Emotional Arena discusses Donovan’s legacy

Landon Donovan, Bruce Arena

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48 Responses to Emotional Arena discusses Donovan’s legacy

  1. dukes says:

    Best Arena quote about LD. “If there are 23 better players than LD than we will win the World Cup.”

    • Gary Page says:

      Good quote and probably accurate. I have been a Galaxy fan since the beginning and followed the US national team under Arena and I’ve never seen Arena get emotional like this before. He is usually very even keeled and if you see anything out of him, it is that he looked peeved. I think this says a lot for Donovan that Arena has such strong feelings about Donovan.

      • Eurosnob says:

        The quote has a nice zing to it, but it is inaccurate. There is no way that 32 year old Donovan makes it to the final 23 for Germany, Argentina, Holland or Brazil, the top 4 finishes at the WC. He would not have made it in the final 23 for Spain, which did not even advance from the group.

        • beachbum says:

          accurate to the point he was making…that Jurgen screwed the pooch with his poor decision, dropping one of the top talents in his pool from a team short on top talent. subtext Eurosnob

        • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

          Maybe Arena believes, like I believe, that the US would overachieve…and 23 guys better than LD would be a plenty good enough base.

    • MIKE R says:



    • Ali Dia says:

      Actually one of the best and most accurate quotes I’ve heard about US Soccer. I would bet good money Arena will be proven correct in the valuation sense.

      At the height of his powers, Donovan’s market value appears to have been somewhere between $10-15 million. Probably a lowball number, but I’ve never heard of anybody planning a $20 million swoop. And the likelihood that number was depressed by a skepticism of American players only goes to prove Arena’s point further. We need players of LD’s peak quality or higher to start thinking about a World Cup win

      Look at Germany. Look at any team who competes at the World Cup finalist level these days, and a peak career valuation of $10-15 million is about the lowest you will see among any player likely to see the field.

      LD has been our best ever player. A legend. But the message for our next generations of youngsters is that Donovan now needs to become the minimum standard, unless we are satisfied with Gold Cups and regional glory. If that sounds difficult, it should. We are not the only ones who’d like to win this prize– just ask the Dutch if you can see theirs

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

        I grew up in SoCal, and my younger brother played on Cal Heat, Donovan’s U-12 club team for a while. I distinctly remember the first game I went to with my family when I was in Jr. High, and telling my parents that LD was the best kid I’d ever seen play. Even then he was so head and shoulders above everyone else it was ridiculous. I was not at all surprised when he turned into star at the world cup in 2002, but it is weird looking back at those times and understanding that kid with the mullet would become the best to ever wear our colors. I feel fortunate to have grown up alongside a legend.

        • Anthony says:

          Cool story! No matter what anyone may feel about him, he is the most accomplished player in USMNT & MLS history. I had my issues with LD’s unwillingness to never leave his comfort zone, but still recognize his impact. People are who they are, but during discussions, I can’t help but wonder if he truly would have become world class if he had Dempsey’s grit.

          On a side note, my kid brother’s friends played at a youth national championships and Freddy was there (in a younger age group where he played up a few years). They were saying he was the best youth soccer player they had ever seen at a tournament in their lives. Judging by how his career went and the way LD’s went just shows you that nothing is gauranteed we were lucky LD developed the way he did.

  2. bizzy says:

    Wow…..for a coach to openly show this much emotion for a player he coached and developed is unbelievable. It is no surprise why LD was successful in LA……he was loved and respected by his coach and teammates. This is a man that is passionate about what he does and in turn reflects on the way he cares about his players/team. This really adds to the respect I had for Bruce Arena…….

  3. Lorenzo says:

    Arena, Bradley, and Klinsmann can thank Donovan for many wins, qualifications, moments, and trophies they would not have had if not for his play. A player that was the catalyst for change for our country both in MLS, and US national team. I remember in 2007 he had a hand in over 75% of our goals. Thank you for carrying so much of the weight. Great to see him score the game winner against the team he was apparently not good enough for the reserve team.

  4. Nico C. says:

    That’s incredibly powerful. It really shows how happy Landon really was at LA under Arena.

    Can’t help but wonder if history would truly be any different if JK did call LD up for the World Cup. I know people here hate talking about this hypothetical situation, but you can’t help just wonder. The Cambodia trip, not getting called up for Brazil 2014, the slight decline during league play, post-Beckham era. It’s all too much for one man. Again, can’t help but wonder if any of that was different, he still would have continued to play.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

      LD has always struck me as an athlete who cared more about other things in life than the game they played. Similar to Barry Sanders mind set.

      I think his time off was imdicative of his dwindeling interest in continuing playing. Prior to that he cried on an interview with ESPN where he mentioned retiring.

      I think he retires regardless of making the WC or not.

      But we’ll never know. But if LD is okay with it; good for him.

      No reason to stick around if your hearts not in it.

  5. Mikey K says:

    Man, I hate to See L Donovan retiring. I am glad he showed Jurgen what he missed in Brazil. He had such a great career and inspired many.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      LD should of been on the team. His skill set is better than Davis’. But he really hasnt been on fire tearing up MLS and hes been average.

      He makes the team better but doesnt make the USMNT significantly better at 32. He wouldve of been a superb bench option.

      Oh well.

      • Paul says:

        Completely agree! I would have had his as an offensive sub instead of Davis (like Klose), and if EJ had his head screwed on right, Ej would have been a sub instead of Wondo.

        That being said, it is clear his head has not been in it for 3 years.

    • Anthony says:

      People need to let goof what happened this summer. Enough already! He is the most decorated USMNT player who did a lot to grow the MLS brand, but this retirement and Arena’s statement did more to affirm Klinsman call. LD has been checked out for 2/3 years (thinking about retirement). His heart has not been in it. Let’s celebrate the career he had (which stands upon itself). Please refrain from the petulant attacks (even though LD did not during his retirement speech).

      • Paul says:

        I think you mean “People need to let go…”

      • White Kix says:

        Or, it shows that he was so checked into the 2014 World Cup that he postponed his retirement by two or three years just so he could help the US at one more cup. He even took a little break a year and a half before the tournament so he would be ready.

  6. Maykol says:

    Cant recall a coach ever getting so emotional over a player. Cant wait for the game vs San Jose

  7. Green76 says:

    I few years back I was talking to my sons about Landon Donovan. My wife heard me talking and said, “There are two names in our house, Jesus and Landon Donovan.” “Honey!” I said, as a rebuke because Jesus is our Savior. “I know.” she said, “But it’s true!” I had to laugh, because it was. He has been a wonderful part of my family’s life. He has my appreciation and respect.

  8. Ali Dia says:

    Congratulations to an exceptional player of singular ability and intelligence. Dozens of times I’ve had the fortune of watching him play in person for the USMNT and Galaxy, and hundreds more on TV, and it has been a superb pleasure at every turn.

    One day we’ll have a US player win the Golden Boot in the Champions League, the Golden Ball in the World Cup, World Player of the Year, all those great things…. But zero respect for the person who doesn’t recognize LD. Our first genius. Legend and then some.

  9. Silly Sir says:

    What a cry baby.

  10. TADevil says:

    Wow, that was cool.

  11. jc says:

    As a reflective, opinionated, and seemingly sensitive personality that Landon appears to be, it makes me realize just how tough it must have been for somebody like that (the first ‘American soccer superstar’ if you will) to have shouldered the truly burdensome and unrealistic expectations of a growing soccer nation on his back.

    I may not have always agreed with your logic or career choices Landon, but you have my respect and thanks for all the special memories. I hope I’m able to appreciate you and your accomplishments appropriately post-retirement.

  12. Tom says:

    Bruceycakes? Hehe. If you made Bruce Arena cry, you must be somebody special.

  13. Wood Chip Zip says:

    The Bruce

  14. Billy says:

    Almost makes me wish he was running the Nats again.

  15. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Whats your favorite LD momemt?

    …Mine..LD waterfountain pic hahaha.

    • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

      Wow. I’d never heard of this so I looked it up.
      link to grantland.com
      For what it’s worth Pablo Maestroeni’s photo humping a picnic table totally blows Donovan’s water fountain pic out of the water. Surreal.

      • Anthony says:

        This makes me crack up every time I see it. I don’t remember 2001/2002 being that cheesie. From what I remember, it was the time time of all black and collarless shirts and Kenneth Cole…and square toe shoes :).

        • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

          I remember laughing so hard when I saw the pics.

          Nowadays, no way this happens.

          Good ol days.

          Haha. Other great LD moment…The Peeing Incident.

  16. Josh D says:

    I think his comment about seeing Donovan unhappy the last three years is what Klinsi saw and ultimately why from an emotional standpoint he didn’t think Donovan fit. To me that was the most interesting revelation.

    Him crying was nice to see. It shows that he and Donovan obviously have a deep personal relationship outside of the sport.

    I’ve been tough on Donovan and his club trajectory but I appreciate what he’s done for the US and the sport. He gave me a few of my happiest World Cup memories.

    • beachbum says:

      hey Josh, interesting that those years coincide with the arrival of Jurgen…that was my take. LD has a history of coming thru for his coaches that believe in him. That is interesting considering the 3 year thing you find revealing. I don’t think Klinsi, as you call him, saw what you think as much as helped create it, in one of, if not arguably his most talented players

      • Anthony says:

        Really, beachbum? If that is the case, LD is emotionally weak and insecure, and I highly doubt that is the case. I give LD more credit than that based upon what he has accomplished in his career. I think it just came down to the fact that he has been a professional player for 15 years and, in his mind, this part of his life had run its course. His explanation for taking his sabbatical a few years ago said it to me. You cannot hide when your heart and head are not truly in something. Listen, I worked in Germany and they are very into you being bought in or dedicated to something. Landon’s history has always been that his heart has to be bought it.

        It is getting tired for people to use LD’s retirement to swipe at Klinsman (although LD set the tone with his childish “poor decision comment”). Just celebrate his incredible career and hope that the next generation of attacking outfield players are all better than LD/Dempsey so we can actually threaten for World Cup.

        • beachbum says:

          really Anthony. And don’t advise me on how to celebrate his career, which I have done heartily for its entirety!

          what’s tiring is the continuous attempts by some to rationalize Klinsi’s poor move instead of copping to it, even if Klinsi is your hero…nauseatingly tiresome. If that stops, so will the rest

          • Paul says:

            Yeah, Really Beachbum! It is very childish to celebrate somebody by taking a swipe at somebody else. Make yourself feel better by picking on somebody else. That is sad.

            In my previous posts, I have said I would have taken LD as a sub, but I see the logic behind Klinsi’s choice. It has been clear for a long time that the guy’s heart is not in it. Arena’s comments and LD’s confirmed it. Based upon that, it was logical to leave him off. My friends, former teammates and I have just been involved in competitive sports through university (soccer/football/baseball and basketball). This includes guys who were on youth national teams and made it to the pro-level. Decisions are made all the time we don’t agree with. Although, I am a decade and half removed from that time and club sports, but I know that sometimes decisions we disagree with are made based on coach’s opinion (because his livelihood depends on it) and not usually personal agendas. Athlete’s typically let go and SO SHOULD YOU.

        • Lil'Zeke says:

          Jurgen failed to parlay a really good player into an optimal outcome. That’s a failure. He had successes, but his inability or unwillingness to navigate the psyche of one of his genius players was a low point that obviously resonated for a lot of people.

  17. A-Team. says:

    He held it together for so long, it was crazy.