What They're Saying: Landon Donovan

"There's a reason you see the passion in this area: Soccer's in their blood now. It takes generations. You don't start liking soccer five years ago and all of a sudden have a passionate fan base. This has been developing for years."

-- Landon Donovan, who began his MLS career with the San Jose Earthquakes, on soccer support in San Jose. Levi's Stadium averaged almost 62,000 for four Copa Centenario games, while the area will host in the span of 48 hours the AT&T MLS All-Star Game and Liverpool-AC Milan International Champions Cup match. (San Jose Mercury-News)
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8 comments about "What They're Saying: Landon Donovan".
  1. Gordon Holt, July 27, 2016 at 7:24 p.m.

    But, Landon, then why do newspaper sports sections ignore the MSL so completely? Still! After 40 years plus! US Today is hopeless. Even in Seattle the Sounders are kissed off versus the seahawks, baseball and College sports in their hometown.

  2. cisco martinez, July 28, 2016 at 10:33 a.m.

    Gordon, I agree but I think Donovan's point is soccer is growing and in my opinion it will surpass baseball, basketball, and potentially football. Its unfortunate American newspapers don't cover soccer as they do in Europe. I hope in my lifetime that will change.

  3. Wooden Ships, July 28, 2016 at 2:04 p.m.

    Landon is correct in regards to that area having a pretty good soccer heritage. I played out of Monterey in 76 and 7 and San Jose/San Francisco were the best parts of the state. I came to accept, even in the 60's St. Louis area, that waiting for the media to jump aboard was somewhat futile. Like all the things that are really good and special, consumers will come around. It has and continues to gain in popularity. We use to try dog and pony, especially indoor, to accelerate the acceptance. In many instances it backfired. Keep the game pure, no gimmicks to try to win over US sports fans, and it will garner more and more respect. After all, the rest of the world gets it, and decreasingly we are outlasting the stubborn. It's about experience and exposure, and these days you find youth soccer in the most remote areas of the country. As Cisco referenced it could very well be the dominant sport here someday. The growth rate compared to the other sports is far greater. Lets not bemoan the lack of coverage, lets just stay true to the players, officials and fans that love the game. It's still night and day from the 50's and 60's.

  4. Wooden Ships replied, July 28, 2016 at 2:07 p.m.

    Increasingly we are outlasting the stubborn

  5. Richard Brown, July 28, 2016 at 2:24 p.m.

    You know when I was a kid there was a Spenser Tracey movie it took place in the 1940s? I forget the name of it he is in a play ground. Kids were playing our football. I could not get over seeing that. It might have been some where in the mid west.

    In the 60s good soccer was played by ethnic players here in NYC not American born.

    Now everyone plays so football has come a long way since that time.

    Just the coaching has not got up to speed yet, but I am sure it will.

  6. Allan Lindh, July 28, 2016 at 11:30 p.m.

    Sc..w the coaching. Soccer is a player game. Get the kids playing when they are 5, and I don't mean on some team. I mean in the back yard with their friends and siblings and parents. If the ball loves their feet by the time they are 10, coaches won't be able to ruin them. It's why so many Hispanic kids in this country have foot skills, and then go to Mexico to play. Walk through your local Hispanic neighborhood some Sunday morn and see who's in the yards with their kids.

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, July 29, 2016 at 4:37 a.m.

    Never underestimate an adult's ability to suck all the fun out of youth sports.

  8. Richard Brown, July 29, 2016 at 6:13 a.m.

    Allan go to any ethnic park. You see all different age kids playing? Then if you can play ask them if you can play with them. Then just play with the,. I and my oldest son have been do that for 35 years together. He was ten when we first started doing that.

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