Landon Donovan and USMNT regulars urged to keep playing

It hasn’t even been a year since American international Landon Donovan took a three month sabbatical from the game in order to prevent burnout from excessive stress and playing time.

But now, it seems that the LA Galaxy playmaker will have to work overtime in order to secure his place in the United States Men’s National Team for the trip to Brazil for the World Cup next summer.

According to Jurgen Klinsmann, the national team manager, the American international players who play in the Major League Soccer must remain active during the off season of the league which begins in December after the conclusion of the MLS Cup. And the German born manager has urged players like Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders, Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City as well as Galaxy man Landon Donovan to go out on loan to clubs in Europe to remain in peak condition.

According to the German, if the opportunity arrives for a player to go overseas, he must seize that opportunity. The main reason for such a diktat is the coach wants the players to test them out against the top players in Europe and also keep in shape ahead of the World Cup. He also mentioned that it is important for the players to understand that everything that they do now will have a bearing at the World Cup in Brazil and as a result, they shouldn’t take things easily.

He mentioned that if it were up to him, he would want all the regulars to get to play and win the MLS Cup but only few will have that chance and that is why, the others must have a plan of approach beforehand. Looks like Landon Donovan and the rest will have their work cut out to please the boss.

Landon Donovan considering his MLS future

American midfield maestro Landon Donovan is attracting quite a lot of interest from major European clubs and according to a source close to the player; he could leave the Major League Soccer when his contract with the league runs out in December.
With the MLS trying to bring the country’s best players back to the league, the departure of Donovan could be considered very ironical as he might be leaving the MLS just months after the return to the American shores of Clint Dempsey.

A source close to the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder stated that the player has been the centre of attraction for many European clubs and has received several offers as well and at the moment, the 31 year old is weighing up his next move and evaluating the options he has in front of him. Landon Donovan has played in Europe in several stints before, coming through the ranks at the Bayer Leverkusen academy and spent three loans spells in Europe, one with German giants Bayern Munich and two with Premier League club Everton.

With less than six months to run on his contract with the MLS, Donovan is free to negotiate with any club and sign a pre-contract agreement from outside the league. According to the source close to Donovan, several European clubs have reached out to Donovan in the past few weeks.

It is reported that having spent the last eight years in the MLS and having won any and every possible accolade in the league, Landon Donovan is considering his future away from the league and is looking for a fresh challenge in Europe. And his move to Europe will also be good enough for his career with the US Men’s National Team with the coach preferring players playing in the tougher leagues of Europe.

Landon Donovan named in MLS All Stars team

Los Angeles Galaxy star Landon Donovan was the star man as the United States of America cruised into the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup this weekend and his performances for the national team has had a very unexpected result with Don Garber, the commissioner of the Major League Soccer adding his name to the All Star team of the MLS.

This is the 13th consecutive time that the Los Angeles Galaxy star finds him in the MLS All Star team, which is a record that seems very unlikely to be broken in the foreseeable future. Donovan was left out of the original team that was announced but after team mate Robbie Keane sustained a hip flexor injury playing for the Galaxy against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Landon Donovan finds himself in the thick of things once again.

Donovan has three goals as well as six assists to his name in the 13 games he has played for Los Angeles Galaxy so far this season and alongside David Beckham, was the star performer as the team lifted the MLS Cup last season in what was the Englishman’s final season of his American adventure.

He surpassed all those numbers in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, however, scoring five goals and helping seven more in assists during the tournament as he led the team into the final where they will play Panama on Sunday and are hot favorites to win the title.

Landon Donovan, who has had a brief spell on loan at Premier League giants Everton, will team up with the MLS All Stars as they get ready to take on the Italian giants AS Roma on the 31st of July, just a day before Galaxy are scheduled to open the International Champions Cup against the mighty Real Madrid in Phoenix in Arizona.

HARD WORK

LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan has said that he wants to work hard in order to regain his position within the United States national team. The 31-year-old recently returned from his self-imposed sabbatical from the game.

He has stated that constant football in the last few years have taken the pleasure of playing the game from him. As a result, he needed some time off from the game in order to find his love for football. It sparked several rumours that Landon Donovan may not continue playing football.

US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann also suggested that he will be the final authority when it comes to deciding whether Donovan returns to national team action or not. LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena, though, has been supportive of the 31-year-old by saying that he will be considered for selection as soon as he returns back. After having returned following a four-month absence from football, Donovan has said that he is ready to play in his national team spot, while he is also heavily motivated for playing football.

Donovan has admitted that he almost went into retirement following LA Galaxy’s victory in the MLS cup final last season. Donovan currently holds the record for the most number of goals and assists for the national team.
“I have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. But if given the opportunity, I would love to play for the U.S. and I would love to represent my country again.

Unfortunately, we have a sort of stigma that being in a different mental place is not acceptable. We should pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and fight through it and all this. It’s my job to earn my way back in. And that’s what I’m motivated to do,” said Donovan after returning to LA Galaxy.

PLAYING TO WIN

Even though the MLS club LA Galaxy will consider a draw against Herediano in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals to be a great result, the manager Bruce Arena has said that his team will not play for one.

He intends to aim for a victory prior to the start of the match. The first match of the MLS season ended in a 4-0 victory for LA Galaxy over Chicago Fire. They will now be taking on the Costa Rican team Herediano in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League. The first leg will be away from home for the MLS club.

As a result, a draw has been seen as a great result for the team since it would allow them to make use of the home advantage and claim a victory in the second leg. Arena has said that he will be playing his strongest team because the club does not have any matches during the weekend to worry about. The manager has been using his reserve teams in the group stages of the competition especially the match against Puerto Rico Islanders. The return leg will be taking place in just over a week. Getting a victory against Herediano will certainly not be easy, as they have a very strong defence.

“Right now, we don’t have a game this weekend. We can play whomever we want and not have to be concerned about that for this game. We’re certainly going to try to put a team out on the field that can win this game, no doubt about it. What we think is our first team. I’m worried about just getting through this game and seeing if we can get out of here safely, and get home and then worry about whatever we have to worry about then,” said Arena.

RESPECT THE DECISION

The Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has said that the players and the fans should respect the decision taken by the US international Landon Donovan if he indeed retires from the game. The 30-year-old LA Galaxy player is thought to have played his last game of his career in the MLS cup final against Houston Dynamo.

He helped his team managed to win the second MLS title in successive seasons, but he has repeatedly said in recent weeks that he is burned-out after having played a lot of football in the last few years. Landon Donovan has been playing non-stop football for the last few years due to his loan spells with Everton FC.

He has been not only been part of the LA Galaxy team in the MLS, but also the Everton team in the Premier league for more than two months. This was in addition to the life as an international footballer with the United States national team. The player recently suggested that he was even contemplating the prospect of playing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup with the national team. The United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann also recently said that he respects the decision taken by the player whether it be continuing to play or retiring from the game.

The thing we have to realize when we look at Landon is not only has he exceeded expectations, he’s crushed them. I think his legacy will be talked about as one of the best and rightfully so. He’ll go down in history as not only a legend but one of our top-two players [in U.S. history]. At the moment it’s all hypothetical. A lot of it sounds like [just] talk. There hasn’t been an [actual] decision yet,” said the Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who is also an American international.

READY FOR A BREAK

The LA Galaxy captain and star midfielder Landon Donovan has said that he is very much prepare to take a break from football, as he feels that his body needs a rest.

The 30-year-old American international has been one of the best players in the MLS over the last few seasons. He has also had a stellar career with Everton football club in the two spells he spent on loan at the club. However, it has taken its toll in terms of the fatigue according to the striker. He has said that he has played a lot of football over the last few years, which have caused his body to denote that it wants a rest.

As a result, he is prepared to take a break from football even if it meant missing out on the opportunity to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. This has prompted the US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann to say that he will be talking with the striker over the proposed break from football. Landon Donovan will have the opportunity to lift the MLS title once again with LA Galaxy. As a result, he will be pushing through the final few games of the season in order to do so.

“Your body’s going to tell you it’s time to take a break and that’s what my body is telling me this year, there’s no question. I don’t want to feel that way. I want to do it because I’m enjoying it and loving it. So I need time where I can just pause, and breathe and rest, let my body heal, let my mind refresh, and I think at that point, I’ll be excited to play again,” said Donovan. The player has scored 10 goals in the 30 appearances so far this season.

DONOVAN MAKES COMEBACK

The captain of Los Angeles Galaxy, Landon Donovan, has made a comeback after recovering from his hamstring injury. He played for almost 30 minutes in a Reserve League match against Portland.

He played brilliantly in the match and scored a goal for Galaxy. He also set up a goal for his team and proved that he has regained 100% fitness and is ready to play in the regular-season matches. Donovan played in the Reserve League for the first time in his career.

Donovan had injured himself while playing for the USA national team in a friendly match against Mexico in August. He missed a number of MLS matches due to his injury. The Galaxy team didn’t miss him that much and performed decently in his absence.

But, there is no doubt that his comeback would strengthen the Galaxy team. Donovan came to play as substitute in the 60th minute of the match against Portland. He set up a goal for his team immediately after coming on to the field. Pat Noonan capitalized on Donovan’s pass to score the second goal for Galaxy. Just after a few minutes, Donovan scored the third goal for Galaxy with a fantastic volley.

Jack McBean scored the fourth goal for Galaxy in the 82nd minute and took the match out of the reach of Portland. The Portland players looked completely off colour and didn’t manage to put the ball into the goal post even a single time in the match. The Portland team lost the match by a big margin of 4-0. Donovan moved on the field pretty well and seemed to have recovered from that hamstring strain completely. Galaxy will play against the Colorado Rapids at the Home Depot Center on Friday and Donovan is expected to play in that match.

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JOHNSON HAS IMPROVED

LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan has said that Eddie Johnson has improved a lot as a player. Eddie Johnson left the United States to play in England back in 2008.

He has now returned to the MLS and was one of the best players in the 3-2 win over Chelsea. The MLS All-Stars were playing against Chelsea in a pre-season friendly. It was expected to be one of the toughest matches for the MLS all-star even with the presence of players like David Beckham and Landon Donovan. However, they managed to create an upset by beating the current European champions 3-2 in this match.

Eddie Johnson was a vital part of their victory and Landon Donovan was full of praise for the player by saying that he has been showing a lot of difference to the player he was before deciding to play in England. Landon Donovan has attributed the substantial increase in confidence that he has been showing in his play as a reason for the much better form. It was expected that Eddie Johnson would be the star of the American soccer alongside Landon Donovan. However, things seem to be flourishing for the American International only now, while Landon Donovan is one of the recognised faces in American soccer.

“He’s a much better player. For a while, it seemed like he lost a little bit of that confidence. That ability to run at players, that’s what he was always good at. He played a little bit tentative. Now, he’s back to being aggressive but he’s also matured in his decision making. It’s a lot better. I told him that this [MLS] isn’t the end,” said the former Everton loan star. Landon Donovan has also said that he is likely to return to Everton for third spell in the January transfer window on a loan deal.

DONOVAN WILL RETURN

Everton midfielder Phil Neville has said that he is very much expecting LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan to return to the Goodison Park even a loan deal.

The 30-year-old American international has been a huge hit in his two spells on loan deal with the Premier league club. A lot has been attributed towards the manager David Moyes, who has been able to get the best out of Landon Donovan unlike any other manager. It has been speculated that Everton will once again be looking at the possibility of bringing Landon Donovan to Everton in the upcoming January transfer window.

Phil Neville, who is already preparing for the life as a manager and as a coach by taking his coaching badges, has said that he would welcome the return of Landon Donovan with open arms. Even though he has played less than 20 games for Everton, he is regarded as a hero at Goodison Park according to Phil Neville.

The American international has had little spells with European clubs in the past including Bayern Munich. However, none of them have worked out as well as the Everton loan spell, which is likely to happen in the upcoming January transfer window.

“If there is a chance, I make sure that I try (to tempt him to Everton) every time I speak to him. That’s the first thing I say to him. He’s the American version of Cristiano Ronaldo. Toward the end of his spell back in January I even tried to kidnap him for a while and keep him in England! I’m telling the truth here when I say the last two times he’s been over he’s totally transformed our season. He’s the ultimate professional, he’s got great quality, and the Everton fans love him. He’s a hero at Goodison Park, and he’s played less than 20 games for us,” said Phil Neville.