After finishing the greatest career in United States soccer history, Landon Donovan is getting one last accolade. He is especially proud of this one. Major League Soccer is going to name its Most Valuable Player trophy after Landon Donovan.
The naming is well deserved, considering Donovan is the all-time leading American player in goals and assists in the league, with 144 and 136, respectively.
Donovan had this to say about the award:
“As a child, soccer was merely an outlet for me - a way to express myself,” said Donovan. “To have this prestigious award named after me is truly unimaginable. Thank you to Commissioner Garber, Major League Soccer and all of the people that have supported me along the way. I am extremely humbled by and proud of this honor.”
The question must be asked, though, how long will the trophy remain named after him?
This is the man, after all, that was left off the United States National Team this past summer. Youth was favored over the greatest soccer player in the history of the United States. There is little reason to believe a similar favoring is not in the MLS’s future.
Just in the past year, the MLS has shown a yearning for the new. The league revamped its logo, and has added two expansion franchises for 2015, with a further two planned for 2017.
The talent level of the league will continue to rise as the talent level in the U.S. rises. It will not be long before the next “Greatest Player in the History of the U.S.” retires with more goals and more assists, with a star (arguably) twice as bright as Donovan’s ever was.
Donovan is famous because he was a great American soccer player. In general, however, the stars the United States has a history of producing are famous not because they are American, but because they are the best. There will come a day when the pride and joy of United States soccer is given a trophy named after the a player whose career ended with a fizz.
Fifty years from now, if the MLS is still around to hand out MVP trophies, people will either not remember Donovan, or will not care to tell anyone about him if they do.
Donovan deserves to be remembered, but not in a way that inspires patronization.
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