14 Jan 2016
Former Los Angeles Galaxy star Landon Donovan claims that the two major designated players of 2015 – Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard – may have misjudged the difficulty of the MLS.
His claims come after the duo failed to reach the play-offs with their respective teams. Lampard and Gerrard come on the back of impressive campaigns with Manchester City and Liverpool respectively. Both these players have been playing at a high standard since the start of their careers. Hence, the move to the MLS was seen as a major step down from the lofty heights.
It was seen as a last hurrah for the two players before the returned to Chelsea and Liverpool in some coaching capacity. Both players have signed a contract for around 18 to 24 months and it will not be long before they are fully retired from football. However, the may not have the same level of impact as the likes of David Beckham has had in the past. Beckham played in the MLS for five years and his LA Galaxy team won the cup a couple of times. Donovan says that the duo may have expected the MLS to be extremely easy given the usual standards.
Donovan recently retired from football much earlier than expected. Portland Timbers went on to lift the MLS cup by beating Columbus Crew. “They have been perceived well but it’s not easy. Sometimes people have this impression that you can go there and it will be easy – people from the outside. The players will tell you – and I think Steven has spoken about it openly – it’s quite difficult. Not because there is more quality from Liverpool but it’s difficult to travel and the pace of the game is fast. The Premier League is probably the fastest in the world but the pace [in the US] is faster than you realise,” said Donovan.