By ADAM SERRANO
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.