Landon Donovan, captain of the U.S. national soccer team, is headed to Everton on a two month loan during the MLS off-season. He will join Tim Howard, the goalkeeper for the national team.
After Donovan’s outstanding performance against Everton in a pre-season match, I noted how nice it would be to see Donovan wearing our Royal Blue Jersey. My view hasn’t changed, but a two-month loan deal won’t give him much of a chance to confirm it. Moreover, it’s a bit odd that we’re picking up attacking players, which we have in abundance — Saha, Jo, Yakubu, Cahill, Osman, Pienaar, Bilyaletdinov, Osman, and (soon, let’s hope, Arteta) to fill four positions — at a time when we’re playing teenagers and converted right backs in the heart of our defense.
Donovan will be the fourth American to play for Everton. The first two were Brian McBride and Joe-Max Moore. McBride played well during a loan spell before going on to excel for Fulham. Moore was used almost exclusively, and for a while very effectively, as a sub in the latter stages of matches where we were trying to salvage a result, (I suspect Donovan too may fill this role). “The Little Yank,” as he was affectionately known, won the admiration of the Goodison faithful for the energetic and fearless way in which he threw himself about.
They rewarded him by singing:
How do you like it
How do you like it
Joe-Max reciprocated with this farewell note to the fans:
The supporters have been great to me. The Evertonians are a special bunch and they never gave me anything less than 100% backing. I’m just glad that I had the odd opportunity to repay them with a few goals. The team is in a great position right now and I’m sure that David Moyes can take it from strength to strength. I will certainly be keeping in touch with the team’s fortunes when I am back in the States. I am aware of the history of Everton and I am extremely proud to have played for the club on more than 60 occasions. I hope all the players and staff, and the supporters have a great Christmas.