Gringo Abroad: Landon Donovan’s Everton Farewell

Football - Everton v Hull City Barclays Premier League

Everton 5 – Hull City 1
English Premier League Mar-7-2010

Of the three American internationals available for the match, only one started but all three were on the pitch by the final whistle. Tim Howard made his customary start in goal for Everton.  Jozy Altidore began on the bench for Hull as the away team elected to play with 5 midfielders, presumably to slow down Everton’s midfield. Landon Donovan, who has started the majority of his games while on a short-term loan with the Toffees, may have begun this match on the bench so Everton can once more grow accustomed to not having the lively midfielder. His last game for Everton will be next Saturday. David Moyes, Everton’s manager, would like to keep Landon but the LA Galaxy have, so far, declined to extend his loan.

To the detriment of Altidore and the benefit of Donovan and Howard, Everton dominated the match and were rewarded with multiple goals.

Tim Howard
As the announcers pointed out, Howard was ‘virtually (…) a spectator’ for most of the game. He did make a couple saves; leaving his line to cut off a shot in the 6th minute was particularly inspired. Howard’s most energetic moment, however, arrived when he celebrated the actions of compatriot Donovan towards the end of the game.

Landon Donovan
Donovan’s last chance to impress the Everton faithful was a rousing success. He entered in the 70th to chants of USA and saw fit to make the fans repeat their stanza twelve minutes later. A cross in the box landed at his feet and his first-touch shot whizzed into the far corner. And in the 86th, he added another argument to his case to stay with Everton by assisting on Jack Rodwell’s goal.

Jozy Altidore
All of Hull City’s forwards were starved for service from beginning to end. Jozy, who came on in the 62nd, worked to contribute to the attack, but his presence didn’t make Hull’s offense any less anemic. Altidore did earn a free kick and, showing his strength by holding off a defender, played a dangerous ball to his striking partner, the not so succinctly named Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

US National Team Implications
The game was entirely too much in Everton’s favor for any real conclusions to be drawn. Yes, Donovan looked better today than he did in last week’s US loss to the Netherlands, but Hull’s marking was so poor that no one on Everton had a poor offensive performance. Altidore was not quite as active as he was against the Dutch, but the ball came to him so rarely he can hardly be blamed for not contributing more. As for Howard, we found out that he, like Everton’s fans, enjoys seeing Donovan score.

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