U.S. Soccer Legend Speaks

Landon Donovan: Professional sports in the United States have become "very corporate"

Courtesy: San Diego Loyal Soccer Club

Three-time FIFA World Cup participant with the United States, former Premier League midfielder and six-time MLS Cup Champion Landon Donovan joined Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis earlier this week. The U.S. Soccer Legend spoke on his involvement with 2020 USL Championship (2nd tier) expansion side San Diego Loyal Soccer Club, including his upcoming debut as a coach at the professional level.

"In order for this to be successful, we have to make this the community's team and, the way you do that, is by allowing them to be part of the process and really listening to what they want," said Donovan.

"In sports these days, in professional sports in our country - anyway you slice it - it's become very corporate," continued Donovan. "It's about what sponsorships you can get, how do you fill the seats, how do you maximize revenue. And I think people now, and I'm a big sports fan too, we all know that.... and we've kind of gotten away from the customer."

"We went out, we had twelve listening sessions with over 500 people in San Diego," added Donovan on the process of launching his expansion team. "We had teachers, we had surf community, we had the beer community, we had the business community that we listened to, soccer fans obviously, military, artists. We just talked to a bunch of different people about what San Diego is to them and what do they care about and want in a professional sports franchise. And over, and over, and over the world loyal kept coming up."

The interview can be listened to in its entirety on the "Glenn Davis Soccer" podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts and Podcast Arena.com/SoccerMatters.

Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis airs every Tuesday, 7 p.m. central , on ESPN 97.5 FM.

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PROBABLE STARTERS

Thurs, Sept. 24 - HOU: Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33) vs. TEX: Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53)

Fri, Sept. 25 - HOU: Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.78) vs. TEX: Kyle Cody (1-1, 1.53)

Sat, Sept. 26 - HOU: TBD vs. TEX: Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.87)

Sun, Sept. 27 - HOU: TBD vs. TEX: Jordan Lyles (1-5, 7.07)

STORYLINES

Season finale - The Astros will wrap up their regular season with their four game set in Arlington at the new Globe Life Field. Houston's magic number rests at two, as the Angels still have a puncher's chance. With Houston's miserable 8-20 road record, the postseason is anything but clinched.

Where's the offense? - The Astros offense has left a lot to be desired over the last few weeks, scoring more than three runs just twice in their last ten games. The bats really need to get going, especially if the team expects to do anything in the playoffs. George Springer has been the only reliable bat of late, with the performances of Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman, and, most of all, Jose Altuve, leaving a lot to be desired.

Playoff seeding - If the playoffs started today, the Astros would face off with their division rivals in Oakland. There's an infinite number of possibilities over the next four games, but the Astros can see themselves finish anywhere from the fifth seed to out of the playoffs entirely. Any of Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Oakland, Chicago, New York, and Cleveland could be first round foes depending on how the cards fall.

PREDICTION

Lance Lynn has been one of the better pitchers in the game for a few years now, Kyle Cody is an intriguing young arm with good stuff, and Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson gave the Astros fits in Houston just last week. It isn't a recipe for success for Houston. The Astros win 1 of 4, which combined with the Angels and Mariners failing to take care of business, is enough to get Houston into the playoffs.

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