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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Uncalled for: Donovan's celebration

It has fallen upon me to bring this unfortunate event(s) to attention. Why is our most prolific goal scorer in the national team, overall best player for two years in a row, and without a doubt the American player most kids look up to, behaving like this? Landon Donovan has 8 goals in just 5 games and could become the highest scoring player in MLS history if this rate continues. But how does he celebrate this? On the video provided you'll see his reaction to the Houston defender after scoring: general shouting and taunting. Why? He just scored a beautiful goal from a sublime Beckham pass. LA's dynamic duo is finally working for them and yet what makes headlines in the soccer world is how immature Donovan is. Not only did he taunt the player in the Houston game... More significantly and flagrantly, in last weekend's game against arch-rivals Chivas, he celebrated and taunted the Chivas bench (which includes ex-national team member and now head coach Preki). Preki was disappointed by this event and had few words for Donovan. It was more of a "I'm so mad I'm not going to acknowledge you" kind of reaction. Rudd Gullit himself walked to the Chivas bench to apologize. I hope and daresay implore captain Becks and Gullit talk some sense into this young man. He should soon be leaving for Europe for a league like Spain or Italy (critics agree that Germany and England are no fit for his style). Surely he'll want to keep this kind of behavior in the past. But let's rewind... what really should have happened on Saturday? Red Card. That's right, even though he's my hero for scoring so many goals on Mexico I have to say it. Donovan already had a yellow for a flagrant handball a-la-Maradona that didn't quite pan out. Celebrating the way he did after those goals (it was a hat-trick against Chivas, by the way) would have earned him another yellow in most leagues around the world, and that includes other sports. You're not going to see that in the NFL without getting a nice fine to set you back a few thousand dollars. Lesser offenses have warranted such fines in the past. So whose fault is it really? The referee. Maybe the general atmosphere and a sense of keeping the game going got the better of him. Spectacular goals and full stadium aside, we must respect the game and the other players on the field. That's what separates the true stars from the plain goal-scorers. Let's hope the league learns this well by punishing this sort of behavior and let's hope Donovan doesn't disgrace his own scoring prowess.


Anonymous said...

you're a chach. Donovan is phenomenal and fully deserves to celebrate the goals anyway he so pleases, as he is the white Pele. Your thoughts are foolish and irrelevant.

R. Mera Velásquez said...

Please note this was from 2008. He has grown as a person and as a player and I am very proud of him, a fan of him, and I acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes. He is nothing short of an idol at this point.