Donovan re-ups with Galaxy, confirms loan to Everton

Photo from fOTOGLIF

After signing a four-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday, star striker Landon Donovan has agreed to a 10-week stint with English Premier League team Everton.

Once the calendar hits 2010, Landon Donovan is headed to Everton on a two-and-a-half month loan. Then he comes back to MLS for a couple months. Then he goes to South Africa. Then he maybe comes back to MLS or else goes back to Europe if he tears it up at the World Cup. Or maybe he comes back to MLS for a bit, then goes back to Europe after the season. Or maybe he just surprises us all and goes to Mexico.

There will be plenty of time to (again) obsess over Donovan’s long-term future in the coming months, but for now, we’ll stick to his move to the blue side of Liverpool. It’s an intriguing landing spot to be sure- a usual fixture in the top half of the EPL table whose form and injury woes have seen it drop to 15th place at the moment, just a point above the relegation zone.

Donovan had a terrific 2009 with the Galaxy, winning the league MVP and leading his team the finals. His international profile has never been higher, so it makes sense that an EPL club would seek his services.

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2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Learned

At the end of the year, it’s always interesting to look back at all that has happened in the world of sports over the last 12 months. 2008 brought us a host of compelling sports stories, including the culmination of the Patriots’ (unsuccessful) quest for perfection, a Bejing Olympics that featured incredible accomplishments by the likes of Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and the Redeem Team, and, of course, Brett Favre’s unretirement, which managed to hold the sports news cycle hostage for a solid month or more.

As is our tradition, we’ve once again broken our Year End Sports Review into three sections. The first is “What We Learned,” a list that’s packed with a number of impressive feats. And when there are feats, inevitably there are also failures.

Don’t miss the other two parts: “What We Already Knew” and “What We Think Might Happen.”

The New England Patriots weren’t so perfect after all.

After rolling through the 2007 regular season unscathed, the Patriots entered the 2008 Super Bowl as overwhelming favorites to roll over the pesky, but seemingly inferior New York Giants. The Pats were just one win away from staking their claim as the best football team in NFL history. But thanks to a dominating Giants’ defensive line, an improbable catch by David Tyree, and a virtually mistake-free performance by Eli Manning, the unbeatable New England Patriots were beat. It’ll go down as one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, and considering Tom Brady’s season-ending injury in 2008 cost the Pats a chance for redemption, it seems that many have forgotten how New England stood just one win away from perfection. – Anthony Stalter

Michael Phelps is part fish.

Eight gold medals in one Olympiad? No problem. Michael Phelps made the seemingly impossible look (relatively) easy en route to one of the most – if not the most – impressive Olympic performances ever. Phelps had to swim all four strokes, compete in both sprint and endurance races, and deal with the constant media attention and pressure that came along with his quest. Sure, NBC turned up the hype, but what Phelps accomplished is simply incredible. – John Paulsen

Usain Bolt is part cheetah.

First, Usain Bolt made Jamaica proud by setting a new world record (9.69) in the 100-meter sprint. Then, he broke the 12 year-old 200-meter world record with a time of 19.30 seconds. He showboated during the first race but cleaned up his act to win the second race in a professional manner. Some even say that Usain Bolt – not Michael Phelps – was the biggest story to come out of the Bejing Olympics. – JP

The Big 12 has the best quarterbacks in the nation.

The Big 12 housed some of the best quarterbacks in all of college football in 2008. Texas’s Colt McCoy, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Missouri’s Chase Daniel and Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell were all considered Heisman candidates at least at one point during the season, while McCoy and Bradford are still in the running. Amazingly, Bradford and McCoy aren’t done; both will return in 2008. And although they don’t receive as much attention as the top signal callers in the conference, Kansas’s Todd Reesing and Baylor’s Robert Griffin certainly turned heads this year as well. In fact, the highly versatile Griffin is only a freshman and could make the Bears a very dangerous team for years to come. – AS

Read the rest after the jump...

Remember Cobi Jones? Well, now you can call him “Coach.”

There was a time when the U.S. men’s soccer team could give Italy a run for their money. This was in 1992, specifically at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. That squad included the talents of Tony Meola, Steve Snow, and Alexi Lalas. The star of that team, however, was the speedy goal-scorer Cobi Jones.

After stints in South America, Europe, and for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS, Jones retired from professional soccer in 2007. But the Galaxy has called upon the great one once again, naming him interim head coach as the team reevaluates their recent performance. He will replace first-year coach Ruud Gullit who has resigned for personal reasons. The major changes include the dismissal of general manager Alexi Lalas, Jones’ former teammate.

Lalas arrived in Los Angeles in April 2006 after holding a similar position with both the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes, which, like the Galaxy, were owned by AEG. Handing his responsibilities will be Paul Bravo, the team’s director of soccer and Tom Payne, the assistant general manager.

“With Ruud moving on, we believe that this is the right time to make more sweeping changes throughout the organization,” Leiweke said. “Our commitment continues to be focused on not only winning the MLS Cup this and every season but to build a club capable of competing at the international level. This decision is the right one for the organization, the right one for the players and the right one for our fans. We thank Alexi for the tremendous hard work and dedication he brought to his job each and every day.”

This has been an extremely disappointing season for the Galaxy. They are on a seven-game losing streak and rapidly falling within their division. The fanfare has seemingly died down despite the solid play by David Beckham and Landon Donovan. It’s unclear whether Jones’ abilities as a player will transfer over to his new coaching position. One thing is for sure, he’s a soccer icon and a Los Angeles darling, and his presence will arouse needed fan support at home games.

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