Archive for the ‘landon donovan’ Category

Rumor Links Donovan To Paris Saint-Germain

August 22, 2009

You’ve probably heard the rumor by now that the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain. What you probably haven’t heard is that virtually every report (including this one) is just a recap of a blurb from French website 10 Sport.

But even 10 Sport only mentions that he is about to be engaged with the club (which could mean talks have begun), a far cry from being close to a signing – assuming this rumor has any truth to it.

A move to the French league, even if its just a loan for one season, would probably be a good way for Donovan to stay tuned up for next year’s World Cup. After seeing how effective Charlie Davies has been at Sochaux, there may be other French teams now interested in signing one of the available US strikers. All that said, until you see another original news source or a quote from someone in Donovan’s camp, don’t hold your breath.

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Classic: Politi on Beckham

July 16, 2009

With all of the hoopla surrounding Beckham’s (reluctant) return to the LA Galaxy, here is one observer who can see through the smoke and call this one like it is.

Thanks to New Jersey reader Marc S. for passing this one along.

Donovan to wrap up Munich tenure and rejoin Galaxy in MLS

March 6, 2009

Bob Wagman has a great piece on Landon Donovan’s return to MLS over at Soccer Times. Chcek it out here.

Coppa Italia Shock: Sampdoria Beats Inter 3-0

March 4, 2009

The shocker in Coppa Italia tonight is the 3-0 butt-whuppin’ Sampdoria just handed the mighty Inter Milan 3-0, with all goals coming in the first half. Samp is on a tear, having just put the wood to AC Milan, and now beating up on the other Milan team. Regardless of who the coach has been the past few years, Inter knows how to win the Scudetto but they always seem to choke in the Coppa.

The question now for Jose Mourinho’s Nerazzurri is whether they can leverage this loss into the motivation they need for their Champion’s League second leg match against Manchester United in Old Trafford.

Other upsets in European cup play tonight was Bayer Leverkusen’s 4-2 win over Bayern Munich, which knocked the Bavarian powerhouse out of the DFB Pokal (German Cup). This loss is sure to put extra pressure on embattled Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann, whose team is making a strong showing in the Champion’s League but not in the Bundesliga.

The fifth place Bayern, is only four points shy of league leaders Hertha Berlin and it seems winning some silverware may be necessary for Klinsmann to keep his job.

Donovan Sees Sub Minutes In Bayern Win Over Dortmund

February 8, 2009

Landon Donovan saw 18 minutes of playing time tonight in Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, coming on for Luca Toni in the 72nd minute with the score tied at 1-1. Donovan’s smart runs up front opened space for Bayern’s Miroslav Klose to score goals in the 88th and 90th minutes.

Midfielder Sal Zizzo dressed but did not play for Hannover in their 3-1 loss to Energie Cottbus while Steve Cherundolo, out with an injury, did not suit up.

In the Second Bundesliga, Grover Gibson is still out injured so he missed Rot-Weiss Ahlen’s 2-1 win over his old club FC Augsburg.

Arena: You Want Beckham? I Want Ronaldinho

February 6, 2009

The Italian media is still full of speculation on whether AC Milan will be able to acquire the LA Galaxy’s David Beckham. The difference now is that the smoke is starting to clear as reality sets in on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to La Gazetta Dello Sport, Posh and Becks are already sizing up a new home in Milan, the Villa Mozart, while Galaxy coach Bruce Arena seems resigned to accepting any outcome, being quoted on the team’s website stating: “whatever happens, happens.”

But Arena is also quoted in La Gazetta quipping that: “Milan wants Beckham? I want Ronaldinho and Messi.” It can’t be easy for Arena, who has taken the reigns of the league’s most disappointing club, only to watch its two best players run off to Europe for a better deal. Donovan, I can understand since he has given the league and club several good years plus he has so some unfinished business in Europe.

Beckham, on the other hand, has not even been with the Galaxy eight months, let alone played for anything close to eight months. The league and the club pushed all the chips on the table for him last year so his flaking to Milan can’t make it easy for league execs and Galaxy fans (who probably thought they’d finally be sticking it to Chivas this year).

As you probably know by now, I’d be happy for MLS to unload his huge salary since every indication is that he lacks commitment to his team and the league. Maybe they can use some of that money to buy Heath Pearce this summer and bring in other exciting, talented players who actually want to be there.

Mixed Bag For American Players In Europe

January 31, 2009

It hasn’t exactly been a banner weekend for American soccer players in Europe with too many sitting the bench or being on the losing side.

Friday night, Landon Donovan made a late substitute appearance in Bayern Munich’s 1-0loss to Hamburg. The result has proven that Bayern has not become an invincible juggernaut over the break, as Kicker magazine had touted it.

Over in England, Clint Dempsey shined in Fulham’s 3-1 win over Portsmouth, playing a key role in two of the Cottagers’ goals.

Michael Bradley went the distance for Borussia Moenchengladbach in a 2-0 loss to Stuttgart, a team which rebounded well from its 5-1 German Cup drubbing against Bayern.

Neither Steve Cherundolo nor Sal Zizzo played for Hannover in today’s 1-0 win over Schalke.

Freddy Adu matched from the bench tonight (again) as AS Monaco topped Grenoble 1-0.

But there is some good news but its no surprise: as usual, Carlos Bocanegra started at left back for Stade Rennais against Toulouse – game which is still underway.

Bayern Stomps Stuttgart In German Cup Quarterfinal

January 27, 2009

Bayern Munich put the league on notice that they are taking no prisoners when Bundesliga play resumes this weekend after tonight’s 5-1 thrashing of VFB Stuttgart in a German Cup quarterfinal match. Bastian Schweinsteiger opened up scoring for Bayern with a 14th minute goal followed two minutes later by Franck Ribéry in the 16rth for a 2-0 lead. Just before halftime Luca Toni scored to send the team to the locker room with a 3-0 lead.

In the second half, Schweinsteiger scored a 55th minute another goal on a penalty for a 4-0 lead, and five minutes later a shell shocked Stuttgart side saw Zé Roberto make it 5-0. American Landon Donovan came on in the 69th minute for Luca Toni and almost made it 6-0 a few minutes later with a shot that went just wide.

Finally, in the 85th minute Stuttgart’s Mario Gomez (a previous Bayern transfer target) saved some honor for the Swabian side with a goal to cut the deficit to 4 at 5-1 – a score which stood until the final whistle.

Donovan Does It Again!

January 22, 2009

Landon Donovan made a substitute appearance in Bayern Munich’s friendly against FSV Mainz tonight, scoring just ten minutes after stepping onto the field. Then in the 90th minute, he scored again! That makes three winter friendlies in which Donovan has scored a total of four goals for the Bavarian giants – a strong statement that he plans for this stint in Germany to be much different than previous ones.

Just five days before their German Cup match against VFB Stuttgart, Bayern appears to be firing on all cylinders, putting five past Mainz in a 5-0 romp.

And as promised earlier, here is a better rundown on the match from our man in Germany, the one and only Keith Richardson, an old friend from my Germany days. Keith, a fellow Nuernberg fan, used to be part of the cabal of expats covering Americans Abroad for Soccer Times (along with Harris King, Mark Flannery, and others). More recently, Keith is the English language translator for Borussia Dortmund’s official website while readers who hang out on BigSoccer probably know him better as Footyfan1

Take it away Keith…

By the time Landon Donovan entered the match in the 60th minute, Bayern was already ahead 2-0 through goals from Germany international striker Miroslav Klose in the 4th minute and Italy international striker Luca Toni in the 55th minute.

Let me note now that I am not a big Landon Donovan fan. I’m one of the few USA fans who still have a hard time with the way Landon’s first two tries here in Germany ended. However, some of the guys over at BigSoccer have convinced me that I should finally totally forgive him. Which I am working on, but I can’t say I’m a fan.

Now, given my feelings, it should not be a shock to anyone that the first thing I noticed when Landon entered the match is how much shorter he was than every other player on the pitch. But I also knew what Landon lacks in physical stature, he more than makes up for in talent and hustle. I may not be a fan of his, but I certainly have an open mind and I am fair whether dishing out praise or criticism.

Having said all of this, you will understand why I was laughing my head off on the 70th minute of the match when Landon scored on a HEADER of all things after a cross from Italian Massimo Oddo out on the left wing. Oddo’s cross went over Bayern’s Germany international midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the middle of the Mainz penalty area. And before you ask, no, not all of Bayern’s players are internationals, but the majority of them are! Anyhow, as the ball flew over Schweinsteiger, Landon was behind him unmarked and Landon then put a perfect header into the left corner of the Mainz goal to give Bayern a 3-0 lead.

Two minutes later, the aforementioned Schweinsteiger raised Bayern’s lead to 4-0 after simply tapping the ball in from about eight yards out after a nice cross from Bayern’s Germany international midfielder Tim Borowski.

In the 82nd minute of the match, Donovan, who has had quite impressive performances in his test matches for Bayern, put the ball in the back of the Mainz net once again. However, before he could even begin to celebrate, he noticed the lineman’s flag up. The call was a tight one, but television replays confirmed the call was correct.

However, on this night, Donovan was not going to be denied his second goal. Just before the end of the 90 minutes, a pass was pulled back to Donovan who had just entered the Mainz penalty area. Landon put a blast straight at Mainz goalkeeper Christian Wetklo. However, the shot was so hard, that Wetklo, despite getting his hand up in time, allowed the ball to deflect off his hands and just behind him before he could slap it back into play. The Mainz defense played on as if the ball never crossed the line, but the same linesman who denied Donovan goal glory in the 82nd minute made it clear that the ball did indeed cross the goal line after deflecting off Wetklo’s hands.

Shortly afterward, referee Dr. Jochen Drees sounded the final whistle sealing Bayern’s 5-0 victory at Mainz.

I don’t have any problem in saying that my Man of Match was indeed Landon Donovan. Donovan kept up his string of good performances for Bayern, now having scored at least once in Bayern’s last three test matches. Landon has showed hustle and desire for Bayern. He hasn’t faced 1st Bundesliga level competition yet, but Bayern’s last two matches, against 1. FC Kaiserslautern this past weekend and Mainz tonight were against top 2nd Bundesliga sides who are both in contention for promotion to the 1st Bundesliga for next season.

With Lukas Podolski’s downturn, if Landon Donovan can continue the impressive performances he has been turning in when Bayern starts German Cup, Bundesliga and Champions League competition, Bayern may have a pretty tough decision to make when Landon’s loan expires in March.

Donovan’s First Goal:

And the Second:

Donovan, Bayern Win In Bamberg Snowball Match

January 17, 2009

After all those years in sunny southern California, Landon Donovan may have forgotten just how cold and snowy it can be when German football enters orange ball season. If practicing all week in the cold and blowing snow wasn’t enough top remind him, playing the second half of a friendly today at Regionalliga side Eintracht Bamberg should have done the trick.

Playing in front of 15,000 hearty Franconian fans in a snow-filled Waldstadion von Weismain, Bayern showed up missing six key players due to illness injuries including Mark van Bommel, Franck Ribéry, Lukas Podolski, José Sosa, Lucio, und Toni Kroos.

The match started 30 minutes late after the Bayern team bus got caught in a traffic jam caused by the heavy snowfall but that did not stop Luca Toni from tossing a few snowballs at teammates during warmup.

The poor field conditions made it difficult for either team to put together any fluid passing. Nonetheless, Bayern did get some good chances early while Bamberg barely threatened FCB’s goal. After 27 minutes Tim Borowski finished a good combination with Miroslav Klose to open up a 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later Bayern’s Phillip Lahm slalomed the defense well and finished well to stretch the margin to 2-0.

Donovan came on as one of five subs in the second half paired up front with Luca Toni. Donovan helped to set up a 50th minute chance which Toni could not convert and the two combined well on the sloppy field throughout the half. Bayern’s third goal came when a clearance from Bamberg keeper Stephan Kurz’ clearance found the feet of Klose, who hammered it home for a 3-0 lead. Bamberg managed one more scoring chance in the 71st minute which was well saved by Joerg Butt to preserve the win.

After the match, Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann remarked to the German media that “Above all, it was a big adjustment for Landon Donovan and Luca Toni to play on the snow.”

Game Stats:

1. FC Eintracht Bamberg 0 FC Bayern 3 (0:2)

1. FC Eintracht Bamberg: Essig (83rd Horcher) – Pickel, Bechmann, Grasser, Stumpf – Dennerlein, Kaiser, Dotterweich, Zang, Deptalla – Heyer

FC Bayern Munich: Rensing (46th Butt) – Oddo, Van Buyten (46th Donovan), Demichelis (46th Breno), Lahm (46th Lell) – Altintop , Ottl, Zé Roberto (46th Schweinsteiger), Borowski – Toni, Klose

Official: Georg Schalk (Augsburg)
Attendance: 15,000
Scoring: Borowski (27th), Lahm (35th), Klose (54th)