Landon Donovan is retiring and thank God because he sucks

by @SaintBrendan on August 11, 2014

USA TodayGreatest American soccer player ever is stepping away from the game.

Landon Donovan, who played in three World Cups for the United States and was a six-time member of MLS’ Best XI squad, will retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season at the age of 32. ESPN’s Doug McIntyre broke the story.

It is a bittersweet end for Donovan, who was left off the 2014 World Cup roster by Jurgen Klinsmann, but his failure to make that team should not diminish his incredible international and club career.

Donovan is America’s all-time leading goalscorer in World Cups and MLS’ all-time leading goalscorer, a feat he accomplished despite playing much of his career as a wide player and not a pure striker. He won the MLS Cup five times with two different teams, won the Supporters’ Shield (best regular season record) twice, and was twice named MLS All-Star Game MVP, including winning the award after scoring the game-winning goal against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

He was also a thoughtful and often outspoken player off the field, most notably when he took a self-enforced sabbatical from the game in 2012, citing burnout and concerns about his mental health. Donovan challenged the machismo, warrior ideal so often expected of athletes. He was criticized by some for it, but he did a lot to change ideas about what makes an elite athlete.

Chalk this one up as one of my happiest moments as being a sports fan because Landon Donovan is without question (in my not so humble opinion) the worst facs of America when it comes to a sport.  When you think basketball you can go with Bird, MJ, Magic, Kobe, Shaq, LeBron and go on forever with it. Baseball you get Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, Hockey you can say Patrick Kane or TJ Oshie, hell even golf you got Tiger Woods. You got guys that are American through and through, play the game with the right amount of swagger, a take no shit attitude and you want to root for them (or you hate their guts because they’re not on your team but you’d take them in a heartbeat). We’re Americans who want to root for Americans. They play like Americans on the big stage. We’re Americans, the capital A:

But along came Landon Donovan waltzing into our lives sometime around 2000, a skinny guy who just was the summation of everything that America does not like about soccer.  He had a nasally voice, he was short, he had this air about him that he held his nose in the air about playing the beautiful game even though it was MLS. He was the soccer kid in high school or middle school that didn’t play other sports and had zero time or patience for anything else. He was, as you would say, a weenie and the parallels to this weenie attitude are prevalent throughout his career.

After coming out of a soccer academy at age 17 (yes we have those in our country), he was drafted by Bayern Leverkusen, a top 5 German team where in almost 6 years he played only 28 times for their JV squad. Granted, he would spend most of his time on loan in San Jose playing for the Earthquakes, he never cracked the Varsity squad for the German team. Not exactly killing it. Maybe he soured some of his German teammates or coaches? Who knows. We move on from there to when he moved to the LA Galaxy, but not before a stop over in Munich to play for the best team in Germany. But in three months, he only gets into 6 games, many of which as a sub. Why? Can he not play well overseas? Not sure, but Jurgen Klinnsmann, a world cup winner and one the German greats, clearly saw something he didn’t like and parked his ass on the bench. Fair enough, maybe bad timing.

Then Landon comes back to LA to whine about the biggest player in the world (popularity wise) in Beckham, coming to his team and taking the spotlight and the captaincy away from him. Maybe he just doesn’t know how many people just don’t care about Landon Donovan? I’m not sure what it is but he’s everything that’s not an American superstar, a whiner, a soft talker, just a guy that you look at and go “I could and want to kick his ass.” Unless you’re talking about the face of American poker, you shouldn’t be able to say that about “The Face of American (blank).”

So bon voyage, Landon Donovan, you’re known as the greatest US soccer player ever because you scored a late goal to tie a country in North Africa that the Nazis conquered in a week. We need a guy that shows everyone that America is and will forever always be the best. Hell the girls are already doing it. So hopefully there’s a kid in the Bronx or in Kansas just kicking a ball against a wall that will help us forget about you in 12 years. But as long as it’s not this kid:

Dear God was that kid annoying.

End rant.


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