growth and player development. Obviously, there is the want to increase the level of play and, of course, the compensation of the players in the league (something up for discussion during the current collective bargaining agreement talks), but until the day comes that Major League Soccer is sustainable, compete salary-wise with the big boys, and an attractive option for American players and others we need to be satisfied that our league's best and wanted aboard.

If you managed to get through that last run-on sentence then congrats. The same congrats we want to extend to Holden for making the jump to the EPL. Even though the Dynamo will be hurting without him (and Ricardo Clark who made the jump to Germany.... probably should get him a beer, too) for the 2010 season each player no one would ever argue that Holden made the wrong call taking a European vacation.

3) Charlie Davies

ESPN's Ives Galarcep reported this past week that USMNT striker Charlie Davies was making a better, and faster, than expected recovery from his injuries sustained in that horrific car crash back in October 2009. Galarcep spoke to Davies and his training on his progress and received tons of welcome news for Nats team fans.

"Charlie is pretty much light years ahead of where anybody would tell you he should be," said Jim Hashimoto, the former U.S. national team trainer who is overseeing Davies rehabilitation. "When everybody heard about the accident, including myself, it was like, 'OK, this is going to be a long one' -- and it's still going to be a long one, but to see his progress is pretty amazing."
Just when it seemed as though the top players for the National Team we're going to be sidelined for South Africa our fortunes reversed. News out of England reported that Dempsey's injury is not as serious as previously thought, Jay DeMeritt is back from his eye injury, Gooch is on the mend in Italy, and Maruice Edu is seeing playing time at Rangers in Scotland again after an extend layoff.

With the USMNT squad looking more secure going forward it makes results like the friendly against Honduras look less troubling. With our European regulars manning the front lines against England on June 12th things are looking up.

Final words Charlie?

"I know I can come back and be one of the best strikers in the world. I know with the improvement that I'm making, if I can continue that with this new feeling I have now, it's going to be tough to stop me.I plan on making a difference at the World Cup."

Fuckin' sweet.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

Thanks for leaving a comment!