What's gotten into Landon? And other late thoughts...
I couldn't put a finger on why the blue pinstripes bothered me on Sunday. That is until I read Kali's post over at MarkingTheReferee.com and it became very clear. It's no secret that the USSF is headquartered in the Windy City, and now it's no secret which of Chicago's two baseball teams they endorse - at least subliminally. As a Missouri-born Red Bird fan, that obviously doesn't sit well with me.
Needless to say, I won't be slapping down the plastic for that US kit any sooner than never.
Being without any kind of useful TV reception in my home made it impossible to catch the US-Ecuador match live, and thus had to download it - thank goodness for torrents and the people who share them. That will explain why it's Thursday I'm commenting on Sunday's match when the US played again last night, also a match I did not see live. I just wanted to weigh in on the Landon discussion.
I realize there may be several factors as to why the kid has decided to play like the LD of yore - namely heading into a new season with his club having his old friend Frank Yallop as head coach in LA. Yallop, by the way, seems to be doing his best at reconstructing key pieces of the old San Jose squad that won two titles in three seasons (2001 and 2003). The source of Donovan's fire comes from the LA camp, but it's something that has not yet arrived.
Let me by asking a few questions. What does Landon Donovan want more than anything? More than all the glory and experience he could gain elsewhere, Landon wants more than anything to play at home in Los Angeles. Nothing seemed to be threatening that way of life until his club landed the biggest (largest sum of $$ involved) signing in American soccer history. Insert Mr. Beckham and suddenly there are questions of how the Galaxy could hold on to two high paid assets and stay kosher with the league "salary cap." Whisperings spoke of the possibility of trading Donovan after next year to make cap room, to which his response was, "they better not trade me."
What we're seeing is Landon now with the prospect of a little competition at his club. I think that fire that roared in Tampa on Sunday was only getting started. Landon is out to prove that he's worth keeping in LA - who would have to entice another team to let go of their Designated Player spot to keep the US #10 in Carson. Everyone has their own carrots they strive for and the Gals may have found the secret of unleashing Landon.