Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Free Kicks: Donovan on Loan

Happy Friday everyone. Yesterday brought news of another loan stint for an American overseas. In this case though, it was one of the more high profile national team players with Landon Donovan headed to Everton.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Everton came to terms on a two-month loan deal that will see Donovan play for the English side until February 25th. Much the same as his loan stint in 2010, Donovan hopes to lift Everton back into a respectable position in the table.

"The opportunity to return to Everton and play for such a well-respected club and manager that I hold in such high regard was something that was simply too good to pass up," said Donovan in the Galaxy press release.

The loan will have Donovan playing in nine matches for the Toffees, eight in the league and one FA Cup match. Interestingly, one of those matches will see Donovan taking on Brad Friedel when Everton plays Tottenham.

News of the loan is a bit out of the blue and oddly timed considering Friedel's recently misinterpreted comments about Landon not choosing to play in Europe. It'll be a fun match to watch Donovan have a go at his former USMNT teammate. While Friedel maintains that his comments were in no way a knock at Donovan, it'd certainly be poetic justice if Landon was able to knock a goal in on him.

The reason this loan seems so out of the blue, is that there seems no reason for Donovan to actually need to go on loan. His play in MLS has been solid, his place with the national team would not seem to be in question and at his age, it's unlikely a two month loan will have any real benefit to his game. Still, with Everton in a bit of trouble financially and in need of a boost on field, Donovan was likely asked to come simply out of his good graces. Considering his affection for the club and loyalty to the manager, Landon likely jumped at the chance.

One thing to consider though is that the loan means Donovan will miss the U.S. Men's National Team training camp in January. This would be the second time that Landon Donovan has opted out of a Jurgen Klinsmann training camp/friendly. The ironic part of this is that Donovan is missing out in order to play overseas in top flight, something Klinsmann blatantly said players in his MLS pool needed to do.

Other matches worth noting during the loan spell will see matches against Manchester City and Chelsea. Donovan will return to the Galaxy prior to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against Toronto FC, the first leg of which takes place on March 7th.

Landon's 2010 Experience with Everton Part 1 of 2: