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Archive for the ‘Everton’ Category

Clint Dempsey has certainly made great strides to raise the status of American forwards abroad to the heights of their goaltender counterparts (i.e. Friedel, Keller, Howard) during a solid three full seasons with Fulham. He’s been a mainstay of their attack since a supporting cast role in ’06-’07 that saw him come on late in the season to drop Liverpool 1-0 to keep the Cottagers in the Premiership and was on pace to add several notches to last season’s goal tally of 7 (he led the team with 6 in ’07-’08) before suffering a knee injury in mid-January. But, it’s the inspired play of Landon Donovan that speaks the most of MLS.

Though Dempsey makes a strong case as the best U.S. player – his goal tally in World Cup qualifying matches Donovan and he notched huge goals against Egypt, Spain, and Brazil in the Confederations Cup to shine alongside his teammate – Donovan is as inextricably linked with the U.S. national team as he is with the MLS both in terms of  performance and general perception. The failures of the ’06 U.S. team in Germany were seen largely as a reflection of his own, while his masterful showing at the Confederations Cup has many hoping that he’ll now lead the team much deeper than the round of 8 reached in the ’02 World Cup. His near perennial designation as the top US player since ’02 is equaled by the many regular season and playoff accolades heaped upon him at the MLS level, which speaks to how he represents what the MSL – and the U.S. – can produce. This status was reaffirmed when his misgivings with Beckham over his fickle role with the Galaxy came to light ahead of the release of a book about the English footballer and his role with American soccer. (more…)

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Our beloved Landycakes took one step closer to shutting up his critics, scoring his first ever league goal accross the pond in Everton’s 2-0 win over slumping Sunderland. It was a cool, comfortable finish, and any doubts that he can hang in the EPL are surely fading fast.

There is one question, however, that becomes bigger and bigger with every solid performance he puts in for Everton. What on earth would be the point of returning to MLS?

Donovan’s agent must be working feverishly to get the loan deal extended until the end of the EPL season. Every USMNT fan should hope so; surely it does Landon no good drop down a level (arguably more than a level) right before South Africa. You better believe he’s thinking the same thing.

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U.S. international Landon Donovan started today in his first match for Everton and assisted on his squad’s first goal in a 2-2 draw against Arsenal.

Donovan created Leon Osman’s goal in the 12th minute with a curving cross on a corner kick  from the right side. (Watch the goal here.) The goal pushed Everton out to a 1-0 lead, before Arsenal’s Denilson equalized shortly thereafter on a deflected shot. Steven Pienaar scored Everton’s second goal on a counterattack, but Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky scored on a deflected shot in stoppage time to secure the draw.

As for Donovan, he looked active before coming out for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in the 69th minute. His speed seemed to help Everton put a lot of defensive pressure on Arsenal during the match’s first 60 minutes, and he was a disruptive presence defensively on the right side. Offensively, he won some fouls and had a nice drop pass to Phil Neville that Neville nearly chipped in for a goal.

Overall, Donovan looked like he belonged on the field in his first English Premier League match. Manager David Moyes’ decision to have Donovan replace Leighton Baines on corner kicks had immediate results. I suspect few expected Donovan to create the first goal in his first EPL match, let alone start.

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