In a new book detailing David Beckham’s time in the MLS, U.S. forward Landon Donovan took an opportunity to do what he does best — whine about things. Donovan chastisted Beckham for his lack of commitment to the Galaxy, among other things.
Make no mistake, Beckham is now a largely overrated player. But, Landon Donovan is by far the most overrated player in U.S. team history (sorry, second-most after Freddy Adu). He is not even in the same stratosphere as Beckham in terms of ability or accomplishment. (Beckham has twice been runner up to FIFA player of the year and won the Treble in 1999. Donovan has MVP’s at the MLS All-Star game and the MLS Cup and has never scored a goal in club soccer outside of the MLS.) If Landon cared as much about improving his game as he did about crying about it, he may have actually lived up to his potential.
This is my favorite quote in the article detailing Donovan’s problems with Beckham:
Beckham pushed for a loan move to AC Milan in January, and then extended it to the point that he missed half of the 2009 MLS season. That served as evidence that he does not care for the league, according to Donovan, who gave up his chance to play in Europe early in his career in order to stay at home.
“Donovan gave up his chance to play in Europe to stay home?” He didn’t give up shit. Fact of the matter is, he couldn’t hack it. He had a total of 7 senior club appearances (with Bayer Leverkusen) with zero goals. He cried about being homesick and not playing enough so they shipped him home to the Earthquakes. In 2005, he tried to come back but again he couldn’t hack it. Portsmouth of the Premier League offered to take him but he declined. Instead, he took the easy way out, stayed at his house in Manhattan Beach and spent the summers kicking it by college has-beens and never-weres. For those of you keeping score, that is twice Donovan agreed to play in Germany and quit in the middle of his tenure there because he was unhappy. Hmmm……sounds familiar.
Donovan was, and is, too soft for top flight professional football. If he truly cared about being the best possible player he could be, he would’ve been in Europe for the last ten years.
Given this and his track record for quitting in Germany, I take his criticisms about commitment with a grain of salt.