Well, with the MLS collective bargaining agreement reportedly agreed to and the strike averted, it would appear that Landon Donovan will not be heading back to Everton FC any time soon, unfortunately.
I say “unfortunately” — it’s fortunate for the MLS (not to mention the LA Galaxy), who narrowly missed a potentially suicidal crisis. Unfortunate, however, for hopes of seeing Landon continue a very positive period in the Premiership.
However, I will still be following along with the Toffees and rooting for a continuing good season — already marked by a win over Bolton* today. COYB!
(* – “Bolton” will forever remind me of the “Notlob” palindrome from Monty Python. :)
Landon Donovan’s possible final game with Everton FC ended in a 2-2 draw at Birmingham City today. He came on in the 67th minute for Nigerian striker Ayegbeni Yakubu, who had scored one of the Toffees’ pair. Unfortunately, Everton let a two-goal lead slip away, losing a chance to make up ground on the team directly above them in the League standings.
Whether or not this actually is Landon’s last Everton fixture, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena expects his star back in Los Angeles right away. This despite the MLS players voting to strike if a new agreement can’t be reached with owners by March 25th. Not that there’s ever a great time to strike, but for a league still struggling for respect in the US, it seems like a particularly inopportune time.
Everton seriously want him back. We’ll see how it plays out.
Will he or won’t he? I reckon the potential MLS work stoppage will enter into it.
evertonfc.com: “Chance of Donovan Stay”
David Moyes says there’s an outside chance that Landon Donovan‘s stay at Everton could be extended.
The American international’s loan deal from LA Galaxy expires after Everton’s Premier League visit to Birmingham City next weekend, but Moyes revealed on Friday that there is a chance that the 28-year-old could remain on Merseyside beyond that date.
Grahame Jones at the LA Times has more, including speculation on Landon’s lackluster performance with the US team against the Dutch side on Wednesday: “Everton wants to keep Galaxy’s Landon Donovan a while longer”
On Friday, David Moyes, Everton’s coach, revealed that the club has been in contact with MLS and with the Galaxy with an eye to extending Donovan’s 10-week loan spell, perhaps until the end of the English season in May or perhaps longer.
“I am keen to keep Landon and it sounds initially in America that they might say yes,” Moyes told the BBC. “I have not got that confirmed yet. I can’t say exactly if that’s going to happen. If we can make it happen, we will.”
Practice and warmup games for the World Cup start in late May.
The official LA Galaxy blog has today’s comments from coach/manager Bruce Arena regarding Landon’s situation. Sounds like he’ll be back with LA unless there’s a lockout:
“Arena: Donovan to Return on Mar. 15″
Los Angeles Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said the club is not interested in extending the loan of Landon Donovan to Everton of the English Premier League, despite reports that the Toffees will pursue such an arrangement.
Wow, what a result! That’s #1 and #2 in the Premiership table that Everton FC have beaten at Goodison Park recently.
BBC: “Everton 3-1 Man Utd”
David Moyes’ resurgent side came from behind, as they did against Chelsea, to deservedly seal only their second league win in their last 30 meetings with United.
Dimitar Berbatov’s 16th-minute goal looked to have paved the way for United to turn up the pressure on pacesetters Chelsea at the top of the table – but Everton had other ideas as they took another major scalp to emphasise their recent improvement.
Landon acquitted himself well. EvertonFC.com: Match Report
Soon [Phil] Neville denied [Wayne] Rooney when the ex-Everton man had rounded Tim Howard but the Blues were playing the better football and excellent build up play saw Landon Donovan presented with an opportunity eight minutes before the break. The American scuffed the ball though and the chance was gone.[...]
Sir Alex Ferguson made a couple of changes midway through the half and but it was Rooney and Fletcher who had the next couple of efforts on goal.
Soon Moyes made a change of his own with Gosling replacing goalscorer Bilyaletdinov, the switch meaning Donovan could play behind Saha.
What a change it was! The American sent Pienaar to the byline and his cross was excellently converted by the man fresh from the bench with 14 minutes remaining.