The MLS Needs To Let Landon Donovan Go To England, for America’s Sake

Last week, MLS commissioner Don Garber said that Landon Donovan was not for sale, meaning that America's indisputable best player would be staying in the domestic league. On paper this makes sense — a league wanting to grow has its country's best player. But if Garber really has the interest of soccer's growth in America, he should let Landon leave and go join the growing number of Americans playing significant roles on European club teams. While in the short term it may help boost ticket sales for the LA Galaxy—Donovan's current team — and the sides they visit, this plan won't stick. Watching number 10 in person last week when the Galaxy visited DC United, it became apparent that he was exponentially better than most everyone on the pitch. Even Edson Buddle, also a member of the national team and Galaxy teammate, seemed amateur in sequences where Donovan sped past MLS defenders. Letting Landon go to England, where multiple managers have expressed interest in him, will let him develop further as a player, which will help the national team and ultimately help the MLS. Sure, many of America's best players got their start in the MLS, including our second and third-best players (at least by most people's ...
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