Landon Donovan has a way of disappearing as observed in the MLS final against Real Salt Lake, excepting for that one moment of brilliance where he fedexed the ball to Mike Magee's footstep for the Galaxy to go a goal up.
Most of the time he was so far upfield waiting to be served the non forthcoming delivery that it rendered him useless. The Galaxy created a huge vacuum in center which was taken over adroitly by RSL's Kyle Beckerman.
I put it down to the luxury of playing in the MLS, where a proven goalscorer is a star, and consequently one's work ethic is circumscribed. It involves no tracking back duties to help the defense or falling back deeper to create chances for oneself. Instead, it was Beckham, whose MLS comeback was muddied by Donovan's third party criticism of not expending any extra effort, helping the hapless Donovan Ricketts in a futile endeavour against Robbie Findley.
In my estimation Donovan lacks the craft and patience to be a true central midfielder. That is further abbreviated by the USA's emphasis on counterattacking. Donovan is more useful as a winger, widening the game, latching onto passes that are relayed to someone else to score. Or if scoring, going through the periphery. Rarely, does the USA's attacking chances occur through a patient build up in the middle of center.
It will depend very much on where David Moyes decides to play Donovan should he join up Everton. Irrespective of position, Moyes will expect him to track back to help out the defense. Its a decidedly blue collar team, so Donovan should not expect to get any star treatment like he does at the Galaxy.
The emergence of 21 year Seamus Coleman on the wing could force Donovan into a more central role. Donovan lateraling the ball trying to look for a seam or an opening and expending time and effort doing so is a constructive one. The Galaxy version, waiting on hand and foot to be served is the last thing the USA needs to be effective this World Cup.