Whoever had Nov. 29 in the pool, it’s time to collect. That’s the day the annual Landon Donovan-to-Everton rumor was revived, with the U.S. international now “officially” linked with a third loan move to the Liverpool-based club.
The Express was the English outlet that flinched first, reporting today that Everton boss Roberto Martínez is chasing both Donovan and Spartak Moscow midfielder Aiden McGeady. If Donovan were to move in January, he’d be available for nine Premier League matches as well a many FA Cup matches Everton’s draw into in that time. Should be arrive, the U.S.’s all-time leading scorer would provide another option out wide, where Martínez has started Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar four games in a row in his 4-2-3-1 formation.
Of course, Donovan’s not the only U.S. international linked with a move to Everton. Just yesterday we heard rumblings of Clint Dempsey’s potential Merseyside sojourn. It’s certainly possible Everton’s talking to both, but it’s also possible a U.S.-friendly club is the destination of choice for tabloids trying to link popular Americans with Premier League homes.
Donovan’s link obviously makes sense, though, even if the manager the spoke so highly of him during the Galaxy star’s previous loans has since moved on to Manchester United. Though David Moyes is gone, the 31-year-old has previously spoken about his affinity for the club, claiming the Toffees as the one English club he’d consider playing for. While last season’s contract extension with the LA Galaxy seems to preclude the possibility of a permanent move, a short-term, World Cup-year reunion with fellow U.S. international Tim Howard could find Donovan back in blue.
Over two previous loan spells with Everton (2010, 2012), Donovan played a total of 17 league games, scoring twice during his 2010 stint. His performance helped silence criticism of his previous European performances, with some previously citing failed spells with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich as criticism of Donovan’s club career.
Thanks to his previous performances with Everton, those days are ancient history. If he returns to England, Donovan will be doing so trying to prepare for the World Cup while helping his second club return to Europe. There’s no longer a need for Donovan to prove himself.
Bundesliga wrap: Bayern, Hertha 1-2; USMNT’s Pulisic stars again
Paraguay’s Dario Lezcano and the hosts looked prepared to cruise to a 3-1 win when he netted his second goal of the day, but there was still a half-hour left at Audi-Sportpark.
Adrian Ramos scored in the 69th minute, opening the door for the latest big moment for American teenager Christian Pulisic. The diminutive attacker scored his second Bundesliga goal of the season in stoppage time to propel BVB to a point.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had BVB’s other goal.
Hertha Berlin 2-1 Koln
Anthony Modeste and Koln had less than 10 minutes to celebrate their equalizer, as Niklas Stark’s 74th minute goal lifted Hertha to all three points. USMNT center back John Brooks went the distance at center back.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
What looked like a potential onslaught in the first half hour settled into a final score line, as Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa goals were enough for Carlo Ancelotti’s crew at the Allianz Arena. Gladbach managed just two shots, none on goal, in the loss. USMNT mid Fabian Johnson went 90 minutes in the loss.
Elsewhere Hamburg 0-3 Eintracht Frankfurt — Another 90 for USMNT’s Chandler
Freiburg 2-1 Augsburg — Nils Petersen nets winner.
Bayer Leverkusen 0-3 Hoffenheim — Early red card for hosts.
Darmstadt 3-1 Wolfsburg — Three different goal scores in win.
RB Leipzig vs. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke vs. Mainz — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Now 32 years old and Barcelona’s longest-tenured servant, Iniesta has played more than 40 games (all competitions) every season since the 2003-04 campaign, back when he was a 19-year-old La Masia product quickly breaking into the first team. Part of a run like that is down to unparalleled talent and an unwavering commitment to craft, but, of course, a stroke of good luck on the serious-injury front.
It’s looking quite unlikely he’ll extend his 40-games-played streak to a 13th season in 2016-17, however, after the club confirmed fears on Saturday that Iniesta suffered knee ligament damage during a heavy challenge by Valencia midfielder Enzo Perez early in the first half of Barca’s 3-2 victory — statement from Barca’s official website:
The first team player Andres Iniesta has injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. When he arrives in Barcelona the player will have more tests to find out the exact extent of the injury.
The Blaugrana also lost Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique to injuries during their Champions League triumph over Manchester City, as well as Rafinha and Arda Turan, who picked up knocks of their own in training during the week. Injury crisis at the Nou Camp.
How would manager Jurgen Klopp have felt if his dominant side, one that failed to put away maybe a dozen chances versus the Baggies, drew?
“We had to finish the game much earlier,” Klopp said. “It would have been kind of a joke if we drew or lost today. We were unbelievable. We wasted a little energy in the second half. … Performance, really good against a team like this that were here to get somehow something.”
He’s right, of course. The Reds need to learn to kill teams off, even if star West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster deserves plenty of credit for another starring role against a top team.
Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho scored first half goals worthy of admiration, and Liverpool beat West Brom 2-1 at Anfield on Saturday.
Gareth McAuley scored the Baggies’ lone goal, as West Brom took Liverpool’s day from comfortable to uneasy over the final 30 minutes or so.
The winning margin pushes Liverpool level on points Arsenal but behind the Gunners on goal differential. Man City has 19 points and would retake the table lead with a draw or better versus Southampton on Sunday.
The Baggies are 13th, ahead of West Ham and Burnley on goal differential.
The Reds went ahead when Roberto Firmino‘s spinning cross was belted past Foster by Mane in the 21st minute.
A poor Ben Foster clearance fell to Mane in the 35th minute, and the Senegalese attacker quickly found Coutinho. The diminutive winger cut into the box, working a near-post shot by Foster to make it 2-0.