U.S. Men's National Team

Donovan to return to Galaxy in late March, will miss upcoming USMNT qualifiers


Landon Donovan’ will rejoin the Los Angeles Galaxy in late March, the Galaxy announced on Sunday.

Donovan and the Galaxy reached an agreement to let Donovan extend his time away from the team, and now he won’t return to training until late March.

“After a series of collaborative discussions between Landon, his representative and our key club leaders, we have agreed to allow Landon to remain on an extended leave of absence and return to training with the team during the final week of March,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said in a team-issued statement. “We understand this arrangement is not ideal, but we are confident it will allow Landon the time he needs to be both mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season. We remain focused on our preparation for the start of the 2013 season and look forward to Landon rejoining us next month.”

Donovan’s late return rules him out for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming March qualifiers vs. Costa Rica and Mexico, and will also force the Galaxy to start the 2013 season without him.

Donovan will miss the Galaxy’s first four MLS matches, as well as the team’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series vs. Costa Rican side Herediano.

While the news is good news for the Galaxy considering there was at least some fear that Donovan might retire altogether, the latest update is bad news for the U.S. national team, which could use his services for the upcoming qualifiers in March.

What do you think of tis development? Happy to hear he’s coming back to the Galaxy? Disappointed he won’t be back for the March qualifiers?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Soccertes

    If there really is “more to this story” as many have speculated – and I’m not convinced there is – I think it’s more likely Landon is contemplating his own Robbie Rogers-type announcement. If so and he resumed playing, how great it would be for the sport (and professional sports in general). That said, I don’t think this is the case. But I do think it’s the most likely of the “something else is up” scenarios. Just sayin.’


    • The Imperative Voice

      Probably this summer, if at all. I think pre-signings are disruptive for the team losing the player. The fairest thing to CFC and its fans would be to play out his deal and see how the season finishes up. Once the EPL finish is pretty set, announce his move with a few weeks left so the fans can pay tribute. Like Nelsen did.

      I think the Beckham approach is tacky. Being open about how I’m signing early for team y but finishing the season with team x makes it all feel mercenary for both sides. I think it also is risky for team y because they can, as with Beckham, be signing a player who’s hurt by the time he arrives. You’ve then set up a whole hype machine the player can’t deliver on. Beckham did eventually achieve some MLS success but the disconnect between the hype and his initial physical state meant that the marketing was out of phase with his actual play. By the time he was part of a good team the interest level and marketing had faded. You might be better off hyping the player once he’s there and healthy.

      And then if Lampard doesn’t sign I’ll be interested to see if Gonzo gets the DP spot and the money. Or if they move to Kaka or another attacker.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Since he is returning to soccer, and did not officially retire from international soccer, the door is open a smidge. But he committed himself to nothing internationally. So we’ll see. Time being they need to work on their wing players because even if he comes back to the USA at his age the clock is ticking. You don’t want to replicate the transitional issues at back for the USA, where the O30s age issues are hitting us at the worst time.


    • GW

      Age issues are irrelevant at this point.

      The US needs about 18 months out of him, less if you are only worried about qualifying.

      If he can’t do that then he may as well stay out.


  • Texas Hammer

    Sh*t or get off the pot Landycakes. Has he worked long and hard? Sure. I’ll give credit where credit is due. However Donovan never reached his full potential, and it’s because he didn’t want to venture too far out of his comfort zone. Yes, I’m not a professional soccer player, but let’s face it, he’s a bit soft.


  • Charles

    This guy goes to work for a new company, we will call X. The first week on the job he tells them he has a vacation planned that same month. The boss asks who said you could go on vacation so quickly. His answer, Company Y.


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