The MLS Commissioner said Donovan won't be transferred for the 3-plus years remaining on his Galaxy contract. Some people aren't happy, but to that MLS says, who cares what you want?
He's become a real soccer hero," Don Garber said. "MLS needs soccer heroes, and we have a great American soccer hero playing for us in LA, holding the torch for the sport in our country, and that's very important. I don't believe that it's something we can do without."
While it's certainly a coup for a player of Donovan's quality to spend the majority of his career in our domestic league, he didn't really become a soccer hero until South Africa. Sure he was good, but is the face of American soccer we want to show the world the type of guy who couldn't cut it at Bayer Leverkusen or Bayern Munich?
No, the real ambassadors of American soccer over the past decade have been guys like Tim Howard, Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey, who have shown they can play in one of the best leagues in the world, and hold their own.
Donovan's always been a big fish in a small pond, and that's better suited his confidence and his image than his stints in the Bundesliga. And that was fine, until he was able to perform on a larger stage (Everton, then the MNT).
So why wouldn't US Soccer export their best product to somewhere he can gain more attention? Well, MLS isn't US Soccer.
MLS is a business, concerned with growing their brand. And now that Donovan is a brand name, they're not going to forgo the ratings, attendance and attention boosts he gives them. So even though more Americans watch Premier League matches than MLS games every week, Garber can't be concerned with raising America's international profile.
So despite what fans want, or what Donovan himself wants, in keeping him in Los Angeles through 2013, MLS is making the right decision — for MLS.