110212_donovanlandon_isi_mlsmj081212020 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com
ASN Weekly Debate

What Will the Future Bring for Landon Donovan?

Landon Donovan is back doing Landon Donovan things, which means giving interviews in strange places and possibly playing again. Two ASN staffers discuss what it all means.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
February 22, 2013
12:00 PM
Noah Davis: Okay Mr. Reporter-Who-Traveled-To-The-Most-Dangerous-City, Landon Donovan announced his intention to return to the United States national team in the most Landon Donovan way possible, right?

Ryan O'Hanlon: Pretty much. He was on a stage, though, and at a college. So, put him in a beachside cafe-type thing (like, a bar, but a cafe, instead) while standing on a surfboard, and yeah. Most Landon Donovan thing ever.

Davis: Also, he asked to speak to the class. That's my favorite part. Honestly, he's the best.

O'Hanlon: And the dude who was live-tweeting the convo. He can, like, put that on his resume, I think.

Davis: He can have my job. But what do you think about the whole thing, other than it being so, so Landon Donovan?

O'Hanlon: In general, I think it's fine because Landon Donovan is just doing what he wants to do/makes him happy, which is fine because he's a human and that's the point of living and etc. Yet, I can't see every member of the U.S. team being happy about him taking a break because it's not like these guys necessarily love having to play in these games.

Davis: When (if?) he comes back to the U.S., he better be really freaking good. Otherwise, that greeting runs out real quick with the rest of his teammates. That said, he's set up rather perfectly to come back and help the Americans just as the Hex schedule gets a bit easier. I'm not saying there's anything nefarious about that timing, but it is rather nice.

O'Hanlon: Yeah, in terms of the team succeeding and him succeeding when he returns, it seems like a pretty good deal because he is good at soccer, and the two toughest games are already down. And I guess you get over whatever you need to get over when you're on the field? It might make some people angry in the short term, but I'd imagine everyone will get over it pretty quickly.

Davis: I'm a bit surprised that everyone is so convinced he can make such a difference. Donovan is still a good player, but he's not the Donovan of 2010. We are talking about the guy who got benched by Bob Bradley in the 2011 Gold Cup, a decision with which I didn't disagree.

O'Hanlon: I'm not sure what kind of a difference he can make, just because we haven't really seen him play consistently at a higher-than-MLS level since the Gold Cup, but I can't imagine him not making some difference. The team/squad is better with him as a part of it—how much, I guess, is the $25 question.

Davis: Would you start him?

O'Hanlon: That depends on a lot of things, but since you're asking a question: yes, I would. For the front three/four, who is really better than him? There's no answer there, I guess, because it's subjective and depends on how you want to play, but it's still Landon Donovan at 30.

Davis: Yeah, I think you do as well, almost by default. Which probably says more about the lack of attack in the past few matches than it does about Donovan's current skillset, about which we currently know very little. One thing that always gets lost in discussions about Donovan's effectiveness is how much more dangerous he makes Jozy Altidore. LD assisted on like 11 of Altidore's last 13 goals or something like that.

O'Hanlon: I love unsubstantiated facts. But whatever the number, I agree. He just makes everyone better; that's always been a part of his game, and I doubt it's gone. Why are we agreeing so much? Can we get the guy from the San Pedro Sula airport in here or something?

Davis: Because we are both very smart. And I'm not sure it's all that complicated. Donovan makes the team better. End of story. The rest will work itself out how it does. If you'll excuse me, Cambodia calls.

O'Hanlon: Finding Your Cambodia. You're welcome, Landon Donovan's publisher.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. Frequently, there are opinions.

Post a comment