Galaxy’s Donovan Sparkles in Everton Victory

i-a4b1882b2abeb2ffee5d6e77ed5cd9c1-donovanhomedebut.jpgLD and Phil Neville in full flight today for Everton. (AP Photos).

Especially in the first half of his Goodison Park debut in the Toffees’ 2-0 win over Manchester City. The win saw Everton propel themselves into the EPL top 10, while City dropped out of the top four with a performance that was, frankly, total crap (sorry to get so technical).

On-loan Landon Donovan raided down the right side for Everton to good effect, looking dangerous on occasion and helping to keep City’s defense vulnerable and tentative all afternoon. He went the entire 90 minutes in his second appearance for the club and was brought off in the 91st by Everton manager David Moyes specifically to allow the 37,000 or so Liverpudlians in attendance to show their appreciation.

He’s receiving good reviews and as The Sunday Telegraph observed today in their game story:

The Landon Donovan appreciation society were gathering in number, too, chorusing “USA” with gusto when the American broke away from Vincent Kompany, only to direct his chip wide.

Tweeted respected English soccer writer Henry Winter:

“Not that Capello will leave any World Cup oppo under-scouted…but USA’s Donovan doesn’t half take a great corner. Smart signing by Everton.”

Donovan got an assist from a corner last week against Arsenal in his Everton debut. BTW, Donovan is taking all the Everton corner kicks and today was constantly looking for the mop-like head of Marouane Fellaini, who was an aerial threat throughout the game. Donovan isn’t yet taking free kicks or penalty kicks though and Everton didn’t need him to today; other players supplied the goals from set pieces, first on a free kick and then from the penalty spot.

Moyes told evertonfc.com:

“I think it is our best performance of this season but I think it has been coming. We have been playing really well in recent weeks without maybe scoring enough or keeping a clean sheet to win the games.

“Our performances have been improving every week and it is now getting a bit more like where I want us to be.”

i-93e67e58ae94431caf9406bae2a4b778-donovan salute.jpg LD salutes the home fans as he’s subbed.

Next for Everton: Birmingham City at home Saturday in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

A round-up of EPL action (and other European Leagues) is here.

The Galaxy’s other on-loan European star, David Beckham, is scheduled to play Sunday for AC Milan against Siena in a game that can be seen live at 6 a.m. on Fox Soccer Channel.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Inigo Montoya

    Donovan was certainly one of the better players on the field for the day, tho he wasn’t the man of the match (I’d say that was the tall guy with the big hair, what’s-his-name).

    His corners were pretty consistently dangerous. (I can see why Moyes wants him to do them.) He was unlucky not to score when he broke free and chipped the goalie, but that was his best chance.

    He’s got most EPL players beat in speed, he seems above average in his ability to distribute the ball, and he matches them for a sense of the flow of the game. He seems a little overmatched one-on-one in footwork with the ball — he tried and failed several times to juke City’s left back.

    As long as he doesn’t get injured or wear himself out, this will be worth it for the Galaxy and USMNT…