Friedel takes shot at Donovan while praising Dempsey with latest remarks


Photo by John Todd/

It's not uncommon for American soccer fans and pundits to debate on who is the better U.S. men's national team player between Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, but one former U.S. international has created quite the stir by weighing in on the matter.

Brad Friedel recently touched on Dempsey's accomplishment of becoming the American with the most goals scored in the Premier League, and the Tottenham goalkeeper took a jab at Donovan in the process.

"You get a player like a Landon Donovan, who in my opinion chose to take the easy road and stay in the States," Friedel told the BBC's World Service on Wednesday. "It's much harder to ply your trade over here. (The English Premier League) is the best league in the world to play in, and this is where (Dempsey) got better, in my opinion. This is where he became one of the best the United States ever produced."

The 40-year-old Friedel, who retired from the U.S. team when he was 33, didn't stop there. Friedel continued by saying the notoriety Donovan has gained in America has come as a result of his off-the-field deals.

"The profiling in the States sometimes is a lot more to do with sponsorships than what you actually do on the field," Friedel said. "And listen, I’m not trying to take anything away from Landon, because Landon has been absolutely magnificent for the U.S. as well. I’m just saying he gets a lot more notoriety because it’s sponsorship-driven over there."

What do you make of Friedel's comments? Does he have a point? Was he wrong to say that?

Share your thoughts below.

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256 Responses to Friedel takes shot at Donovan while praising Dempsey with latest remarks

  1. jonk says:

    Meh. He’s a goalkeeper not a wordsmith and he was trying to make it clear how difficult of a path Clint took.

  2. Max Bell says:

    As ever, Brad Friedel is absolutely spot on.

    Donovan proved himself to be excellent whilst briefly on loan at Everton – had he been playing in a really top notch European league for the last few years, (not even necessarily the English Premier League), then imagine how good he could have been.

    It’s just a shame more than anything else really.

  3. agnigrin says:

    I hate Brad’s Brit accent but on this I have to agree with him. Landy definitely took the easy road and Clint did not!

  4. The Gentleman Masher says:

    I don’t know many that would disagree with that. I will always wonder how much better Donovan could have been had he stayed in Europe and really fought for his spot.

    That said – he’s still probably more talented than Dempsey. That’s the sad part – he may have been able to improve another level or two overseas, like Dempsey has.

  5. Kevin says:


  6. Pepe says:

    What sponsorships is he talking about? Nike? Am I missing something?

  7. Mouf says:

    Clearly the best league in the world, look how well the top teams did in Champions League yesterday.
    I argee with him to an extent, though it’s hard to tell what he is trying to say between the easy comments and endorsement babble

  8. Eddie says:

    This is an common and played-out criticism of Landon. While Friedel has a point purely from a soccer perspective, the sense I’ve gotten from interviews is that Landon’s primary impetus for staying stateside was more of a life decision than a soccer one e.g. wanting to be near family. He does not owe us fans anything in terms of his career and development as a play. Would I have like to see him play most of his career in Europe? Sure. But I understand that there are things in life more important that soccer.

  9. Mouf says:

    Donovan isn’t really über “talented”, he’s great in space and stoked the ball well, Dempsey is more “talented” IMO

  10. NATO says:


    how come USSF don’t sponsor Dempsey? He’s the ideal image of the American soccer player. He came from humble origins to take on the best in the world and he has proven that.

    SI need to have him on the cover for the next WC

  11. Ozker B says:

    It will always be debated how good Donovan could of been if he would of stayed in Europe, but the reality is that he chose personal life (ex-wife hollywood career) focus rather than soccer focus and we will always be debating the topic

  12. Mouf says:

    Ha, strikes, not stoked

  13. Brian says:

    Wonder what Donovan will say in response….

  14. wilyboy says:

    Donovan has endured a lot in his time as THE US player. A gifted striker who liked to run at people, find gaps, and score at an alarming rate. In any other country decent footballing nation, he would have been allowed to play second striker and let others handle a lot of the heavy lifting. In the last two cycles, he’s been saddled with the offense to such an extent that if we don’t score, the question is, where was Landon? Answer, the midfield.

    Dempsey might be the hottest American, but that’s partly because the US has come a long way since Donovan first shouldered the program. If he’s not #1 any longer, he’s probably relieved.

  15. NATO says:

    Reyna or McBride were arguably the biggest American players in Europe until Dempsey came along. Donovan had a short loan where he did well. Who knows what would have happened had he stayed? I wish he was still starting for Everton and leading them to success.

    Friedel’s words are right, but they’re also mean.

  16. elgringorico says:

    I don’t think this is “taking shots.” It’s just the truth.

  17. madvibes says:

    probably because he doesn’t play in the MLS.

  18. Landon's Hair says:

    Its obvious that Brad is jealous of Landon’s hair……

  19. NATO says:

    Nike, Gatorade, the Mexican lottery all sponsor Donovan. he makes like 2 or 3 million from the Galaxy and a million from sponsors. I believe Dempsey makes 2 million a year with very little sponsors.

  20. quen47 says:

    Isn’t quitting the national team at the age of 32 so you don’t have to travel back and forth all the time taking the easy way out? Next time Donovan is being spat on and having bags of piss thrown at him in some hostile Central American WC qualifier Friedel might want to re-think his words.

  21. Brian says:

    Friedel comes off as a prick. Honestly, when the Americans Abroad Weekend Rewinds come out I usually don’t even look at his name. Not saying I hate the guy, but I’ve always thought less of him since he quit on us after 2002.

  22. Brian says:


  23. marden08 says:

    What Friedel says is probably true. They are both great players. I am more partial to Clint Dempsey. If Fridel was asked the direct question of who is better it is one thing. If he is making an unsolicted statement, he is either a little bit of a Premiere snob or doesn’t care for Landon. I don’t think it was a very classy thing to say

  24. Brian says:

    Completely agree with you.

  25. Perhaps he missed Donovan’s performance at the World Cup where Donovan was the shining light of the US team whereas Friedel refused to even compete for the spot if he was not guaranteed the first choice selection over KK. Perhaps the pot should examine the kettle.

  26. NATO says:

    so kinda like a Beckham vs Gerrard/Lampard thing

  27. dalton says:

    Friedel is spot on with these comments. I am comfortable saying clint is the greatest USA soccer player EVER. I have proof by watching compete against the best players in the world week in and week out via the barclays premier league. I unfortunately cannot say this for Landon. Donovan did in fact take the easy road and easy life. To live in a city like LA and play MLS caliber soccer, which is not even close to the quality of the EPL.

  28. Alan says:

    Dempsey is a fine player, but he’s never had to be “The Man” either at Fulham or with the USMNT. LD has been the focus both for club and country his entire career. To perform as well as he has at both levels with that pressure on him is more impressive than being a solid player at a mid-table EPL team IMO.

  29. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I guess that’s why Demspey has scored more goals in a Nats uniform and at the World Cup then Donovan. Oh, wait…

    Maybe that’s why Dempsey has more assists…no wait…

    Maybe that’s why Dempsey has won more player of the year… oh.

  30. Matt says:

    This x 1000000000. Players don’t owe us anything and we shouldn’t hold it against him if he would rather live near his home and family than potentially become a better player. And to be honest, having Donovan as the face of the MLS for the past decade may do more for the Nats in the long run than having a marginally better Donovan for two World Cups. Maybe it was the “easier” choice, but serving as ambassador of the game is not without its merits. And Friedel, at least Donovan didn’t go native and then bail on his country to focus on his club career. That’s called taking the easy way out.

  31. Peter says:

    Thats one year. The EPL is the only league to routinely have its top 4 in the round of 16. If the patters continues this way then you can make the argument its not. Spain has 2 teams and due to their structure will always only have 2 teams.

  32. B 16 says:

    There will always be lots of woulda, coulda, shoulda talk since Donovan never committed to staying in Europe for an extended period even though the talent was/is there to.

  33. NATO says:

    clearly there needs to be a NT reality tv show in 10 years to discuss things like this and the whole Harkes banging Wynalda’s wife. Never understood why he stayed with her

  34. Peter says:

    It is the truth!!! Dempsey is constantly under pressue to produce or lose his place. Donovan on the other hand is never threatened or pushed for his spot in the MLS. The league doesn’t have enough quality players to provide this competition for places.

  35. Kenny Ray says:

    Friedel was spot on with his comments. Donovan doesn’t have the heart, grit, determination and desire to achieve like Dempsey. Landon is soft where Dempsey is hard. Landon made a lifestyle choice to the detriment of his game by selecting the warm beaches of southern California to the bleak winter of northern England. Can’t blame him for that. His choice and no one can criticise him for that.

  36. NATO says:

    seems he did the right thing. He’s now seen as the greatest American keeper ever and on his way to being 1 of the greatest keepers in PL history.

  37. Ty says:

    Look how great USA has looked recently with Dempsey playing the #10…

  38. DirtyLeeds says:

    So other players don’t want to be near family? Of course they all do. What Donovan did is called taking the easy road.

  39. hhfg says:

    I seem to recall KK being pissed he wasn’t given his chance at the 2002 WC due to Friedel’s OUTSTANDING play. That’s quite childish wouldn’t you say.

  40. Mike says:

    It’s truly amazing that for someone who took the “easy road,” that same person has been the USMNT’s most consistent performer over the past decade. Saying that Landon would have been even better had he stayed in Europe is flat out crap. Being in Europe isn’t the end all be all for every single player, and painting every player with that large brush does a disservice to each situation. For all anyone here knows, Landon may well have turned out to be a worse player had he stayed in Europe. Maybe he never cracks any first team and washes out? You just can’t make these broad assumptions, because what works for one person is another’s misfortune.

    I used to respect Friedel, even looking past his adoption of a British accent, which to me is pretty lame, but what is his motivation in making these comments? What does he get out of bashing Landon? And isn’t it a little hypocritical coming from a guy who quit the NT because he didn’t want to have to compete with Keller (at the time) for the starting job?

  41. Alan says:

    “Bleak winter of northern England.”

    You may want to look at a map.

    Then an almanac.

    You think it’s really hard to live well on $2 million a year in London? Boy, Clint must be a real hard man for that.

  42. chris says:

    Wait dempsey and donovan are both sponsored by nike. Dempsey’s better but Friedel is just mad he didnt get any funding for his soccer academy. He has no right to comment on easy way out when he couldnt handle a little more travel

  43. hhfg says:

    Donovan has 2 goals in England….

    Donovan has 37 plus goals in cups and in European play.

  44. fischy says:

    It’s certainly true that there are good teams at the top of other European leagues. However, I wouldn’t make too much of one defeat for Man Utd., not least because it’s not the same team without Chicharito. As for the other EPL team that failed to advance — they crushed Bayern, but it wasn’t enough.

    Are the two best teams at the top of La Liga? Sure. Also, Bayern is excellent and the Italian teams have wonderful attacking talent and and great goaltending.

    Is the EPL the best league, though? Probably. Serie A seems unusually deep this year, but I’d say the EPL is deeper still. The other Euro leagues are very top heavy. Remember — there are two EPL teams in the Rd. of 16 and Man City’s exit from the Group of Death is hardly an embarrassment. However, it’s not really relevant whether the EPL is clearly better than some other Euro league. The real point is that it’s WAY better than MLS — that achieving there is a bigger deal…which is the point Friedel was making.

  45. doug says:

    Donovan isn’t gifted, nor does he like to run at people. He likes to try to run away from defenders. He’s not a particularly skilled dribbler. While he occasionally hits a decent free kick, most of them are wasted chances. Bradley or Dempsey are much better with free kicks than Donovan. Basically, Friedel is right. Donovan is more of a product of marketing and the lack of a better U.S.-produced player in the States, than he is anything he’s accomplished on the pitch. Sorry, but MLS titles just don’t light up the scoreboard.

  46. doug says:

    Dude. Donovan had one good moment in that game. The rest of the game he was mostly an illusion.

  47. hhfg says:

    This will be the longest debate ever.

    Donovan vs Dempsey.

    One who is a Legend due to MLS and the Nats. The other due to his club play in England.

    we have become a huge soccer nation when we have this. England have the Gerrard vs Lampard,we have D vs D

  48. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I think he is generally correct. But at the same time, that commercial aspect of Donovan’s image is a large reason for the growing popularity of the sport here in the States.

  49. Mike says:

    So his real, actual achievements don’t count because he chose the US over Europe?

  50. doug says:

    POY is voted on by media mostly.
    Check the ratio of goals to games if you want to compare Dempsey to Donovan.

  51. Idaho Brian says:

    What good did Friedel think would come of his comments? There might be some truth to what he is saying, but he should have kept it to himself IMO.

  52. fischy says:

    I’ll give you some credit for pointing out Friedel did kinda abandon the USA, when he might have been the difference in ’06. Perhaps he wanted to be respectful of what Keller had done, but it makes it harder for him to be credibly complaining about Donovan not putting enough into his career.

  53. HoBo says:


    Dempsey is a great player but he comes no where near what Landon has accomplished for our Nat team, no one can argue this fact and if you think you can your just a Donovan hater, simple!

    Although Landon has been playing for our Nat team longer, Deuce will be around for a while and do great things for us too!

    Both are great players for us, just leave it at that!

  54. joe says:

    what are you talking about he hasn’t had to be the man at fulham? he IS the man at fulham? who else would be, zamora? lol. he’s been the leading scorer and will be again this year. dempsey is the man at fulham, has been, and will continue to be. unless he finally gets a transfer to a good team.

  55. Mike says:

    Yet in the end, who quit the NT? Keller or Friedel? Seems to me Keller stuck with it even though he was pissed at WC2002.

  56. fischy says:

    Donovan may not have a full head of hair, but he’s better-looking. Also, there’s the fact that Donovan was better in MLS than Dempsey and has been a better player for the national team. Dempsey may have finally surpassed Donovan, but that’s more because Donovan’s game has slipped.

  57. fischy says:

    Could have been.

    Or “could’ve been.”

    “Could of” is meaningless.

  58. Silver says:

    I don’t see why Donovan is bashed. He performs well for the United States and for the Galaxy. Landon is a leader on and off the field. Donovan is everything he needs to be. Who cares if he isn’t a superstar in one of the bigger leagues.

  59. fischy says:

    Did the right thing? Do you really think his career would have taken a different trajectory if he’d made himself available for some qualifiers and played for the USA in ’06? I mean, he wouldn’t have made that stupid punt that Keller made which led to the early hole against the Czechs. It’s entirely possible that Friedel might have been good enough to push the USA out of the group stage. How exactly would that have hurt his club career?

  60. jbrader says:

    More sponsorship driven than the EPL?! Friedel and the EPL were wearing sponsor’s names on their jerseys long before Donovan & MLS were.

  61. TR says:

    Someone help me out here. My understanding is that Donovan had difficulty going to the EPL because MLS wanted a higher transfer fee than he was worth and he was kind of stuck in his contract. In that case, is it really his fault that he did not play in England permanently?

  62. hogatroge says:

    Classless comments if they weren’t specifically solicited. Donovan’s performed for the Nats (when it counts) and actually wanted to stay at Everton long-term. MLS wouldn’t let him stay.

  63. joe says:

    you’re joking right? socal or northern england weather? you alan, obviously, are the one who needs a map and an almanac.

  64. hhfg says:

    but that’s the thing. Most of us want our best player ever to be trying his hand in Europe and also succeeding. We dream of him starting for Everton and scoring 8goals a season and playing in the Europa League and winning MotM awards

  65. CG says:

    Seriously? Not gifted? Not skilled? You can make an argument about Donovan and at the end of the day it’s all based on any one person’s opinion about the difficulty of a particular path, but not gifted or skilled? C’mon. Be realistic. Your description above makes him out to be a rather pedestrian player who is capable of the one-off free kick. Crazy talk.

    For the last 5-7 years, the US has been a different team without Donovan on the field. That’s probably changing and Donovan may be on the downside of his career, but it doesn’t change the past.

  66. Luke says:

    You mean that Hollywood ex-wife he would have never met if he wasn’t a famous soccer player?

  67. hhfg says:

    everybody watch Community tonight 8pm/7pm Central on NBC

    Awesome show. We need good ratings to keep it ALIVe. HELP

  68. Nick O says:

    No one’s mentioned that Brad Friedel is making comments on a league that he played in 14 years ago. Frankly he knows nothing about the quality of play in MLS at this point as the league has changed drastically since he played for the Crew. I really can’t wrap my head around why he’s making these comments. This is the second time he’s taken a swipe at Landon, the first being before he went on loan to Everton. He was given the opportunity to say something positive about a player that he seemingly respects/admires in Dempsey and instead spent more time ripping Donovan. It’s also crazy to me to see people here rip Donovan for staying in MLS. If anything that decision should be applauded. He has an entire league on his back. That’s not the “easy road.” It’ll probably take 20 years for people to fully recognize the impact that Landon Donovan has had on American soccer as the sport’s first mainstream “superstar” in the US. Too bad he has to deal with these types of cheapshots from a bitter former teammate.

  69. Kenny Ray says:

    To Alan

    Everton is in Liverpool. Liverpool is in northern England. Donovan had an offer from Everton. He elected not to accept the offer. I lived in Liverpool for several years. Liverpool is a bleak,dreary overcast city in the winter. Money is the same on both sides of the pond.

  70. doug says:

    I’ve watched him and watched him and listened to the announcers fawn over him and rarely has he impressed. One moment a game, maybe. I didn’t say he lacked skilled. He’s not, however, as skilled as everyone wants him to be. He’s an average player most of the time, above average in some instances.
    If he were better, and had better potential, don’t you think a decent European team would have tried harder to get him? One other than cast-strapped Everton?

  71. fischy says:

    That is not at all how I recall it. In fact, it seems you were off in Bizarro world in ’06, First off, Donovan stunk in ’06. Friedel was a no-show because he wasn’t on the team. Donovan was a no-show even though he played 90 minutes in all 3 games. Dempsey was the only American to score a goal that year.

    As for Friedel, my recollection is that he returned from international competition to focus on his club career — to make sure that he held his #1 spot there. When asked about playing in the World Cup even though he was skipping all the friendlies/WC qualifiers/Gold Cup games before, Friedel basically made it clear he didn’t think it would be fair to Keller for him to ride in on the white horse and take the #1 spot and the starting role at the World Cup that Keller had earned. It had nothing to with being guaranteed the #1 spot — quite the contrary, he thought it would be unfair to Kasey if he came in and took the #1 spot from Keller. I remember him saying “It’s Kasey’s turn” or It’s Kasey’s team” — something to that effect.

  72. marco says:

    Friedel, “… because Landon has been absolutely magnificent for the U.S. as well …”

    Not really a shot at Landon at all, just different roads. Brad did take a shot at sponsors though.

  73. doug says:

    Hasn’t had to be the man? Fulham has had so many injuries to its forward that Dempsey has had to be the man, and has pulled it off quite frequently. His goal saved Fulham from relegation. His goal beat Juventus in the Europa League.

  74. doug says:

    Exactly what has Donovan accomplished for the National team in terms of team accomplishments? Second round in the World Cup? That’s not enough as the mantle-carrier for the alleged best player.

  75. Nick O says:

    Can’t blame him for that but you can say he doesn’t have heart, grit, determination and/or desire to achieve. Give me a break.

  76. LimeyBrad says:

    Friedel is an idiot with a terrible accent. He should shot up and just let people shoot at him for a living. Donovan has carried this league and the national team on his shoulders while yahoos like Friedel sold themselves for more money to second rate teams in England.

  77. DingDong says:

    Everton is in Liverpool, which is in Northern England.

  78. rlw2020 says:

    if i had to pick one, it would be difficult but id take Demps but id say they are about even.

    but i wouldn’t say that staying in MLS is the “easy” way out.. its a very physical league, with less talent and luxuries around and much more travel. Landon will always be remembered as pioneer for staying in MLS and giving so much to the league that wouldn’t be the same with out him.

  79. Kevin_amold says:


  80. vik says:

    Wtv, Friedel has had an incredible career but he’s in no position to judge these players.
    No US player has had the pressure put on them to carry an entire time like Donovan was given early in his career. It’s a wonder he didn’t crash and burn after his early stints abroad. The man has delivered when it counts most, that’s all that matters.
    Dempsey was not hyped in his youth and only became a key figure for the US in the last five years. That said he’s become a clutch player for the US and can carry the team at times.
    Both players have earned their keep; but if Donovan gets more publicity then he also gets more criticism. 2006 aftermath was put all on him.

  81. CG says:


  82. fischy says:

    Well, if that’s the measure, it is closer, but Donovan still wins…33% to 29%. Of course, that’s not a fair comparison, either, because Landy got to take so many PKs — even when he wasn’t the player fouled.

  83. Luke says:

    Get your facts straight. He retired from International play in February of 2005 after playing 82 games for the USMNT. Waiting in the wings were Keller and Howard.

  84. Kenny Ray says:

    Kenny Ray reply to Mike

    You’re missing my point. Donovan is an exceptional player. He could have however achieved more by improving and fine tuning his game in Europe. Staying in the USA was his choice. Like I said, it was his choice and no one can criticise him for his decision. It’s what work for him. Dempsey on the other hand wanted to improve his game and that’s why he went to Europe. Same reason all the best American players go to Europe.

  85. CG says:

    If that’s the criteria, who then is the best?

  86. DingDong says:

    Yeah, I wonder what the context of this is. What question was Friedel asked? I couldn’t find the interview on the BBC website (or elsewhere).

    I don’t really know Friedel well, but I doubt he meant to make the internet explode (this thread is clearly heading for 200+ comments. What’s in it for him? Does he have a grudge against LD? Or did he just put his foot in his mouth?

  87. fischy says:

    Pretty much. Lots of goals in MLS and an MLS title or two don’t really match up to what Clint’s accomplishing even if he’s not on the best team.

  88. Nick O says:

    How about quarter-finals Doug G. Maybe you’re not old enough or maybe you just recently hopped on the band-wagon but Donovan was HUGE against Mexico in the 02 World Cup. That was the biggest game in USMNT history and he scored there. As far as “what have you done for me lately” you don’t think he 2010 World Cup performance merits praise?!? The guys been a part of the national team for over 10 years and leads the all-time goal-scorer list but that’s not enough for you. Spare me.

  89. wilyboy says:

    The truth is, he’s not put in a position like this nearly often enough. If he gets a slight touch on somebody into space, he’s gone, and don’t tell me this isn’t running at people.

    link to

  90. Kenny Ray says:

    Kenny Ray said in reply to Mike…

    So his real, actual achievements don’t count because he chose the US over Europe?

    Yes they do count. Donovan’s a exceptional & skillful player. One of the best ever produced in the US soccer program. My point is he could have achived more had he played at Everton. But so what? He achieved the overall lifestyle he wanted by staying in the States.

  91. T says:

    Doesn’t really matter, as long as he performs his absolute best for the national team each and every time he suits up, where he plies his trade is irrelevant. Friedel, I believe, probably thought that Donovan hasn’t fulfilled his potential as he could’ve been a much better player than he is now had he challenged himself in a more elite environment, rather than just promoting his game to MLS viewers.

  92. CG says:

    Like who? Leverkusen? Munich?

    Donovan wasn’t happy in Germany and MLS wouldn’t sell him on the cheap to Everton? If he were cheap, tons of teams would absolutely take him. Unfortunately for LD, at the age when he could have made the big European transfer, he wasn’t on his game like he has been the last 5-7 years (in MLS, by the way). He’s too old now for big Euro dollars.

    Look, I’m not a Donovan fanboy, but if you’re going to make an argument, then make an argument. Speculation, hypotheticals, couldabeens… useless. The only evidence we have is what happens on the field, and as far as the national team goes (i.e., when he’s on the same field as all the other players he’s compared against), he gets a lot of press and for good reason. Those aren’t MLS plants in the press box, on the opposing bench or in the opposing jersey.

    I play a lot, but I also know that there are tons of people who know more about the game than I do, and they all respect Donovan and view him as one of the best – in some cases the best – American player to have played. If he only has two moments of brilliance a game and those two result in goals (as they often do when it comes to his moments), then I’ll take it.

    There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Donovan has been an average player other than some people’s desire to assume that he could have been even better – which may OR MAY NOT be true.

  93. GW says:

    “He likes to try to run away from defenders. ”

    Isn’t that the idea?

  94. J Dog says:

    Mighty big words for someone who “retired” at 33. Friedel and Donovan were our two best players at WC 2002. What has Friedel given to the USA since then, nothing.

  95. GW says:

    Quitting after the 2002 World Cup was all about maximising his club career. In other words, money. So who is he to criticise Donovan for allegedly going after the money?

    F==k him.

    If you go by his club form he might have been better than Howard in 2010.

    Howard had a crap World Cup. Maybe the US goes farther if Freidel is still in the picture either by playing better than Howard did or by pushing Howard to play better.

    Keepers who live in glass houses and go bankrupt two years ago, should not throw stones.

  96. T says:

    At the same time MLS may be at fault as well, years ago MLS would fervently reject transfer fees to certain players even if it was for the players best interest, however they were deemed to valuable of an asset to the league. Many players not just Landon have had to deal with these matters (Shalrie Joseph, Twellmann, Convey) the league was less inclined to let go of their “stars”, but now the league is a little better financially so alot of sells are more frequent (particularly young players) these days. That said, Landon will more than likely continue playing for the Galaxy at this stage in his career, until he retires. I personally hope that Landon stays so that the Galaxy will have a chance at claiming the Concacaf Champions League Title this spring, that is very important to me and Donovan even said so himself that the regional championship was a huge goal for the Galaxy.

  97. T says:

    Perhaps Friedel felt his legacy was already cemented for the U.S. National team after his heroics in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and was more motivated by the opportunity to become an all-time great in the English Premier League.

  98. fischy says:

    He will say “Yes” to Everton.

  99. DingDong says:

    He signed an extension to his contract with MLS sometime before the 2010 World Cup; if he had really wanted to go Europe, he could have not signed the extension.

  100. DingDong says:

    Does this change if the Galaxy win the CCL and then put in a good showing at the Club World Cup?

  101. RLW202 says:

    to the fridel bashers:

    this is basically what every english football fan has to say about the US top players. very typical view from the brits, which i guess includes Fridel now..

  102. Advocate says:

    Donovan is the all-time leader in scoring and assists for the national team, with more good years and a world cup or two yet to go. In the MLS, he is now third all-time in scoring and sixth all-time in assists. If he stays at MLS, barring injury, he will almost certainly be the all-time scoring leader by the time he retires. And it will not be surprising if he retires as the all-time leader in assists as well. It’s really amazing what “marketing” can do for someone who “isn’t gifted.”

  103. T says:

    Not likely, I’m not Landon, but I’m thinking he continues to play for L.A. he feels that he doesn’t have much more to give to the European game so packing his bags and leaving again is a no-go. Even with the CCL and a good showing in the CWC, I’d give it a 87% chance of him staying in HollyWood much like I give Beckham a 75% chance of staying with the G’s next year, just a side note.

  104. ronniet says:

    how about donovan was arguably our best player at the last world cup with three goals to clint’s one! I’m not siding with one player over the other but since i’ve been watching US soccer, Landon has been better in my opinion!

  105. T says:

    Yes, he is contracted through the 2014 World cup, he is going to stay in LA more than likely.

  106. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I agree with you on most points, but you can’t deny that if Donovan is slumping that Deuce is actually playing some of the best ball of his career.

  107. Cairo says:

    Donovan has been an amazing contributor to the Nats and to MLS. He “proved” that he can hang in England when he was at Everton. Why do people begrudge him for wanting to live near the beach and near his family while playing professional soccer for millions of dollars? I know that I chose the job I have over a more “prestigious” one because I wanted to live in a certain place.
    That aside, this debate about donovan versus dempsey is endless, and it’s hard to undertstand why people can’t just appreciate that the US has two great players whose career paths are different? In defense of Donovan, though, I think people are missing the boat when they say he’s not as “skilled” as Donovan because he doesn’t take on defenders and just uses his speed. It’s not just speed–he makes very intelligent runs (see MLS Cup final this year), and that’s how he gets a lot of goals. So does someone like Chicharito–are we saying vision and finding spaces is not a huge skill in soccer? Hmm

  108. SuperChivo says:

    I agree with your “serving as an ambassador of the game” comment. The continued growth and development of the MLS is absolutely essential to US Soccer and Landon has played a big role in that growth. Both Landon and Clint are advancing the sport in their own ways. But yeah, what Clint did is way more difficult.

  109. fischy says:

    In England — Deuce is awesome. I’m still waiting to see that translate in his performances with the USMNT.

  110. fischy says:

    Then he will sing “Forget You, Friedel”…or something like that.

  111. Kenny_B says:

    Donovan is faster than Dempsey. Dempsey is miles ahead of Donovan in terms of skill with the ball. It isn’t even close.

    So if by talent you mean speed, then I agree with you that Donovan is more talented. But if you actually mean skill with the ball all I can say is really?

  112. Matt says:

    Brad is a good player but not someone I would listen to for advice. He’s practically English now anyway.

  113. Brian says:

    He played in one game after the World Cup. He essentially quit on us after the 2002 World Cup. Friedel didn’t want to be bothered playing in qualifiers.

  114. Primoone says:

    No matter what context the answer was given…there is truth in what Friedel said.

  115. gigi says:

    I respect Friedel and all, but im not sure i agree with him on donovan taking the easy road. For me, if your happy playing in your country than play there. Look at riquelme, he tried it in europe did great but he just likes his country. If anything donovan should be praised for his commitment to help rising MLS.But hey thats just my opinion,

  116. Kenny_B says:

    That is the definition of not running at people. 8 year old boys have that move. That is all he does. He runs past players with pace. Once the pace is gone, the effectiveness declines.

    He doesn’t attack defenders from out wide. He passes back and he is decent at crossing the ball. He rarely takes on the backs and usually only does so on breaks.

    I am sorry I just don’t agree with you that this is some great skill move.

  117. Brian says:

    If he hadn’t signed that extension, there would be no way that MLS and the Galaxy would have let him go on loan to Everton.

  118. Robin says:

    Think of it like this… how many commercials has Donovan been in…

    Now how many has Dempsey. You see

  119. Ricky B. Free says:

    I guess that Pele was trash because he never played in Europe. There are a lot of american eurosnobs and Brad is the President of all those idiots.

  120. torporindy says:

    Now, we’re arguing who is better looking too? If we are, I’d say Clint is more handsome.

  121. GW says:


    Then turn it around and tell me what has Dempsey done for the USMNT in terms of team accomplishments? He has two World Cup goals while Donovan has five. Dempsey’s came in our crappy 2006 World Cup, when Donovan was crap, while Donovan’s goals came in the 2002 and 2010 Cups (when Dempsey had his other one).

    o you could argue when Donovan has a good World Cup so does the US.

    Still, this entire argument is childish.

    If that criticism had come from Dempsey then maybe I’d take it more seriously.

    Read Freidel’s comments and you can see him backtracking as he goes along. The man just went bankrupt two years ago so perhaps he can be forgiven for envying Donovan’s business savvy and his money. If he hadn’t gone broke do you think he would still be playing at 42 or whatever? Maybe, maybe not.

    Going by interviews, Dempsey’s family is the most important thing in the world to him. To him it seems to biggest thing about the big money he is now getting is he can make his family secure. And he doesn’t take any of it for granted. Having been in roughly the socio – economic bracket that Clint rose from I (and I’m sure most of us) can relate to that. It would be fair to assume and he went to England in great part because he knew that if he wanted to maximize his talent and his earning potential, he would have to go abroad.

    No one here knows whether he would have done it if he had the same opportunities both financially and athletically that Landon had domestically. Maybe he would have been temped to stay nearer his family.

    Landon went to Germany as a teenager and, according to him, realized that they weren’t going to play him no matter what. An impatient 20 year old, he came back here and did what 90% of you bitch and moan that more US players should do, get playing time and improve himself, keeping himself sharp for the USMNT which has always been his first priority. So you could look at it that he had the USMNT first all the time and that is what you guys are criticizing him for. Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.

    Finally you all assume it’s entirely his choice. Right now his chances of going abroad are

    poor because, with the world economy as it is, the stupid money on transfers isn’t happening as much. Landon is no Messi or C. Ronaldo and he is too old and too expensive for most teams, certainly Everton.

    And before his Everton stint, were European teams knocking down his door? Remember, Bayern said they had better players than him on their reserve teams. Yes, part of that was politics (some of that JK fallout) but Donovan’s pathetic 2006 World Cup did not help matters. And I doubt MLS was looking to help him leave the country either.

    Dempsey and Donovan are the US’ two best players by a long way and the team will go as far as the two of them take it.

    The USMNT is at it’s best in games that matter when both are on the field, or maybe you did not watch both the 2010 World Cup and last six games?

    Face it, the Double D’s are inseparable if you want to talk about the best US team. It’s a team game remember?

  122. EastBayGrease says:

    Landon Donovan was scoring goals in the World Cup when Dempsey was still a relative no name in New England. Clearly Donovan got a big confidence boost from his time in Everton that put in arguably the best form of his life at the SA World Cup. He would be a better player if he was in the EPL, but lets not take away his accomplishments for the Nats and his commitment to growing MLS. I for one would be less interested in an LA Galaxy final without Donovan.

  123. LBC203 says:

    Donovan’s play on the national team and in MLS has always been over-exaggerated by the media. He’s a bigger marketing product than a solid, consistent soccer player. Game announcers seem to like his saying his name, because he used to be constantly mentioned during games even when he was off the ball, which I think is just as about silly and annoying as the defunct MLS Beckham cam. Today this is not the case; His stock has fallen a little. But still, when he doesn’t play well and is invisible on the field soccer analyst covering the game like to make up excuses for him (e.g., Donovan’s is tired) or say stupid things like “it’s what he is doing off the ball.” Granted Donovan will usually tries hard for a solid 5-mins per game and tends to find the back of the net or makes an assist. This makes him a talented player, but not a great player because he can be invisible for 85-mins of a match. I don’t want to take away from his accomplishments in regards to goals scores (and assists), but I’d like to know how many of Donovan’s goals come from penalty kicks because he has scored a lot of those! In my opinion, Donovan has yet to live up to hype the media has portrayed about him, but he’s got his goals and assists that back up the awards he has won. It is just that those goals and assists don’t tell the whole story of his play, neither do the awards. That being said, Dempsey has come a long way and is now a better all around soccer player than Donovan. And for crying out loud, Donovan should try a beat a defender (or two) once in a while and not be so conservative on the ball!

  124. sir coble says:


  125. well says:

    She’s probably awesome in bed.

  126. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    For the record, I think they are both equally great players, and an apples to apples comparison of them is almost impossible because of how different their roles are and have been. That said….

    You can go back and forth and around again bringing up all sorts of arguments, but what it all comes down to is this one simple idea: what is, vs. what could have been.

    With Dempsey, we are watching him shatter our expectations of how good he can be. We are watching him get better day in and day out, season after season. We are watching him prove that he belongs in the best league in the world.

    With Landon, no matter what he achieves in MLS, no matter how much acclaim he brings to US Soccer and no matter how well he has played or will play for the Nats, there will always be the question of “what if he stayed in Europe? What if he was constantly playing and training with the best in the world? How good could he have been?”

    Maybe Landon reached his full potential and hit his ceiling. The problem is, and why this debate continues to rage, we’ll never really know.

  127. ahahah says:

    Holds it, holds it, HOLDS IT!

  128. Enos says:

    Donovan’s contribution to American soccer is greater. More Americans watch Donovan and know who he is. I think he sacrificed prestige by playing In MLS. Friedel is just a snob.

  129. yep says:

    LD was scoring goals in the WC when Clint could barely score 5 in the NCAA.

  130. john says:

    Greatest American keeper ever? Seriously? Keller, Howard and Friedel a DISTANT third. Not even close.

  131. Ali says:

    I’m sure Donovan would’ve loved to play in Europe, he was given plenty of chances he just wasn’t good enough.

  132. Svenski says:

    I think it’s odd to say Donovan is famous because of sponsorships. He does have a few, but it’s still comparatively minor stuff than most people have never even seen. Ganagol and the box for Fifa 12 are the biggest ones I can think of.

    A little for sportscenter too link to

  133. Mark says:

    Doesn’t matter where he ranks for American goalies if he doesn’t want to play for the team. It is like when people include Rossi is rankings of American players

  134. beachbum says:

    Landon’s been a huge part of marketing MLS…look how much that has grown. He was a big part of that, and I respect him greatly for being the face of the league for so long, and to where it is now is in no small part because of LD’s contributions.

    I’m fine with all of it. And good for Dempsey, too.

    it’s not a competition, but I love how all the folks who don’t like LD can’t wait to sh!t on him at any time

  135. beachbum says:

    people begrudge him because that’s the position they’ve taken over time, the whloe ‘Landycakes’ crowd, and they can’t cop to any other view of the guy.

  136. beachbum says:

    great post, but it’s too reasonable and accurate for some :)

  137. MJC-DC says:

    Easy, from the perspective of the level of daily competition. However, you fail to acknowledge what having Landon in the US his entire career as the face of league has done for the development of the MLS.

  138. adub says:

    Landon Donovan has done more for the USMNT.

    Dempsey is obviously better at this point in his career

  139. john says:

    Waiting in the wings? Friedel was Keller’s caddy for years. They were supposed to alternate in the ’02 WC but Friedel got hot and they kept him in there. Say what you will, other than those games, he was ALWAYS #2 to Keller.

  140. away goals says:

    comment of the year.

  141. ThaDeuce says:

    How about that awful gatoraide commercial that plays twice during every commercial break of a nats game. listening to donovan tell me he is good because he drinks gatoraide makes me want to shoot someone in ,the face.

    as far as skills debate, donovan has better pass and deadball skills. demps has better head, shielding, and creativity. toss up on shooting skills or slight edge to demps?

    but, they are both great. i dislike donovan, though i cheer for the nats. his smug attitude drives me insane. ilove the dempsey grit. huge fan of deuce, if u haven’t noticed.

  142. ThaDeuce says:

    donovan is more like a surgeon, a cerebral player with precision runs and passes. dempsey is more like an artist, all over the place, unpredictable. they both seem to get things done. i prefer the dempsey style.

  143. PD says:

    Agree with Jonk. Moreover while the truth sometimes hurts when it’s not presented diplomatically, I don’t know how many folks outside of LA who know the game are gonna disagree with anything Friedel said.

    Dempsey, like Friedel, Howard, McBride, Cherundolo, Bocanegra and now Edu and Bradley and Altidore, are doing it old school. Coming over with the stigma of being “american” and earning their stripes and gutting it out in mid-level clubs season after season where every minute of playing time is fought for week in and week out.

    It’s simple economics: the market and player competition is so much bigger there than in the MLS which, while growing, is still a very small market. An exceptional player here is going to have an easier time of it because who is going to outplay them onto the bench? Folks with that kind of talent are usually DPs for another squad.

    Look, Donovan is a “celebrity” and poster boy for MLS. He’s a great player and a positive ambassador for the game. He has made the most of his opportunities both on the field and off. At the end of the day no one will be able to dispute that he has had a most successful career as a US footballer and he has advanced what’s possible for US players in the MLS in terms of actually developing a career and a name. That’s important work in terms of moving the domestic game forward. I don’t think LD should be offended either, as he proved in his time at Everton that at the right club he could hang at the EPL level and thrive, but Dempsey has proven it week after week after week and that deserves a lot of respect. That’s a different thing.

    Both made different choices and both are thriving. We should be happy we’re in a position where we can even be talking about this!

  144. ThaDeuce says:

    last one:
    donovan is that kid who scores and then runs up and says “nanny-nanny-boo-boo” as he sticks out his tongue and his team is up by ten.
    Dempsey is the kid who gets respect, on or off his team. everyone on the field knows he will stick up for a little guy or make a fight fair.

  145. away goals says:

    I for one won’t be able to continue as a soccer fan until this issue is resolved.

  146. PD says:

    agreed. Lower mid table EPL = upper table in Spain France and Italy. Germany… maybe not.

  147. PD says:

    “Dempsey may have finally surpassed Donovan, but that’s more because Donovan’s game has slipped.”

    WRONG. Dempsey’s game has grown and it has nothng to do with LD. My bet he won’t peak for another 4 years barring injury. that level of fitness and evolution has come from competition and his own makeup.

  148. ThaDeuce says:

    maybe freidel had a good run and wanted to give an equally talented keeper a chance at the same.

  149. PD says:

    Oh come off it. Friedel retired to leave the reins to Keller and make room for Howard.

  150. ThaDeuce says:

    compare caps when you talk those numbers. obvious manipulative presentation of the numbers. donovan has way more caps.

  151. jbrader says:

    No. Can you honestly say that LD has a high profile because of his deals not his performance? Of course LD has a profile, he’s the best player in his league. CD would have higher profile globally if he was one of the best in the EPL, but he’s not. Easy explanation, no need to suggest anything about an ignorant stateside hype machine.

    I’m not saying EPL isn’t clearly better, but profiling and sponsorship culture in the EPL absolutely dwarfs MLS (and every other american sport). That’s how you know it’s a swipe.

  152. PD says:

    that’s what I remember as well. it’s not like there is a ton of room for keepers. I think he retired to let the other players get their shot and for him to keep his career going.

    he’s at the top of his game now, but you can’t tell me that this side needed him as their #1. It was Keller team after he left and deservedly so. This is Howard’s squad and with any luck he’ll turn it over to Guzan.

    and for the piker how said Howard had a crap word cup in SA, all I can say is he had a back four with two healthy players.

  153. doug says:

    How long did Munich last? A month and it was evident that he wasn’t good enough.

    He does get a lot of press, but perhaps that says more about the state of the U.S. team, proven by the results, than it says about Donovan’s skill.

    You don’t have to gameplan for him. Watch the games. One defender is enough. I do agree that he isn’t playing in the right spot. He needs to move inside where he can get the ball more frequently. He’s a more effective counter-attacking player than he is a half-field player; he just doesn’t move off the ball like he needs to.

  154. doug says:

    Sometimes it is, too often he runs into spots that kill attacks or slow down the offense.

  155. Luke says:

    Irregardless…he didn’t leave the USMNT without a capable #1 or #2. Unlike now if Howard decided to call it quits we’d have a bunch of unproven keepers to pick from.

  156. shouldn't be said says:

    wonder where she learned it… GAW!

  157. shouldn't be said says:

    so could we call LD flaccid?

  158. beachbum says:

    beat Mexico in the WC to get to that second round :)

    if you don’t get his accomplishmnets and USMNT contributions, or more just won’t give him credit, that’s all about you, not LD, or Clint

  159. beachbum says:

    cheers :)

  160. FSegaud says:

    That goal v. Slovenia that nearly decapitated the GK (pretty good one too playing for a damn good Italian team) was the seed for taking the group. Without, the team withers into what could have been.

  161. FSegaud says:

    Hey, it’s fun as long as people don’t get douchey.

  162. dhines says:

    brad knows all about avoiding competition . . . seeing that he withdrew from representing the USMNT years ago. coming from that perspective, maybe he has a right to say landon is much like he is.

  163. NATO says:

    what a great and lively discussion we have here/

    This should be a movie.

    Donovan vs Dempsey.

    who should star in it? who would play Deuce and who would play Landycakes?

  164. quen47 says:

    Sorry, I’m calling BS on that. Friedel quit at the top of his game out of his own self-interest, and because he wasn’t guaranteed the starting spot over longtime nemesis Keller. If he really wanted to take one for the team, he would have continued to make himself available, even if he weren’t starting.

  165. NATO says:

    thats my view 😀

  166. NATO says:

    Donovan has done a lot for MLS and the growth of soccer in this country but I must say I would rather have him fighting in Europe. Playing for Everton or another top team and showing he is our best soldier ever. Sure hope he gets another chance.

  167. master blaster says:

    I agree. And I’m not very fond of Landycakes.

  168. GW says:


    I think it depends on who you are. If you are watching a game, casual fans are always more interested in the guy who is always on the ball, always highly visible.

    But if you are a manager or a player, you may value the guy who regardless of whatever else he does during a game,comes up with whatever it is that needs to be done, usually a goal.

    Gerd Muller played 62 games for West Germany and scored 68 goals, most of them pretty damm important. I saw many of his games and I can promise you that if he wasn’t scoring, the fans didn’t know he was on the field.

    But both managers and all the players sure did.

    That stuff off the ball is actually very important.

    Just because some guy looks like he has been running around all day and has been involved in nearly every play, it doesn’t mean he actually did anything important.

    Actually scoring a goal?

    That is rare, especially for the USMNT, and important.

    The funny thing about your criticism of Donovan is that it is exactly the same thing peole have been saying about Duece as it relates to the USMNT for years.

    Then again bandwagon jumpers have very short memories.

  169. Jason says:

    Donovan decided to be the big fish in the small pond. Nothing really wrong with that, however I wonder how much better he could have been if he toughed it out in Europe

  170. Gw says:

    You make it sound like Clint is imprisoned in Siberia.

    Two million a year or whatever it is, buys you lots of planes tickets.

    Ever been to Portugal,the French Rivera or the Canary Islands? Clint could fly there in about the time it would take him to drive from Houston to Dallas, probably less depending on traffic.

  171. DingDong says:

    I guess I meant more “would Donovan have fulfilled his potential if he leads the Galaxy to a CCL championship.” I understand that at an individual skills level, he still may not have been forced to play at the same level as if he had gone to Europe; but in some abstract sense of career accomplishments, I think leading the Galaxy to the CCL title might probably equal whatever Dempsey has done for Fulham (the point of comparison would be helping, but maybe not leading, them to Europea League final).

  172. DingDong says:

    What other english footballer has said it and about what other top US player? Donovan’s really the only one with his talent level who decided to stay in the US.

  173. GW says:

    It’s not a Brit accent.

    It’s the accent of someone who wants to sound like a Brit but knows everyone knows he’s not so he just sort of goes half way, half in and half out.

    It’s pretty hilarious and, I would think, pretty embarrassing for everyone around Freidel.

  174. Ken says:

    Friedel just opened up a can of worms.

  175. John says:

    Pepsi or Coke?

  176. GW says:

    “and for the piker how said Howard had a crap word cup in SA, all I can say is he had a back four with two healthy players. ”

    That’s not a very good excuse. Great keepers make their back four play better. Friedel was a human wall in the 2002 World Cup and he had Jeff Agoos and a defensively suspect Hejduk in his back four. The first goal in the Ghana game, that famous Rico Clark goal? Watch the replay; it was a soft near post goal that Howard fell asleep on and should have done much better with.

  177. fischy says:

    I’ll disagree with you on one point. I can tell you the team needed Friedel as teh #1. Definitely in ’06 and probably in ’10. In ’06, Friedel was one of the best goalies in the world. Keller was not. In ’10, Friedel might not have had Howard’s athleticism and quickness, but he’s got those wings and he knows the position. I know he would have played better than Keller, and I suspect he would have played better than Howard.

  178. 99 says:

    “Who’s Brad Friedel?”

  179. fischy says:

    Yep. Deuce is playing the best ball of his career. My point was that his game has grown, while Donovan’s hasn’t grown and has probably slipped. They’re the same age, so the thing is if Donovan had grown he’d still be better, but he’s slipped instead.

  180. fischy says:

    If you go by the CL, it’s Bayern and a bunch of crap teams.

  181. Felix says:

    A few years ago I would have agreed with Friedel – but I wont take anything away from either of them. They are both great American players.

  182. no says:

    Idiot. It’s the accent of a man who’s lived day-in-and-day-out in another country for, how long now. People’s accents change. Deal with it.

  183. Alex says:

    I doubt it’s something he does on purpose. I know Englishmen who live here in the states who still have a hint of a British accent. It’s not like they’re trying to go half and half, it’s just an adjustment of the way they speak because of where they’ve been living for years. I’m assuming it’s the same for Brad.

  184. GW says:


    Had he stayed in Europe it’s possible he would have spent several years on a bench, the very thing so many people blast Freddy Adu for doing. Freddy probably stuck with it because he was getting more money than he could possibly have gotten here.

    Landon found a way to get paid maybe nearly as well in MLS and get playing time. How do you get better playing a couple of real games a season?

    Improving your game is all well and good but these guys do this for money. To live and eat.

    Dempsey wanted to improve his game but don’t tell me quadrupling his salary, or however much it of an increase it was,instantly didn’t factor into it at all. At the age of 28 he is now probably pretty well set for life if he is smart. I doubt he would be this well off had he stayed in MLS.

    Shea makes about 150 K or so. If he moves to Europe, well….

    Don’t forget these guys are all one Brian Mullan tackle away from never playing again. A pro athlete has only so many years to make money. Every year a guy like Shea spends in the US, he leaves a lot of money onthe table.

    You’ve still got Americans making 40 to 80 K in MLS. Go to Scandanavia and they do quite a bit better. Follow the money.

  185. GW says:

    The EPL pays better than the USMNT.

  186. Alexandria says:

    This whole argument can be put to bed by the last run of form by the US team without donovan and with dempsey. So how many games have we won?

    Oh yeah and playing against stoke,wolves,wigan,blackburn,bolton,norwich is playing against the best players in the world my foot!

  187. A wise man once says:

    YES +1

  188. GW says:

    FX has a show called “Justified”

    Tim Oliphant (Sheriff Givens) for Duece

    Walton Goggins ( Boyd Crowder) for LD.

    Look it up on Google and tell me what you think.

  189. GW says:

    So that validates what Freidel said?

    You could say that about the speeches given by some of the greatest mass murderers the world has ever seen.

    Context is everything.

  190. GW says:

    Freidel isn’t English he just stays at a Holiday Inn Express.

    I can’t believe he fooled you with that half in,half out, Madonna-esque fake Brit accent.

  191. McDookie says:

    Then why does Bobby McMahon still sound like he rolled out of a pub in Glasgow?

  192. towelie says:

    So constant flopping is now considered a skill?

  193. poon says:

    It’s an old debate really. Quite obviously, Friedel is pretty entrenched in not only the English game, but English culture/lifestyle as well. All you have to do is listen to Friedel’s Britmerican accent for 30 seconds to get the idea. Naturally, he’s going have this perspective.

    I think some American fans are a little over-sensitive here. It’s not so much that he’s criticizing Donovan, so much as he’s trying to elevate players like Dempsey who, despite being top class in much more competitive leagues, don’t get the same level of recognition as Donovan does in the US. Dempsey more than deserves to be in the discussion for best American player but the default tends to drift towards Donovan.

  194. Where says:

    I don’t get why people keep saying that Friedles comments where taken out of contest. Regardless of the question asked by the bbc this was a class A D-bag answer. Sure Donovan chose to ply his trade here but regardless of club situation or league his USMNT record speaks for it self. In my opinion his stint at Everton was sufficient enough to prove that he is a talented enough player to play with the best of them in case he retired here in USA and people wondered what if. Just reading BF comments about sponsorship you can tell hes as much in touch with what’s happening here in the USA than Rudd Gullit. Is not about who is better because this argument is invalid both Dempsey and Donovan have done enough for club and country respectably to make this a never ending discussion. BF is like wynalda just arrogant dBags who think they know better.

  195. SwerveZ says:

    If you think Dempsey is a flopper, you have no idea how to play a physical game. Everyone on the opposing teams Fulham plays go after Dempsey and try to take his legs. If he goes down early ever, it’s because he knows its coming and doesn’t want that impact because he wants his career to last. Be smart, that’s what Dempsey is.

  196. Mike says:

    No that’s not how it happened at all. I’m actually old enough to remember what really transpired, and Friedel quit because he was more interested in his club career, specifically because he wasn’t guaranteed a starting place over Keller even after his performance at the WC in 2002. He quit instead of toughing it out and fighting for his spot.

  197. jbrader says:

    can’t agree with that last one (but did the others), but if you’re gonna start making sportsmanship comparisons…you have to admit that Dempsey has become a whiny flopper, particularly for the nats. Donovan has been in the Messi-doesn’t-dive camp for years.

  198. Patrick says:

    So LD ditching the Nats for his club, like Friedel is a plus now?

    And playing in a League where some guys make less than fast food employees is making LD a better player?

    I’m not bashing LD or MLS, but you need better arguements. Maybe something like Landon has always had to fight for his spot. And when things didn’t go his way, he stuck it out and showed his grit and determination and didn’t run away and to be a big fish in a puddle, where rules are changed to benefit one team.

  199. Mike says:

    And you’re missing my point. You can’t say that he would’ve accomplished more because it’s entirely speculation. What if he withered on the benches of various Euro clubs like Freddy Adu, or countless other Americans?

    What I don’t really understand it how many Americans on this board seem to feel some kind of need to knock Landon down a peg or two, as if Landon himself was creating press releases about himself, or has been casting himself in these commercials all these years. You can’t blame the guy for taking advantage of his situation. Anyone in their right mind would do the same, even you and me.

    So again, please help me understand what bashing Donovan does for everyone here exactly? Does it make people feel better about the fact that they themselves could never perform at a level even 1/10th of Donovan or Dempsey? I just don’t get it. Can’t we just say that they both have unique qualities and have been two of the best outfield players the US has ever produced and leave it at that?

  200. Mike says:

    Yeah, that accent is just pathetic. The whole argument of “it happens” when you live somewhere for long periods is just crap. I was born and raised in the north and have now lived in the south for 10 years, and I by no means talk with a drawl. I know brits that have lived in the US for decades and still have thick English accents. People that “adapt” are choosing to adopt accents or colloquialisms It doesn’t just happen subconsciously.

  201. Matt Scoble says:

    This whole thread is quite funny…. First off, anyone that is curious about Friedel’s “english” accent should go back a ways and see Kasey Keller’s critical comments on the phony accent. Yeah, this has been going on for a while… Brad has certainly been a world class player for the U.S. team and has proven his worth time and again in the EPL. At the same time, Donovan has shown that he will step up at the national team level and be very clutch for the U.S. Doesn’t take anything away from Deuce but speaks truth to Donovan’s contributions.

    At the end of the day, Brad should have self-edited a bit…. Downplaying Donovan does nothing to elevate Dempsey who is clearly a great, great player for the U.S.

  202. shouldn't be said says:

    well then I guess it’s good I don’t go by CL.

  203. GW says:


    I’ve spent a lot of time in the UK. Have you?

    Have you ever heard Tim Howard, Jay Demerit or Clint Dempsey speak? How come they don’t have the same weird accent Freidel has? What about Harkes and Holden? They have Scottish roots and you can sometimes hear it in their voices but nothing like what Freidel does.

    Freidel doesn’t have to learn a new language. If you want a generic Brit accent ( to American ears) its not that hard and doesn’t take you that long. Your Brit friends may laugh at you though.

    It’s a little different from learning a completely different language like Italian if you are playing in Chievo. In Italy they respect you for trying no matter how bad your accent.

    I have friends from New York who have lived in rural Mississippi for twenty years, interact on a daily basis with the “locals” and still sound like New Yorkers.

    Accents change but usually in a logical fashion. Madonna’s fake Brit accent comes the closest to Freidel. He’s free to talk however he likes but he still sounds weird.

  204. Mike says:

    I’m not diminishing Dempsey’s heroics in England, but don’t exaggerate. Players considered to be “the man” generally don’t have to continually fight for their place every time a new coach comes in. And in both of those games that you mention, Liverpool and Juventus, he came off of the bench. Generally, “the man” plays 90 minutes every game (or within reason).

    Now he may come to be invaluable to each manager as the season progresses, but I’ve never gotten the impression that any of his managers felt a team or gameplan should be built around his creativity. Don’t take this as a knock on Clint, because he most definitely has been an awesome Fulham player, but don’t exaggerate his position at Fulham.

  205. PD says:

    Why on earth would his staying on have been taking one for the team when it was evident that Keller was a clear #1 and that there were many other younger keepers that could benefit more from being in a #2 spot more than him? I’m not saying he was not thinking of his own self interest as well, but it’s certainly not like he hung the NATS out to dry and it’s not like people have been mourning his absence in the years since, Keepers aren’t like strikers or midfielders: You can’t really have 10 in the pool, 3, 4 tops. Moreover, you can only have 1 number 1.

    There are times when reading the writing on the wall and moving on an be valiant. I’m not saying the guy is a saint, but many keepers have done this (Jussi Jasekleinen and Edwin van der Saar come to mind-tto keepers who you could argue left WITHOUT a clear #1 ready to replace them) and none of them have been considered “traitors”.

    Besides, if you think for a second that had Senior Bradley or Bruce Arena picked up the phone at any given moment and said, “look Howard and Guzan are hurt and there isn’t another #3 ready to go, we need to to come into camp” that he wouldn’t?

  206. Stephen says:

    Classless. No need to rip Donavan as he did. There are much better ways to say things than the way he went about it. Not cool.

  207. Vic says:

    From what I remember regarding Donovan at Everton, he was usually the highest rated player on the field against top competition. Dempsey is a very good finisher but Donovan is more of a complete player. Donovan also has 5 World Cup goals. Maybe if Friedel got some of the sponsorships that Donovan got “in the States” then he wouldn’t be bankrupt.

  208. josh says:

    This is how I see it…
    If I had to choose between one and the other I would choose Landon simply because what he has done for the MLS and the US team.
    Landon at his best=US at its best

  209. Michael F. says:

    Right or wrong it’s just an opinion. But what it really shows is how classless Friedel is.

  210. Lew says:

    Dempsey is the soccer players player
    Donovan is the soccer moms player

    Dempsey marks goals in Craven Cottage
    Donovan marks his territory in mexican stadiums

    Dempsey got one by David Green
    Donovan got one (or more) by Bianca

    Dempsey takes elbows (to the face)
    Donovan takes penalties

    Dempsey has tattoos
    Donovan tattoos the ball into the roof of the net

    Dempsey starts scoring plays
    Donovan finishes them

  211. Primoone says:

    You are so dramatic GW.

    Ok, i’ll bite. Give me an example of a mass murderer who gave a speech where context mattered.

    Let me know when you got it..

    If you just take the quotes from Friedel regarding Donovan and I bet the general concensus would agree that LD’s career path was less difficult than Clint’s. Wouldnt you? Do you think the EPL is more difficult than the MLS? Do you think that corporations are more likely to give more exposure to a name and a face domestically as opposed to someone abroad who may not be known domestically? You don’t need instructions or context to figure out what Friedel is really trying to say genius.

  212. GW says:

    “Maybe Landon reached his full potential and hit his ceiling. The problem is, and why this debate continues to rage, we’ll never really know.”

    I would not lose any sleep over it. I don’t see how anyone outside Donovan and his inner circle will ever know whether he never had an extended run in Europe because he did not really want to or because events and MLS would not let him.

    If events were against him then so be it.

    Henrik Larsson was a world class striker who chose to spend the prime of his career in the (at the time) second rate SPL playing for Celtic. Celtic and the SPL are now about third rate. He proved his class by playing for Sweden and later on, Barcelona and Man U. No one doubts for a minute he was top class all the way. It’s the same with Donovan. If he is healthy and in good form he can play with anyone. Ask David Moyes who is a probably a better judge of a player than anyone on this site.

    Those of you who wanted him to play in Europe;if he wasn’t really into it then credit to him for recognizing it. Because he would have been a a failure and that probably would have hurt the perception of US players even more.

    Besides you all have the wrong guy when you talk about a US player who could have been a terror in Europe and failed to achieve his full potential.

    That guy was the original Clint. Cletus. Clint Mathis.

    If he had had a quarter of the discipline, drive and professionalism of Dempsey or Donovan we wouldn’t be having this debate. He feared no one on the field and was the first American player I can remember who played with that ” They think we can’t play? Well f++k them” and would back it up.

    Oh well.

  213. GW says:


    Lots of guys are very fast. Lots of guys are very skilled on and with the ball.

    But there are very few, if any, American players who can play soccer at the level that Dempsey and Donovan do.

    It takes a whole lot more than speed and ball skill.

  214. Tran says:

    What does irregardless even mean?

  215. Edwin in LA says:

    I’m with you that MLS is not even close to being in the EPL caliber, but I’ll still argue that the EPL has the best players in the world.

    And despite how I think it has finally gotten better top to bottom with about 5 or 7 teams fighting for the top 4 spots, about 2 maybe 3 teams fighting to catch that 6th or 5th team who are in a fight for the 4th and final UCL spot. But once you get past that 11th or 12th team god I don’t know how anybody can praise those teams? Wolves, Wigan, West Bromwich, Sunderland now, Blackburn are god awful to watch and for all the hate towards long ball strategies of US soccer, I have to say those last 8 or 9 EPL teams do a hell of a lot of it. Maybe they’re just better at it by making better passes and move the ball forward a bit more with more precise technical passes but they do a lot of booting it up field as well.

    EPL is a great product of it’s fans and the atmostphere. It’s pretty popular in other markets like Africa & Asia, Africa I think because there’s so many players there. But best players?

    I don’t see this year’s finalist for the Ballon d’or being EPL players? 1 was but he left 2 seasons ago. Last year’s finalist not EPL either and the 1 who might of been snubbed Sneijder is also not in the EPL, if fact they couldn’t figure how to use him there?

    Ask youself who are the best players in the EPL NOW and you’ll see how they found themselves for the most part, coming from other leagues either this past summer or last 2 transfer windows from last season.

    Mata, Van der Vaart, Yaya, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko are all among the best in EPL, see a trend how 3 came this past summer & the other 3 last summer?

    And before u bring up the whole “EPL teams do better in CL…” argument, I will agree EPL has better top teams as they have 4 lately 5 good teams of the top. As opposed to other leagues who have 2 or 1…. I get it but I would say look at 2 of the most talented EPL teams? United has a system, I think it finally faltered on them. City I don’t know?

  216. Edwin in LA says:

    As for the Donovan not being as good as Deuce thing.. Look I’ll always fault Donovan for not trying to stay in Europe as much as I fault Deuce for not producing more with the US National Team or at least be more consistent.

    I think Deuce obviously has a better club career. He plays in a much better league with a good but not great club and came VERY close to winning a European continental title in Europa final in OT. But Donovan shows up more for the US time after time.

    I wish Donovan goes to Everton soon to put this stuff to rest, Galaxy is going to have to help and put pressure on MLS

  217. Edwin in LA says:

    He didn’t make a choice between between Southern California and Northern England.

    Get this thru your heads. HE DID NOT F-up IN HIS DECISION TO NOT STAY AT EVERTON. He did that in Bayern Leverkusen. Although he could have easily waited to be a free transfer he wanted to be playing to stay in form & be a starter for the USMNT.

    He tried at Bayern Munich because Jurgen wanted him there, & he didn’t have much success & Jurgen paid the price for it by being being fired but mostly for Barcelona basically tearing his team apart.

    Donovan signed a contract extension BEFORE there was any interest from Everton. And Everton only wanted a short time loan till March. Then they thought about doing what AC Milan did with Beckham but Landon didn’t force the issue, he played with his actual team that paid his salary.

    He’s in a contract now & is not like he can get out of it. Stop trying to say he chose LA over Everton, he simply hoped Everton would buy him but Everton can’t & as far as I remember Everton doesn’t buy too many players for about 8 or 10 million pounds, which is what MLS/Galaxy wants for him, granted that may be a bit overvalued for Donovan but not for MLS/Galaxy

    He made his mistake of not staying in Europe when he was a damn 18 or 19 year old kid, not the worst from a kid who obviously wasn’t mature or smart enough to make the other decision and make it work in Europe

  218. redskinsux says:

    In terms of skill, Friedel has been and continues to be best among Howard, Keller and Freidel. It especially shows the quality when you’re 40 years old and playing for a team in 3rd place (only 2 points behind Man Utd. with a game in hand) in the best league in the world.

    I don’t think he retired in 2006 for ‘selfish’ reasons as some here suggest. If I remember correctly, there were some heated words and some notable and public hostility between Keller and Friedel when they were competing for the starting spot leading up to the WC.

    So in my view, Friedel took the high road by bowing out and not allowing the negativity of the competition for the starting spot to reach the team’s spirit.

  219. Edwin in LA says:

    No he is NOT, he is contracted UNTIL 2014, meaning thru the 2013 MLS Season, you’re off by about 6 or 7 months or 1 European transfer window.

    What people don’t realize is that Donovan was already IN a contract. He would have been under contract until THIS year, he simply extended for 2 years and reworked the 2 he had currently into getting paid 2.25 million instead of 900K. And from what I believe MLS had some sort of extension from their original contract after 2011, I think it was a 1 or 2 year deal option.

    Donovan simply took the best scenario, extended for 2 years but got them at 1.35 million dollars more and reworked his last 2 years in the contract he had at the time to get paid the same upped salary.

    He most likely will try to get a transfer after this upcoming MLS season, IF he’s lucky he gets one next summer. MLS will only have him for 1 more season after this one coming up

  220. Edwin in LA says:

    You’re wrong if you are saying that because he signed that extension, in Dec of 09 btw, that Donovan didn’t allow himself to be able to go to Everton. Or somewhere in Europe.

    MLS had 2 years left with Landon under the current contract at the time, and from what I remembered they had a 1 or 2 year OPTION to keep him longer so at BEST he was contracted to play for MLS until well… now.

    At worst he would of spent Next season and maybe the next in MLS as well. Only thing he did was get a raise while doing so. MLS would of taken the 2 year extension, no doubt about it and would have done so probably as soon as it could have, either after WC or 2010 calendar year. MLS would be smart and good towards Landon if they sold him and somewhat fair/cheaply next summer or next winter transfer window.

    I think right now Landon wants to focus on CCL anyway, so he’s happy.

    But is not like Landon chose to resign being only 7 months away from the WC and a showcase to get a good contract while being a Free transfer, that’s not what happened.

    If you’re wondering my sources, I learned this from Ive’s on a Live Q&A a LOOONG time ago

  221. Jim in ATlanta says:

    lol what? Oh how the education system has failed us…or you for that matter. lol.

  222. pd says:


  223. pd says:

    And if Edwin van der Saar had not retired from international play the Dutch would own the world cup? Pretty thin stuff you’re suggesting. Jesus Christ could not have made a difference in goal for the US in 06. It’s only been the past three seasons where those who have been paying attention to his career have been saying ” hey that bald frito guy is pretty good”. A lot of folks who are now saying he should have been our number one all along and are panning Keller and Howard probably are the same crew that blame the keeper for any ball that gets by him when defense is an 11 person responsibility. The keeper is the last man, but like many things in life, it’s nit that simple.

  224. AC says:

    Kind of agree. Dempsey is very good at scoring, but Donovan is a much better passer at reading plays, etc.

  225. Paul, North Jersey says:

    Friedel’s been in the UK for over 15 years and you don’t think he would have the slightest accent? It’s one thing to arrive in a country at 40 and develop an accent, but he’s been there since his mid 20’s. Also, it’s a trans-Atlantic accent, a hybrid, not a British accent.

    I have seen Holden speak with an accent when he’s doing an interview with the “lads”.

    It’s not like he was David Beckham speaking with an Italian accent when he played in Milan. Which in itself was not faking an accent, but rather speech accomodation.

  226. Charles says:

    Friedel wasn’t getting anywhere trolling on Big Soccer so he had to try to get more play in the newspapers ?

    Why he feels the need to rip on anyone, which no matter what the context, he is doing, is beyond me.

  227. Where says:

    I don’t get why people keep saying that Friedles comments where taken out of contest. Regardless of the question asked by the bbc this was a class A Douché answer. Sure Donovan chose to ply his trade here but regardless of club situation or league his USMNT record speaks for it self. In my opinion his stint at Everton was sufficient enough to prove that he is a talented enough player to play with the best of them in case he retired here in USA and people wondered what if. Just reading BF comments about sponsorship you can tell hes as much in touch with what’s happening here in the USA than Rudd Gullit. Is not about who is better because this argument is invalid both Dempsey and Donovan have done enough for club and country respectably to make this a never ending discussion. BF is like wynalda just arrogant dBags who think they know better.

  228. Friedel know what’s up.

    But there’s a bit more to it – mainly that Donovan tried to hack it in Europe on a few different occasions, and with the exception of his brief (but brilliant) loan spell at Everton in the winter of 2010, couldn’t get the job done.

    As we all know, Landon has always gotten it done on the national stage. After his failures in European club football he knew that he could do well and be the US poster boy for the MLS – a role which he has thrived in. Plus, he could do it in the warm, comfortable, star-lit confines of Los Angeles.

    When it comes down to it, there’s no question that Dempsey has taken the harder road. But that’s just Clint – he thrives on being put in really tough elements. Deuce loves the rain and cold, bruising play of the Premiership. This is what, in my opinion, makes him the best player on our national team.

    At the end of the day comparing Landon and Dempsey is like apples and oranges. Two totally different players and individuals who both, ultimately, chose the correct league for their mental and physical skill sets.

    link to

  229. ac says:

    Well said

  230. Peter says:

    “PROVED?” I will never understand this proved argument! He was over in England for 10 Weeks. Proving is sustaining form for longer than this. Dempsey has proved he can perform in one of the best leagues in the world against some of the best competition in the world. Landon well he plays in MLS.

  231. Peter says:

    Yes in 2002 he scored once against Mexico who’s in Concacaf. In 2006 he was awful in the group of death! In 2010 he scored against slovenia, Algeria and a penality against Ghania. All subpar teams. When up against tought competition he is nowhere to be found. Perhaps if he didn’t take the EASY way he might be able to produce against tough competetion! Fact is his always somehow “hurt” during European friendlies against tough opposition. He as missed games against. England, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Belgium and even Scotland!The only tough game he has made was against the Netherlands and that was only because he was already in England with Everton. And if you watched this game he was awful!

  232. wow says:

    You’re an idiot.

  233. M Marshel says:

    Clint and LD comparison are useless. LD plays in the MLS which is no where near as tough a league as the EPL. Dempsey plays against world class players/International players EVERY WEEK. Dempsey fights for his position every week. Fulham depend on Dempsey to stay in the EPL (way more pressure). He is better with the ball in tight spaces and is much more creative under pressure than LD. LD is a great corner kicker (he has proven that at Everton and Galaxy). Can LD play in the EPL every week? Definitely. But the speculative is pointless because he is never coming over to the EPL. Dempsey is the best American field position player to date. Friedel is the best American goalie (sorry Keller) in the EPL. Actually he is the best goalie right now in the EPL. So he was correct in his analsis but the LD lovefest supporters don’t like any criticism of their boy..

  234. Incognito says:

    Dear Friedel,
    You have just lost all my respect (along with probably a thousand other USA fans) I’d like to see you win an MLS cup. If you win a premier league cup then please tell me, you are just jealous… get over it hater.

  235. Andy says:

    Good call. Brad Friedel is not afraid to tell it how it is. Even if it is in some context that we’re not provided with, I still like the comments, but I just wish someone had advised Donovan earlier to man up and leave beautiful, breezy California.

  236. Incognito says:

    Dempsey is good at scoring but Donovan is better, check the stats. The only reason Clint has most goals in the EPL is because Donovan isn’t in that league anymore T_T

  237. TomG says:

    Harkes DID have a big accent when he was over there playing. Holden?? Are you kidding me? Kid’s been in England like a year. Friedel’s been there about HALF HIS LIFE!!

  238. TomG says:

    +1 Deuce isn’t a flopper.

  239. Incognito says:

    Wow… hahaha, you are just calling him an idiot because he is so awesome at comparing Donovan and Dempsey. That is awesome Lew.

  240. TomG says:

    Pretty obvious statement by Friedel but he throws in the whole head scratcher sponsorship nonsense. It’s obvious that Deuce improved his game immensely by playing day-in and out in the Prem. Yes, Landon didn’t ever become quite the player he could have been, but it was his choice to stay in Cali, and it’s silly to begrudge him that. He is still one of the best to ever lace up USMNT boots.

  241. pd says:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall Agoos and Hejduk were both healthy and the entire unit had been playing as a cohesive unit for awhile. In SA Senior was throwing a Gooch on the field that was at 25-40 percent and was forced to play Johnny “chinese fire drill” Bornstein. To this day people haven’t fully appreciated how decimated our defense was to injury. it’s a miracle we made it as far as we did and it’s a credit to the entire team. PLUS injury aside Senior never solved the issue of a designated DM to occupy the gap 5 yards out from the 18. Nearly every “soft” goal began in that part of the field. Other than JB and the injuries this was a fatal chink in the armor.

    Leadership from your keeper can only improve that scenario so much.

  242. DingDong says:

    I don’t really know the details of the contracts but if MLS had an option to keep LD in the US at a lower salary, then why did they resign him? If I understand you correctly, it sounds like MLS basically got nothing in return for paying LD a higher salary.

  243. DaleDaleDynamo says:

    This comparison (if you can call it that) makes little to no sense.

  244. beachbum says:

    then his WC goal vs. Algeria must still stick in your throat

  245. beachbum says:

    I will never get this ‘sub par competition’ BS when talking about WC opponents…it’s the WC!

    ask Mexico who is the biggest pain in their collective a$$ the US has ever produced? Who cares if they are from CONCACAF. Then reevaluate your pathetic position that LD is ‘nowhere to be found’ vs. tough competition.

    your credibility is…nowhere to be found.

  246. beachbum says:

    the question is “What would have happened to MLS” if he hadn’t been the face of it forever.

  247. Edwin in LA says:

    To keep him happy. Remember he was barely coming off a very up and down season in which the Galaxy were rebuilding, the whole Beckham thing happened and the momentary rift in which Beckham didn’t like that Donovan talked to Wahl about it. He said it himself in the interview comments at the press conference when it was announced “Candidly, last year I don’t think I make this decision” I might be off a word or two, but I looked it up on google to refresh my memory, it was a goal dot com hit I clicked on.
    In all fairness it was kind of fair considering the amount of work he was putting into helping the Galaxy win, he did win MVP that year. Like I said Ives is the one that said it where I learned of it first

  248. Jose says:

    Not sure you can compare the two. Both play differently. One is more gritty (Dempsey) and one is a bit more finesse (Landon). I think together they make each other good. I don’t think Dempsey would have scored that goal against Slovenia, and at the same time I don’t think Landon would have taken that outside shot (sort of rebel/take a chance) like Dempsey did against green. Just cause Landon decided to stay here shouldn’t be a knock on him. He is helping making MLS better and this just help not only him but the future of soccer in America. Let’s face we may not win a world cup with either Dempsey or Donovan, but both are planting the seeds and expectations for the next generations whether it is here in MLS or outside in other leagues.

  249. poon says:

    I think it ultimately comes down to which heartstrings being tugged on have the most impact for you. Dempsey has more of the gritty, purist story-line behind him. Donovan has more of the high profile sports star story-line behind him. I think there’s always been a bit of a divide as to which type appeals to people the most across all sports.

    People like Friedel are always gonna be Dempsey guys. I’m more of a Dempsey guy myself. It’s a rags to riches story. Dempsey’s flair is embodied mostly in his play on the field while keeping a relatively low profile off-field. He was always an outsider in the US soccer landscape and pretty much had to force his way in, and literally force his way out to play in Europe. Dempsey embodies the real working man mentality that is quite popular in England and as entrenched as he is, Friedel’s gonna find that appealing.

    Now, I think Brad didn’t have to put LD down, particularly with his “easy route” comment. I think he should have focused more on simply saying that Dempsey deserves to be in the discussion with LD more than he is.

  250. Lu says:

    i don’t even think this is debate…it’s like comparing an MLB player (dempsey) with a AA player (donovan)… that’s the gap between the competition in the EPL and MLS…

  251. gmaury says:

    David Green?