Landon Donovan and Bruce Arena reunited at the LA Galaxy earlier this year, and there is a chance they could do so again with the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2017.
Even if it is only a slight one.
Arena was appointed head coach of the U.S. for the second time on Tuesday following the firing of Jurgen Klinsmann a day earlier, and the move led to some speculation from observers as to whether it would open the door for Donovan to make a return to the international game.
Right now there is no concrete answer as to whether Donovan will play for the U.S. again or whether he even wants to, but Arena is keeping an open mind to the situation.
“I haven’t had any conversations with Landon. I think at this point in his career that’s probably not likely, but we wouldn’t rule it out,” Arena told Jason Whitlock on FS1’s Speak for Yourself program on Tuesday. “He hasn’t decided whether he’s going to go back into retirement or continue to play for the LA Galaxy or another team in Major League Soccer.”
The 34-year-old Donovan, who just came out of retirement earlier this MLS season by rejoining the Galaxy, had called time on his playing days for the U.S. two months before he hung up his boots at the club level in 2014.
Donovan had controversially been left off that year’s World Cup roster by Klinsmann, but the Americans’ all-time leader in goals and assists made one more international appearance in a farewell match in October before deciding to temporarily end his career after winning MLS Cup in December.
He played in six regular-season games and three playoff matches for the Galaxy this year, amassing one goal and one assist in those appearances.
“Landon is a very good player,” said Arena. “He reminds me of when David Beckham was at his age and Robbie Keane, who played with the Galaxy and who we’ve seen just retire internationally. Landon could still help the team. He’s not the same player he was 10 years ago, but he’s still a very good player.”