Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Landon Donovan doesn't want to be the best player he can be

"Landon Donovan knows he could raise his game by returning to Europe but the elegant U.S. striker, who has been on a successful streak since a disappointing World Cup, would rather savor the good life at home in California."

That's the leadoff sentence in a piece Erik Kirschbaum did on Donovan.

To sum up the article, Landon is happy in California with his girlfriend and even through he'd be a better soccer player in Europe, he doesn't think he'd be a better person.

Okay, I can respect that. If you are not happy in a situation, you shouldn't put yourself in that situation. However, I must wonder why a player who openly says he doesn't want to be the best he can be is the focal point of US soccer.

There has been talk that Landon could become the new captain of the team, but I wonder what sort of tone this would set. How can he ask his teammates to give their most if he is not willing to do the same and how will those who are putting themselves through the grind that is European soccer respect him?

He says, ""There are a lot of factors that would go into it: the country, the language, the people, the playing situation. Am I going to play or be sitting on the bench again? I have no time for going over and trying out and doing things like that. That doesn't interest me."

So it doesn't interest him that he would have to earn his spot week after week?

I'm not a Landon basher. I think at his best, he is a force and someone that could become the a breakout player. However, he has made up his mind that he doesn't want to be that player. Again, that's fine for him, but it should make the future US coach question handing him the armband.



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