The Earthquakes still have a "designated player" exemption, which enables a team to pay a star player more than the salary cap allows. Doyle has said the team is willing to use that exemption if the right player comes along.
Which bring us to Donovan, the former Quakes star and main man with the Los Angeles Galaxy until David Beckham arrived last summer.
The stage has grown even more crowded with the Galaxy's acquisition of Carlos Ruiz from Dallas. Ruiz is the talented player who was shipped out from L.A. three years ago to make room for Donovan in the backdoor deal that still burns Earthquakes fans.
This is the Galaxy way: stockpiling stars. It's clearly what team president Alexi Lalas likes to do, but the scuttlebutt is that Lalas has lost power and Paul Bravo is now the lead on soccer decisions.
Star-studded lineups work for some teams, but the Galaxy isn't Real Madrid. The Galaxy's roster has been a bust and the league doesn't have enough star power to put so much on one team.
The Galaxy will devote half of its payroll to Beckham, Donovan and Ruiz, leading to speculation that the team will try to move one of the players.
Donovan has a no-trade clause. Also, we know from experience that he doesn't mind letting someone else be the focal point. And we know how happy and content he is living in Manhattan Beach with his wife, the actress Bianca Kajlich. Donovan likes his comfort level.