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The Importance of Being Landon

  • Goal.com, Monday, November 26, 2007 3:45 PM
Goal.com's Kyle McCarthy ponders the implications of Major League Soccer's decision to allow Landon Donovan and other so-called "grandfathered" players to remain with their clubs. Because their high-paying contracts were drafted before the Designated Player Rule, MLS enabled Donovan, Eddie Johnson and Carlos Ruiz to play the 2007 season without commanding a DP slot. Now, thanks to a rule change, they can stay with their clubs for another season.

McCarthy likens the constantly changing MLS rules to kids organizing a baseball game at a local sandlot. He contends that in this instance, the rule was changed to accommodate Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy. No disrespect to Johnson or Ruiz, but the Galaxy striker is "the one player not named David Beckham (and, maybe, Cuauhtemoc Blanco) who can make MLS eschew league rules to accommodate his needs."

Why? Because Donovan is "the American face of a league that loses its next big things." Indeed, the departure of Clint Dempsey, Freddy Adu, and soon, Jozy Altidore is more than just a trend -- it's almost become a natural progression. Donovan is an exception. He wants to play in MLS, he wants to play for the Galaxy, and he is the USA's best player, so MLS must bend to his will. Now ask the rest of the league how it feels about L.A. getting another "unnecessary" boost.

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