You'll Have Landon Donovan To Kick Around Four More Years

Who wants to play in Europe when you can play in Carson?

The world’s best soccer players may dream of the big stages of Europe, but not Landon Donovan — he apparently is just fine at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

Donovan has agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Nobody is talking about the exact terms of the deal, but Donovan made $900,000 last year and this should be a healthy raise.

So to earn it Donovan is heading to… England. Starting in January he will be on a four-month loan to English Premiere Team Everton (which is the lesser of the two teams in Liverpool). After that he’s not hanging out with the Galaxy either, he’ll join up with the United States national team for the World Cup in South Africa.

After that is done he will get back to playing for the Galaxy. Donovan was Major League Soccer’s MVP last season and he — along with some guy named David Beckham — led the Galaxy to the MLS Finals. From the Galaxy’s point of view, signing Donovan shows they are committed to getting back there.

The bigger salary also means that the Galaxy are likely to keep him. Soccer contracts are not like the contracts signed in the NFL or NBA, where they are set in stone and the contract is traded with the player. In international soccer, if you covet a player on another team has you can just buy the other team off and sign the player yourself. They call it transfer fees. With the new deal Donovan’s transfer fees just went up, and at age 27 (which is usually about the time soccer stars start to decline) not a lot of people will pay more for him now.

The move also suits Donovan — he has always been most comfortable as the big fish in the small pond. He is an international level talent, but three stints in Germany have all ended rather ingloriously. He has rarely flourished on the big stages of Europe, and shown only flashes in his World Cup appearances.

Maybe the trip to Liverpool in January and South Africa this summer will be different. Maybe not. But either way, when it is over he can come back to the comfort of the Home Depot Center, where he has always thrived as a player. Where he will always be the MVP.

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