Word around the mill has it that newly promoted Serie A club AS Livorno is pushing hard for the services of Landon Donovan and Ricardo Clark, as they bid to stay in Italy's top flight. The sources are highly credible, and Livorno Chairman Aldo Spinelli has spoken about his clubs pursuit of both players publicly. Both players stock is considerably high after their individual and team performances at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. Both players are considering offers as talks are in an advanced stage with both Donovan and Clark.
I think both should move immediately away from MLS and on to a much better league in Serie A. Not only would both players learn a lot more through training, but both players would potentially be starters, with Donovan much more likely than Clark. Serie A is not a very fast league and so it would make Donovan that much more a commodity, and the leagues defensive bite would greatly benefit Clark, who is known for his physical play. The league would also be wise to sell both players now, as maximum profit is at hand. Donovan would probably garner the league its highest amount paid for a player, more than the $10 million Villarreal paid for Jozy Altidore. Clark's fee would be considerably less, but at 26, is nearing the peak of his career and is worth as much as he'll ever be right now. The league would make a tremendous profit, millions of dollars to spend on new, young talent, and it owes it to both players for representing the league well for many years.
I've always believed that even training overseas is better than because you are surrounded by a better atmosphere, better players, and better coaches. But if your are able to prove yourself there, then you have the opportunity (in Italy), to play against some of the best teams in the world in AC Milan, Inter and Juventus, among others. Donovan and Clark playing against those teams would make them better and smarter players, as Serie A is quite technical. Livorno is not playing in any other competitions except the domestic cup, and so both players wouldn't be run to death by competing in multiple competitions.
MLS needs to see that these two players have given it their all in America and should allow both to pursue their dreams of successful European careers. Assuming Livorno makes the right offers, both players could go on to enjoy solid careers in Italy.