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Sadly, Landon Donovan isn’t running for U.S. Soccer President

But he does have some quality insights

MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It was always too good to be true.

A few weeks ago, we reported that Landon Donovan was strongly considering running in next February’s U.S. Soccer Presidential Election.

As it turns out, once the all-time leader in goals and assists gave the idea some serious thought, he decided the job wasn’t for him. But what we do discover during the course of a fascinating one on on with SI’s Grant Wahl is that Donovan still has a fiery passion for the game, he simply has no interest in the politics and bureaucracy of it all. But Landon wants to improve the game in this country, and the American soccer legend sounds eager to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

Here’s one excerpt from the piece. You can read the entire interview HERE. Pay-to-play and promotion and relegation have been hot-button topics. What are your stances on those things?

Donovan: I think in a perfect world pay-to-play is eliminated. But we don’t live in a perfect world. So to me this isn’t black and white. There are nuances and ways to improve it without eliminating pay-to-play. It’s impossible unless we have a multi-trillionaire who’s willing to pay for all these kids to play for free. One way to change the paradigm is to have a training compensation element, which I understand there are legal issues around. But that’s the best way to incentivize clubs, because it also helps with the winning-vs.-losing paradigm shift and changes clubs’ mindsets into ‘let’s develop players because that’s where we can make the most money.’