Former USA goalkeeper Brad Friedel took the occasion of Clint Dempsey breaking the record for EPL goals by an American to take a shot at Landon Donovan, who at 29 has scored 46 goals in 138 U.S. appearances.
“You get a player like a Landon Donovan, who in my opinion chose to take the easy road and stay in the States.
It’s much harder to ply your trade over here,” Friedel told the BBC. “(The 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 profiling in the States sometimes is a lot more to do with sponsorships than what you actually do on the field. 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.”
As Brian Straus points out, Donovan just won his fourth MLS title. In January ’10 he went on loan to Everton of the English Premier League and quickly established himself as a starter. He scored two goals in 13 appearances and was named the club’s player of the month for January. Donovan wanted to stay longer, but the Galaxy insisted he return. In 2010, playing in his third World Cup, Donovan was the U.S. team’s best player across the four matches and scored three of the biggest goals in American soccer history.