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Donovan discusses his return to MLS

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Fresh off a triumphant trip to England, Landon Donovan spoke to reporters on Wednesday to address his time in England.

Prior to the press conference, Donovan was back in action for the Galaxy today in a scrimmage against PDL side Hollywood United. During 90 minutes of play, Landon scored two goals and set up a pair, most notably rookie Michael Stephens for a brace from distance in the Galaxy's 8-0 victory.

"Today was the first time to get a feel for the new players that we've had, in the first half I played with the Brazilians and in the second, I got to play with Michael Stephens, I was very impressed," said Donovan. "Honestly, it feels like these guys have been part of our team for a very long time and that's easy to do when you have a nucleus like we do. "

The Galaxy captain had taken a great deal of grief in the past for a number of unsuccessful stints abroad, was in good spirits about his time in England. Donovan stated numerous times that he would have liked to stay with the English side, and he spoke fondly about how much he has improved due to his time at Everton and the things the he could teach the Galaxy's younger players.

"In England, players who play at such a high level come in day in and day out and train as hard as possible," said Donovan. "Sometimes players who don't play at that level think that they can take liberties and that isn't the case, so I'm hoping to pass that on to players here.

"You can't take breaks because the players at the highest level don't take breaks so why should you."

Donovan revealed that he had kept up to date on the CBA negotiations despite being in England since January. Donovan is expected to depart Thursday to join the labor negotiations in Washington, D.C. on Friday. Although the door remains open for a return to England should the negotiations break down, Donovan affirmed his support for the players.

"There's realities about the business that we're in and the reality is that for too long the business has been one sided," Donovan said. "We need basic rights if we're going to continue and we want the rights afforded to players around the world.

"In Los Angeles, we're treated very well, but there are players of other teams who are not treated as well as we are ."

Despite the support of the Galaxy front office, specifically AEG chief executive Tim Leiweke, Donovan did not hold back in correcting comments made by Leiweke about the MLS labor battle.

"What was not completely accurate with what Tim said was about how much money was affecting this," said Donovan. "We're not trying to bankrupt the league, all we want is basic rights that other players have.

"No one wants to go on strike, but we need to have certain conditions if we are going to continue."

Donovan did not close the door to a return to England if a strike did occur.

"We've stated that there could be a possibility that I could go back if something where to happen, but everyone on this side of the pond is hopeful that we can work out a deal with the league," said Donovan. "If I ever did return to England, the only team that I would want to play for is Everton."

The Galaxy expect their captain to return on Sunday for the club's final preseason tune up against C.D. Aguila.


  1. So does Donovan have a reason to stop a strike from happening — or is it better for him to let the cards play and head back to Everton?

  2. I like his comments. It says to me that he is committed to MLS. “The only team I would play for is Everton” ??

    But when you think about it, what a perfect thing to say.

    Everton will not pay what is needed, the fans over there will love him for chosing them over Chelsea ( name one other that would do that ), he will play in both leagues, with LA fans loving him too.

    Smart guy. I kind of wonder if Beckham gave him some advice, like maybe look out for number one.

  3. Well, he did say the only team he’d ‘want’ to play for. I don’t blame him. Everton and the fans are a class act. And, the play is inspiring enough for him.

    However, I don’t think he said he would never play for any other club. I’m sure a part of him would be pained to sign for a different club but his professional aspirations could be a big part of choosing another club, especially if it were Chelsea. Though, the expectations and demands would be far greater. I think he’d rise to it.

  4. Donovan, really turning into a class act.

    It really seems like Everton and the fans really touched Donovan’s heart. And, I also would hate to see him with another club as they have won over mine and several people I know. Donovan belongs at Everton.

    Having said that, if Everton cannot be a destination for Landon, I would be happy to see him at Chelsea. People have doubted him before and I make no mistake that Donovan could possibly not be a starter for Chelsea. But, when you take his play for Everton and you imagine him up top, working with Droga and Anelka, I can’t help but think there would be some beautiful soccer.

    If you add Donovan’s vision, speed, and creativity with the physical presence, savvy, and striking of Drogba and Anelka, it seems like a recipe for success and great soccer.

    While I always thought Donovan would succeed in the EPL, I never thought he could play competitively for the likes of a Chelsea. Not until I watched every match at Everton and saw how he matches up with top talent and the fans helped me understand his quality, by their educated reactions to his play.

    Everton won my heart over, too. The fans, the club, the players, but especially with Donovan involved. I learned a lot about myself as a soccer fan through those ten weeks, even though I watched a lot of soccer before. Being so invested in one of our own, I saw the game in ways even greater than before.

    Donovan, I wish you the best wherever you may be. There’s no doubt the Galaxy is better with you in it. The league is better with you in it. And, since Everton didn’t happen (though everyone should have made it happen in this World Cup year), I will gain some consolation through watching you here.

  5. Too many meddlesome parents here trying to force the boy into Harvard when he has so enjoyed his internship at Michigan!

    If he’s not greedy and can tune out the throngs of hangers-on trying to live vicariously through some glamor gig, he could do a heck of a lot worse than help his new friends graduate to Champions League.

    I like this guy and his faith to his England club.

  6. May not mean much but I think that Mr. Donovan would like to play where he is accepted and comfortable. Seeing as he didn’t fit in with his fellows in Germany. He has found a home in England playing for Everton, he is comfortable there. A happy Donovan is a productive Donovan and that I believe is what’s best for the worlds impression of US soccer players. Would it be great if he played for Real Madrid, Barca, Chelsea, *puke* Liverpool, or some other huge storied club? Sure but isn’t more about what HE wants opposed to what everyone else wants?

  7. Donovan is every bit as good as Marcelo and Esteban Granero, both starters in recent games, yet would Real Madrid ever consider an American? There were rumors about Gooch but I don’t know if they were legitimate.

    My point is, why do we only consider him a good fit at a mid-table team in La Liga? Chelsea is every bit as deep as Real and they are supposedly interested.

  8. I’m pretty sure he meant he would only play for Everton on loan if a new CBA is not worked out and the MLS players go on strike.

  9. There is not enough stability at a club like Chelsea for Donovan to take the extra money. David Moyes is going to be at Everton as long as he wants.

  10. yea i wish Everton had more resources so they could buy him if he has a great WC. LD fits in pretty well with that lineup and Moyes is a great coach.


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