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Landon Donovan to Europe, part I can’t count that high anymore

Everton's Donovan challenges Chelsea's Mata during their English Premier League soccer match in Liverpool

USMNT star Landon Donovan, left, excelled when on loan at Everton and the club has a strong link with the U.S.


Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Landon Donovan may leave the Los Angeles Galaxy to join a team in Europe after the season.

Okay, stop.

Now keep reading.

Over at ESPN, Doug McIntyre and Luke Cyphers have a report that “more than one league insider told us that they don’t think Donovan will be in MLS next season.” (It’s Insider, so you’ll just have to trust us on the content.) There’s no reason to doubt the report and, for a number of reasons that they cite, a move makes sense. In no particular order: It’s the last year of Donovan’s contract, Frank Lampard, Everton, and Tim Cahill.

But the biggest one is that a move could actually extend Donovan’s playing career. How could moving to the world’s best, most physical league keep Donovan around for longer?

The Galaxy star is clearly getting tired of his surroundings. He seems to love California, but recent comments show that he’s lost a little bit of that fire to play. MLS is good -- getting better all the time -- but it almost seems too easy for Donovan at times. The challenge of the EPL would reignite him. He’s not quite as fast as he used to be, but he’s still quick and smart and skilled. He’d fit in at Everton (or any team, for that matter).

A move would allow Donovan to do what he does best: make his team better. He’s not the type of guy who thrives as the best player on a squad; he’s much better picking his spots, playing with intelligence, and adding value. The successful stints at Everton came because he didn’t try to do too much. Donovan let the game come to him and made an impact when and where he could. (That’s called experience.)

Getting out of LA is a logical step. I hope it happens. It would be fun to watch and good for his career.