Fri, Mar 6th 2009, 14:27
Everyone, Thank you. I really appreciate the questions and support. I look forward to participating in another Q & A in the near future.
Q: Landon, If you don’t end up doing a deal with Bayern have you had any other interested teams and parties anywhere else in Europe? If yes, where and who? Thanks!
A: There have been inquiries by other teams in Europe but at this point I am focused on returning to the Galaxy and getting the season underway. As I did with Bayern Munich, if there is real interest from a team abroad, I will look at it seriously.
Q: Do you think that you will stay in Europe or will you be coming home for good? I think it is a shame what has happened during your stay in Munich, you guys just couldn’t catch a break. Which player at Bayern has helped you most and was there anyone there that you would like to pattern your game after. Can’t wait until for April 1st.
A: At this point I am returning to the Galaxy for the 2009 season. I can’t predict what will happen in the future but I am keeping all my options open at this point. A number of players were very friendly and spent time informing me about how things work at BM. Most guys were very nice and fun to be around. In particular, I got along well with Hamit Altintop and Jose Sosa.
Q:Hi – thanks for all you’ve done for the Galaxy and American soccer. As a diehard Galaxy fan, I wish you the best of luck in getting out of our clown car and onto a less ridiculous team.
A: I understand that Galaxy fans are frustrated with the last couple years. It’s been equally difficult for the players. We all want things to turn around and from what the guys tell me, this is the most promising the team has looked for awhile, for a number of reasons. I really love this club and I want to be more instrumental in helping to turn things around.
Q: First what to go on record saying that I think you are bar none the best US player ever. Have really enjoyed watching your career and hope you have another 2 or 3 World Cups in you. Second, glad to see you challenging yourself with Munich and I hope it works out in the long run for you. I think you played great in the matches I saw during their winter break and would love to see more of you and Ribery together. As an MLS fan, I’m selfish and want you to come back home. However, I think for the US’s chances in 2010 it would be great for you to be fighting for a spot each day in Europe.
My question is, if you don’t stay with Bayern do you plan on looking to other countries for chances? I think you would excel in La Liga.
One last question- what position do you actually prefer? I’m anxious to see you, Dempsey, Jozy and Adu start getting minutes together. Good luck this season and see you in Nashville.
A: Thank you, I appreciate that. As I said earlier, I am keeping all my options open at this point. I want to spend some time thinking about the last few months and figure out what the future might hold. At this point, I am equally comfortable playing as a forward or midfielder. I have learned how to be effective in many positions.
Q: Do you feel you were given a fair chance to impress during your stay at Bayern? Were mostly second half appearances enough time to make a mark or do you feel you should have been given more starts?
A: I obviously wanted to play as much as possible but I also clearly understand that you have to earn your playing time. Coming in as a sub is entirely different than starting a game and I really would have loved that chance.
Q: Landon, In early January, coach Klinsmann was quoted as saying about you, “He has unbelievable pace and dribbling skill, he looks for the one-on-one situations . . . .” Having closely followed your career throughout the years (including what I’d consider your best performances at the 2002 WC and 2005 MLS playoffs), I’d agree that your most outstanding moments come through dribbling and one-on-ones — but I didn’t see you searching out opportunities to take over games in this way while at Bayern. (Instead, I saw a lot of one-touch passing and trying to position yourself for headers or rebounds; Ribery played as I’d hoped you would.) Did the coaching staff instruct you to play in a more limited capacity? Did you have different instructions for different games (and could you share some of them?)Thanks a lot, and best of luck — we all believe in you (even to take on and beat John Terry)
A: This is a great question and hopefully I can help people understand some things about coming into a new environment. With the US team and the Galaxy, I feel more comfortable because I usually have 90 minutes to make an impact and my teammates will forgive mistakes because they know what I’m capable of. Coming into an unfamiliar environment, it’s difficult to balance, 1.) Being selfish and trying to make an impression with, 2.) Trying to fit into the team and do what is needed in a given situation. It’s one of the trickiest parts of being a new player on a team.
Q: I wanted to know what you thought was the reason why your loan move was not made permanent? It seems that Klinsmann is on your side but the same cannot be said for upper management. please explain… do you still hope to play in Europe after this experience?
A: Quite simply, the Galaxy didn’t want to let me go and BM wasn’t comfortable with what they would have to spend.
Q: How do you think your time in Germany will help you with the US National team and the LA Galaxy?
A: I am certainly a more experienced player now. I really enjoyed having the challenge of competing for a spot everyday and I think I have developed some good habits from being here.
Q: Would you be interested in donating money (or items for the silent auction) to the Annual Connor Senn Memorial Foundation match of the Columbus Crew versus Ohio State Mens Soccer team? With these down times in the economy I am trying to help this foundation bring in more lucrative items for the silent auction, but at the very least any amount of money towards this event will be greatly appreciated!Danny O’Rourke played with Connor and he could definitely vouch for this. Keep on keeping on Landon!
A: I will make sure my agent is in touch with you and I would be more than willing to help out.
Q: Landon, which European league do you think generally BEST fits your skill set and style of play?
A: I’ve only played in the Bundesliga and in America. It’s hard for me to say exactly, but from watching on TV, I think the Spanish game would suit my style well. I think my qualities would be appreciated in the Spanish league.
Q: How did you feel you matched up against Bayern’s world class strikers, and what would it have taken to make a bigger impression on the front office? Did the rest of the team accept you (in terms of working with you on the pitch)?
A: They have 3 very good strikers at BM and they are all a little different in how they play. I feel I fit in very well, though my style of play is certainly different than theirs. I would like to think the players really enjoyed having me there and I learned a lot from all of them.
Q: I want to start by telling you that I’m very happy that you decided to take this challenge, and give it your best shot. Regardless of the outcome, you’ve represented our country well. My question is about you returning to Europe. Is there any doubt at this point that you will be taking advantage of the earliest opportunity to return to Europe? If so, when do you anticipate that being, and when is your contract with MLS up?
A: My contract with the Galaxy expires after the 2011 season and the Galaxy have been very clear about wanting me to stay at least until then. It’s hard to imagine that they will change their stance on this but we’ll see what happens.
Q: I live in Sweden and was able to watch most of the winter-break friendlies where it seemed you were used further up the pitch. In the regular season games it seemed like you were used out wide more. Was that frustrating for you, to be given an inconsistent role?
A: I was happy to get on the field and it didn’t matter where I was playing. I tried to make impact independent of what position I was in. I am comfortable in many different positions and that wasn’t frustrating at all.
Q: Who do you like in the next round of MLS expansion?
A: I just read the article about Miami dropping out of the race and that is disappointing. However, nobody can pretend to know what is going on behind the scenes with regards to expansion and it would be nearly impossible to predict. That being said, I think it would be great for Seattle to have a Northwest rival (or possibly 2). Portland and Vancouver are both great soccer cities and would be great additions to the league.
Q: Would starting a match with Bayern instead of subbing in help get comfortable with the play of a game? Is the German preference for tall centerbacks a detriment a speed striker?
A: Starting a match is always preferred, no question about it. I see it as an advantage for quicker strikers because bigger centerbacks generally don’t move as well.
Q: Now that you have shown that you can definitely play with one of the biggest clubs in Europe, have other clubs come calling? And…How could a team best use Landon Donovan?
A: As I said earlier, there has been interest but nothing concrete as of now due to the transfer window being closed.
Q: What is the attraction to the Bundesliga? This is your third trip to Germany and it looks like Bayern may not work out long term. I believe you are more than capable of enough, why hasn’t it worked and are you interested in testing the English market after the MLS season?
A: There is no specific attraction to the Bundesliga. My goal was to come to Europe and play and I wasn’t overly concerned with what country I was going to. Many factors made this choice very obvious for me and it was just a coincidence that I ended up in Germany.
Q: Landon, We want you back in LA. We know how to appreciate, skill, speed and cunning creativity.
A: Thank you. I am excited to get back and start the season!
Q: Landon. Do you believe that the MLS needs to up the salary cap, so that more talented players (like yourself) can move to the States and make the teams more competitive against foreign leagues? Do you believe that there is a fan base here in the States that would support this?
A: There’s no question that the league needs to spend more money on player salaries to not only attract foreigners but also to keep talented young Americans in the league. The league has never been healthier financially and most, if not all, teams are making a profit. I think it’s time to reinvest in the product on the field and continue to improve the quality of play. The fans want to see this and would clearly support it.
Q: What is your most cherished memory of playing with Bayern Munich?
A: Getting into my first game was incredible. I think the game I will remember most was the Dortmund game. My wife and agent traveled over for the game and we ended up winning the game in the last few minutes. The stadium was electric and it was really an incredible experience.
Q: Landon Donovan, congratulations on your success and continued success in soccer. Does Bayern have plans only to play you as forward? Why not behind the forwards or on the right wing? I think you are better off to ‘showcase’ yourself and play for a team in the middle of the standings in the Bundesliga or any other league for that matter. I wish you would go to a team where you would be the difference maker. I just don’t see it at Bayern. I’d like to see you go to Holland, France, or Italy, but not one of the top 3 teams in those leagues. Good luck and God bless.
A: You make a fair point and I knew it was always going to be difficult at such a successful club. After these couple months, I know I can play at this level even if it didn’t work out this time. Again, we’ll see what the future brings.
Q: Landon: One of your biggest fans. Enjoyed meeting your wife when we rooted you on at one of your biggest performances in Kaiserslautern. Thought your performances in the exhibition games were fantastic, although I don’t think you got a fair shake when the season got started. Will you be giving Europe another go with another club if Bayern doesn’t end up offering a contract, as your price tag has grown because of your value to MLS? Where could you see yourself going? Do you feel still you need to move to Europe to grow as a player, or has your time at Bayern Munich changed your mind with respect to that? Look forward to rooting you on in Nashville, Chicago, and down in Mexico City at the Azteca. We will win down there this time. I have faith in you.
A: I think I’ve answered your questions, just wanted to thank you for your support and I can’t wait to go to Azteca again!
Q: Landon,What have you learned from your three times playing soccer in Germany? What advice would you give a young player when he is considering playing overseas? Good fortune in USMNT qualifying matches this year!!!
A: I always tell young players that every situation is unique and that each player needs to do what is best for them. There is no specific way to start your career. The most important thing is that you’re playing as much as possible. You can train with great players as much as you want, but you eventually need to play games to progress.
Q: Ciao Landon, I’m an admirer of your game and what you do for US soccer. I follow Serie A and kinda always wondered how you’d fair in Italy. Did you ever get any offers from Serie A teams? Would you consider playing there??
A: I would certainly consider playing in Italy. Luca tells me often how beautiful Italy is and I think it would be a great place for me to play.
Q: What was the biggest difference for you in terms of the difference between the style of play in Germany vs. MLS?
If you return to MLS, do you still want to go abroad and if so, which league(s) do you think fit your style of play best?
A: The Bundesliga is very focused on one versus one battles. There is a lot of emphasis put on winning your individual dual and that will translate into team success. In MLS, there is more of a concept of teamwork and getting the job done together. Technically, the players are more sound in Germany, but the MLS definitely has a lot of players who would be successful in the Bundesliga.
Q: Are you disappointed it looks like you are coming back to LA?
A: I’m not disappointed at all. It didn’t necessarily turn out the way I had hoped, but it was an incredible experience and I don’t regret any part of it. I am a better player and person for having played at BM.
Q: At your time with Bayern Munchen, did you look more tactically, technically, professionally, or any other -ally? And what was it that you learned that you think you might not/could not have learned just from MLS play?
A: In my time here, I became a better player in all areas of my game. Technically and tactically, I was pushed everyday. Professionalism is mandatory here and I continued to grow in that area. They have an incredible training facility and I spent at least 4-5 hours a day at the training grounds working on all aspects of my game.
Q: With your time there did you get any of questions about MLS? The Quality? Any players mention they would like to play here someday?
A: Great question. Many, many players asked me questions about MLS and the possibility of playing in America. I was actually quite surprised how many players were interested in playing in MLS. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the guys follow through with their desires to play here.
Q: Given the drama with Podolski, was there ever any tension present between you two? Did you ever feel that the board was unfairly treating you given that you came from the MLS, and judged you based on your history and not your talent?
A: Candidly, I went in with an open mind and wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Lukas. I think, initially, there may have been a little tension on his end. However, I was professional and respectful with everyone, including Lukas, and we got along quite well as time went on. I like him and I think he will be very successful in Cologne and for Germany.
Q: Big fan Landon, it’s been amazing watching you in the MNT while living and watching games in packed dowtown bars in Mexico City, it’s really tough walking into a sea of green with the red white and blue, but you already knew that. As for the Bayern Munich loan, and whatever the turnout may be, what do you think you have taken out of these past months? Has the limited time, and or coming in when your team is losing affected your performance on the field in any way? Do you feel that a return to the MLS would be like holding you back in a way? And, finally whenever you permanently stay in Europe, because we all know you will, where would you rather ply your trade? Wish you the best, and good luck in El Salvador!
A: Thank you for your note and I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many American soccer fans in Mexico City. As I said all along, my intention was to play in Europe permanently. However, that doesn’t mean playing in MLS will hold me back. It’s debatable whether playing limited minutes in the Bundesliga is better than playing 90 minutes week in and week out in MLS. At this point, it will be important for me to be playing full games, especially with Qualifiers coming up.
Q: Hey Landon, I’m a big fan of what you’ve done for the American brand of soccer. Growing up, where/how did you watch soccer and who were your biggest influences in terms of developing a style and technique?
A: Unfortunately, I didn’t watch soccer on TV. We didn’t have cable and we weren’t allowed to watch much TV anyways. My style and technique came from the youth teams I played with, where most of the players were Hispanic. I was always pushed technically by my coaches and that is now one of my biggest strengths.
Q: Hey Landon I am a huge fan of you but I just wanted to know one thing, how did your time at Bayern Munich help you grow as a player and as a person?
A: Both personally and professionally, I learned a lot at BM and grew every day. It took a little time to get completely comfortable with the speed of play but I am now confident I can play at this level. It was a great experience and I’m glad I was given this opportunity.
Q:Do you think you received a fair shot to prove yourself at Bayern? In retrospect, do you think it was a mistake to attempt to return to Euros via a big-name team like BM vs. a smaller team where the expectations are less and you’d get more playing time?
A: I honestly don’t have any regrets about my time in Germany. I decided to try this out because the opportunity was too good to pass up. Again, I knew it would be difficult but it was a challenge that I wanted to take.
Q: Hi Landon- You are an inspiration to all soccer fans. I am disappointed that you were never really given the chance you deserve to become one of the two starting strikers at Bayern. Truly, Klose and Luca Toni are world class strikers, but I think you proved on a number of occasions that you are capable of playing alongside either of them, or in tandem with any of the world’s top strikers. Your skill, maturity and dedication towards improvement make you an asset to any top quality team in the world. With that in mind, would you consider a move to perhaps a lesser recognized team then Bayern, where you would play day in and day out, or do you think you benefit more from moving to another big team where you might serve the roll as a “super sub”. Certainly I understand the value of practicing daily with the world’s best, but can that replace playing time in game situations? You deserve a starting role on a very high quality team, and truly hope you the best in succeeding with that.
On a side note, we met you in the hotel in NY prior to the Argentina game, and you took a picture with my 3 year old old son Landon (yes, we kind of named our son after you). That picture truly made our year, and my son sleeps with it at his bedside. So THANK YOU!- Andrew Weinfeld
A:Thank you Andrew, I appreciate all that. Thanks for your support.
Q: LD, In your opinion, how come no other teams in Europe have taken a SERIOUS interest in acquiring you while other USA national team members are given chances at European clubs (i.e. Dempsey, EJ Fulham, Beas, Edu Rangers)? You have the greatest talent of any field player to ever have come out of the States. Do you think it may relate to your earlier endeavors to Germany? Best of luck in future moves. Enjoyed seeing you briefly play with Munich.
A: As I said earlier, this is an economic issue. If I were free after this year, I wouldn’t be answering this question.
Q: Hi Landon, if you don’t stay at Bayern. Will you seriously give other countries in Europe, such as Italy or Holland a try? Did you feel you got adequate support from Klinsmann? Don’t let the haters get you down.
A: I’ve answered the first question. Juergen has been great throughout this whole process and I’m very grateful he gave me this opportunity. He’s been very supportive throughout, as have most people at the club.
Q: Thanks Landon, I was wondering how you thought you could be best utilized at Bayern? I saw sometimes that you were used as a forward alongside Klose, and sometimes you on the right as a winger. How is it also different only getting 15 minutes of playing time to score, versus 90=2 0minute? Finally, what could have been different that would have made your loan deal successful enough to the point where you would have been kept on a permanent basis? Thanks so much, I will always watch you no matter what team you play for, but for the summer, I’d love to see you in Spain…
A: You ask a good question. This was my first time in a long time being used as a substitute. It’s definitely different than being in the rhythm of starting games. It was good to experience, but I believe I am more valuable over the course of 90 minutes.
Q: Landon, Having watched you over the years I’ve thought your style of play is better suited for the Argentine league or Spain. Would you consider a contract for a club in Argentina? If you did well at even the mid level sides your market value would increase a lot and you already speak Spanish so why not?
A: I have been to Argentina twice and really love the country but I don’t have any desire to play there at this point in my career.
Q: What is the hardest thing to transition to from MLS to the Bundesliga? Also, what’s up with that PK routine, quite elaborate. I guess it must work though, because I have been following the Galaxy and the US team ever since your arrival and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you miss one yet. Keep up the good work!
A: The two hardest things were trying to gain the respect of the players and then earning playing time. I’m pretty superstitious and my PK ritual grounds me before I step into that pressure packed moment.
Q: Landon, when I heard you were going overseas, and I heard some comments you made about the EPL, I thought maybed I’d see you at a time like Everton or, porque tu hablas espanol, maybe a Spanish club. Since your previous stints in Europe were in Germany, which didn’t go so well, or as well as hoped (don’t get me wrong, I am just guessing that you probably take a lot of flack for not “sticking” with a team earlier), why did you decide d to go back to Germany? And not just to Germany, but to the toughest German side to get playing time for?I know you have a relationship with FCBs coach, but I’m assuming you knew that it would be tough to secure a full time move to FCB. So my question is, why FCB and not a team where you could pretty much bank on being a 1st choice player? Was it too big of an opportunity to turn down? Do you expect that allowing other teams to see you compete well with the stars on FCB will make a move to another team easier? Basically, why did you pick Bayern over a more “sure thing” type club? PS if you come back to MLS, please don’t score any goals against the fire. Thanks.
A: These are all good questions. The reality is that not many teams are willing to take a player on loan for only a couple months. From a manager’s perspective, it’s difficult to bring a player into a squad and give them real playing time when you don’t know the player well and you know the player will be leaving soon. Juergen being at BM was a huge advantage for me and helped make the loan deal possible. It wasn’t quite as easy as me picking any team I wanted and going there for a few months.
Q: Yo Landon, what it is. I know playing in germany, italia, spain, and england are seen as the best leagues world wide and a dream for every youing talented player but how about staying near home and getting paid in the FMF. You already know the language, food, and weather. I beleive you would shine in mexico and make the rivalry that more enjoyable. Plus just think of the media buzz on both sides of the borders. thats the attention soccer needs more of in our country.
A: Earlier in my career, I could have never imagined playing in Mexico but I am not so opposed to it now. I don’t think it would happen in the near future, but it’s a possibility someday. I have a lot of respect for the Mexican League.
Q: Landon, I think you are a great player and it’s great to see you play at Bayern Munich.
What is your proudest achievement while at BM and what is your greatest disappointment while there as well? Here’s to hoping we get to enjoy watching you play in Europe very, very, soon. Best always, Michael
A: My proudest achievement is being the first American to play at such an incredible club. There wasn’t any real disappointment, only that I wanted to play more (what player doesn’t!)
Q: Happy Birthday Landon !!! We are huge fans, and true fans of MLS. We wish you well always, and appreciate all the hard work you do on and for our National Team.Keep the faith…Deb
A: Thank you Deb!
Q: Dear Landon, Huge fan of yours. I just wondering how much of a difference is MLS competition compared to playing for Baryern Munich. I know that probably Europe is better but whenever the MLS All-Stars play an European Club, MLS tends to win but I think its because the European Club is on there off season so they are “rusty”. I want to hear your opinion. Also do you see a difference in playing tactics when playing for the U.S. and the tactics at Bayern Munich. I hope you are playing well.Sincerely, Arran Setro
A: The levels aren’t that much different. The biggest difference is that the teams are much deeper and there is more competition for spots in the team. The players as a whole are more talented in Germany but the gap isn’t as big as you might think.
Q: How has your diet been in Munich? Are you eating local fare (shnitzel und Bier) or American type of dishes? What about this city…any time for sight seeing?
A: The food in Munich has been fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised by the food and how fresh and real everything tastes. I haven’t had an “American” dish since I’ve been here. I really miss In N Out burgers though!
Q: What is your favorite part about living in Germany or German culture/lifestyle?
A: Munich is a great city. There’s a lot more sunshine than I realized the people are very friendly and there’s lots to do. The architecture is really impressive and not something we get to see on a daily basis in America.
Q: Have you read the fictional account of your adventures in Europe on DirtyTackle.net? If so, are they similar to your actual experience?http://www.dirtytackle.net/category/l-donovans-euro-adv-of-epic-broportions/
A: I had never read it but I went to the link and really enjoyed it. Thanks for the laugh.
Q: Hey Landon, What things do you most miss about being in So Cal???
A: Obviously, I miss my wife, our dogs and our home. I also miss the weather, my Galaxy teammates, my friends and the food.
Q: Do you think your experience with Bayern Munich will have a great effect on your playing style when you return to the Galaxy?
A: I don’t think so. My style has always remained the same, with improvements along the way. However, I think the competitive nature of every training session will help me a lot.
Q: Hey Landon, Happy Birthday afterwards! After your time with Bayern Munich, can you imagine to come back to Germany and try once again with another Club? Good Luck and wish you all the best! Greetings Stephan
A: I realy enjoyed my time in Germany and I have newfound respect for the country as a whole. If there was an opportunity to come back to a different team in Germany, I would absolutely be willing to listen.
Q: Hi Landon. Do you love the standing room areas of Bundesliga stadiums as much as I do? I think that they add a fantastic element to the atmosphere if done safely. Not that you’re a stadium expert or MLS front-office guy, but would you like to see standing room supporters areas in MLS stadiums?
A: I agree with you and think they’re great. They have standing room areas all over Europe and I think they really add to the atmosphere.
Q: Hello Landon,
I’m a big fan of your game since the success of US national team in 2002. I think you’ve had a huge impact on the team’s game during the last years and I’m sure you have the ability to proceed contributing and leading the US team towards the next world cup and hopefully to new achievements.
I understand your passion to the game in the MLS and living in the states (and I do have a respect for MLS), but I think that as a leading American professional soccer player it is best for you to develop your skills in Europe in order to bring more experience to the national team. Of course, it is a lot of hard work, but you’re the kind of those players that made for these challenges. I think the time of your stay at Bayern was insufficient for you to show what you are capable of, but I know it’s not your . Hope to see you next season in a big club in Europe (it doesn’t have toϑfault be a big club like Bayern). Anyway, my question is- did you feel comfortable with your position on the field dur ing the games in Bayern as you were probably instructed? Because it looked like you were not that expressed on that spot, being like central striker and not wing forward or suchlike.
A: Thanks for your comments and I think I already answered your question.
Q: Hey Donovan chin up. No matter what decision is made in Germany, You are still one of the top players in the world. You have acomplished many things, and that, nobody could take it away from you, the records are there in writing! We’ll always support you. If you play in the States or in any League. That’s what true fans do.
A: Thank you very much
Q: Thanks for the opportunity to ask you a question. What were you most impressed with or suprised by with regards to your teammates skill levels? Who was the player most likely to pull a practical joke?
A: I was really impressed with Philip Lahm and Miro Klose. Philip’s ability to make plays as an outside back in incredible. He’s a fantastic passer, great on the ball, and can also get forward and score goals. Klose’s ability to sniff out the ball in front of goal is really impressive. He always seems to find rebounds and is always positioned correctly when balls are being served into the box. Ribery and Podolski are the two clowns of the team and are constantly messing around.
Q: Landon, I’ve watched each of your matches with Bayern, and I think you’ve done a very good job fitting in to the team’s style of play and contributing on the field. It’s tough—as a fan—seeing your “future” determined by a stretch of ineffective results (and some heady goalkeeper play by your opposition). Question: What part of your game did you find needed the most work when you got to Bayern? And what part of your game surprised you in terms of perhaps giving you an edge over the current Bayern roster or your Bundisliga opponents?
A: In MLS, training sessions and the games can be really hectic because of the pure athleticism of the players. You generally don’t have a lot of time on the ball and have to make decisions quickly. In Germany, the defenders give the attacking players more respect and are more inclined to drop off and keep the play in front of them. Early on, I gave the ball away unnecessarily a number of times because I was convinced there was pressure coming, only to find out I had time to take a few touches. That was something I had to adapt to.
Q: Landon in the few minutes I watched, you appeared to be too unselfish, always playing to your teammates and never running at the defenders. Did Klinsi mention this? The supporters seldom understood your runs and never played the ball behind the defenders. Did you tell them wh at you wanted? Germans like agressive attitudes you know.
A: This was always going to be a difficult situation because of the short nature of my loan. It’s hard to gel with players when you don’t know their qualities. There were a number of times in both training and in games where I made good runs beyond the defense and the ball never came. I don’t blame the players for that, I only wish I had a little more time to develop connections with them on the field.
Q: Hi Landon – When a club has players from all over the world, what is the common language used among all the players and coaches? Is communication the same in the clubhouse and on the pitch? Did your Spanish come in handy? It’s been fun rooting for you and BM…best of luck!
A: This is a very good question because I wondered the same thing before I got there. Most of the guys speak some German. The latin players speak Italian/Portuguese/Spanish and Ribery spoke French to whoever would listen.
Q: Hey Landon, thanks for taking questions. It seems like you headed the ball on goal more during your couple of months with Bayern than you have during your entire carreer up to this point (yes, that’s hyperbole, but still). Were Klinsmann’s instructions for you to get into the box and make yourself available for crosses? Should we expect to see more of Landon McB ridovan with club and country in the future?
A: I think you saw that because of the way teams play against us. It’s really difficult to get the ball with any kind of space as a forward when you play for BM. Teams collapsed really deep and forced us to go wide. A lot of times, my only hope at making an impact was being in front of the goal when crossed came in.
Q: Landon, I read that you decided to leave Bayern Munich 5 days before your loan spell was up, is this true?
A: I’m not sure where you read that but it’s not true. I signed a contract with BM until March 8th and nothing has changed.
Q: Out of all the teams you’ve played for over your career, which is your favorite? THANKS, you’re a pleasure to watch.
A: That’s a difficult question to answer. I guess I would say the team I played with my first year in San Jose was special because it was my first chance at being a professional and I really soaked it all in. Of course, winning the championship makes it even better, and that was a really fun team to be a part of it.
Q: Hello Landon,I’m a huge supporter and thank you for the opportunity to ask questions. The unfortunate dip in form that BM had during your spell there surely did your prospects there no favors, but it probably did serve as a learning experience about the demands and challenges of being with an elite team in an elite league. What about the experience of being at a to p club during a period of uneven form teach you about yourself, as a player, and what about it do you anticipate bringing with you to MLS, the USMNT, or any future endeavors? Thanks, and good luck!
A: One of the things that was the most eye-opening about this experience was the incredible amount of pressure put on the team via the media. I know this is the case in most soccer crazy countries but it seems particularly overboard in Germany. The media are so sensationalistic in Germany and they literally made up stories about the team on a daily basis. That’s part of the problem but the bigger problem is that the general public buys these papers and actually believe these stories. You can imagine what a nightmare this causes. It was interesting to see the players and Juergen deal with it and I learned a lot in that sense.
Q: Landon, in the preseason, it seemed like you meshed really well with Franck Ribery and Luca Toni. When the season started, it seemed like they were a little more selfish with the ball. How much harder is it to earn the trust of your teammates on such a short loan deal? Also, as a side note, I’m sure you don’t want to talk about Beckham, but if both of you come back to LA, PLEASE, take the Armband back from that dude.
A: Earning respect was a big obstacle early on,
but I think I earned it relatively quickly. Once the guys learned my characteristics and saw them on the field, respect quickly followed.
Q: Who do you think are the best players on the Munich squad? – Radosevich
A: There are many good players at BM but clearly Ribery stands out. His ability to makes plays in the attacking third is really impressive and I would hate to have to defend him for 90 minutes.
Q: Hey Landon,
1. I grew up in Munich in the 70’s, being both a FCB fan and also playing on an 1860 youth squad. I would love to hear your reflections on how you perceived the city, and if you ever connected with Berhalter at 1860? What is your favorite Munich Bier? Servus! (PS, did you learn a little “Bayrisch?”)
2. Your skills are well known. But it seemed to me, after watching your practices on eyep.tv and then seeing games—especially live at the Columbus WCQ, that your passing vision and instincts (maybe even “expectations”) were greatly sharpened: have you noticed such an effect from your loan? And if so, what can be done to improve that even more with the MNT, and MLS in general
3. Klinsmann has always struck me as very authentic and down to earth. Can you reflect on Jurgen as a friend and coach (and even player—does he still scrimmage at all?! :)
It has been fun watching you develop as a player and leader. While I was pulling for you to stay at FCB, I am also looking forward to your return to LA. As many of us assume you will revisit the European opportunities soon, we wish you well, and that you find a place that is agreeable to both you as a player and as a married guy! Good luck to you!
A: 1.) I never got to meet up with Berhalter. He invited me over for Thanksgiving the first time I was there, but I was going to be home for Thanksgiving so I couldn’t make it. Weissbier was my favorite beer! I learned some Bayrisch phrases and quite a few players and staff are from Bavaria, so it was interesting to hear the differences in the way they spoke.
2.) I agree with you. Mainly, my speed of thought and decision making abilities were sharpened. Plays would develop very quickly and you had to be ready to make the next decision quickly.
3.) Juergen was terrific throughout my stay in Munich and, believe me, it wasn’t an easy time for him. The results didn’t go our way and it was very difficult for everyone, but especially Juergen. I gained a lot of respect for him by watching him deal with it all and remain positive. I think he will be very successful no matter what he does in life.
Jo-Tristan Seymour Da George | on 17/3/09
I´m a 15 years old boy from Germany (Bielefeld) and a big fan from Galaxy i have 3 Trikots from Beckham,Klein & you. I wanna emigrate in the USA my father works all over the world most times in the US. He tell me a lot from the US
but not about soccer can you tell me the differnce betwen german soccer and us soccer?.I search till 5 months a youth club in the USA because i wanna play in the USA when i emigrate. Can you tell me internet adress or where i can search?
I hope you answer my question!
Jo-Tristan Seymour George | on 17/3/09
I am 15 year old boy from Germany (Bielefeld) and i wanna emigrat in the USA my Dad works in the USA.I wanna play soccer in the USA is the football difficult betwen Germany and the usa?
And how i can find a club i try it til 5 months to find a club ….
Thanks Jo i hope u answer.
Ben | on 14/3/09
Landon, thanks very much for answering all these comments! What did you do, work on this on the entire plane ride back to the States???
Markus | on 9/3/09
I am a 15-years old boy from Germany and a huge fan of yours.
I was very happy by hearing that my favourite soccer player joins my favourite soccer club for a few months and I really enjoy these weeks.It´s a shame that you´ve to go now(Meanwhile you should be back at home.)And it´s also a shame that I didn´t gain the opportunity to see you live at one of the Bayern Munich matches,Maybe I´ll have the good fortune to see you back in L.A. if I´ll be old enough.
But i just have some questions:
1.Do you had a good time at Bayern Munich?
2.Will you ever come back to Germany (e.g. to go on vacation) or visit the Bundesliga for one more time?
3.Do you met some fans of yours and what is you attitude towards Germany,after being there for several times?
Go on like this.I´ll support you forever!
Johanna | on 8/3/09
How was your time in Munich and would you in the next season, then return if you, a contract would be offered? I thought it was just not as nice of Jürgen Klinsmann, you so rarely play it. Because I think that you are a world class footballers! I am serious! As it was in Munich and how were the other players? Were they nice?
Kyle Douglas | on 7/3/09
I am 11 years old and a big fan of yours. I am sad that you do not get to stay in Germany but I am glad you will be back at the Galaxy for the opening game because I got tickets for Christmas and was looking forward to seeing you play live for the first time.
I am a soccer player that gets frustrated trying to balance my style of game with that of the coach’s. I have an intuition of where the ball is going but my coach will yell directions on the field as to where he wants me to be. How do you suggest balancing what the coach says, with what I anticipate? I don’t want to disrespect the coach but sometimes I wish he would let me follow my instincts. How do you handle this?
A.F. Carter | on 7/3/09
As so many of your fans have stated, I’m so glad you’re coming back home, though I can certainly understand the desire to play on more of a world stage. I have watched your career since your first World Cup appearance and have made a few live games. You are a pleasure to watch and I hope that much as I don’t care for Coach Arena, he can turn Galaxy’s season around this year. Best of luck and welcome home!
Brian Patrick Horan | on 7/3/09
Just wanted to let you know that there is a majority in this country that love your passion and zest for the game not to mention your skill…Please keep up the good work as we (with some hesitation) hope to see you catch on in Europe but will be more than happy to have you back at home. You are the leader of our national team and intrical to our World Cup 2010 bid. As such we depend on you for the glory of the greatest nation in the world in the context of the greatest game in the world. Thank you for your service and we anxiously await the oppurtunity for you and the USMNT to show the world the power of a nation that contains not only the best athletes in the world, but one in which the spirit of sportsmanship and competition is unrivaled.