Galaxy’s Landon Donovan to decide next month on possible return to Everton
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Galaxy and U.S. national team midfielder/forward Landon Donovan said Thursday that he will decide in the next month or so whether to return to play in the English Premier League during Major League Soccer’s off-season.
‘My plan is to rest over the next few weeks,’ Donovan said, ‘and get in a mental place where I can make a proper decision. If you asked me today, I would probably say no because my body is exhausted. If you asked me in two months, I’d probably say yeah because I’m excited again.
‘So once I come down from all this and see how my body feels, then I can figure it out.’
Donovan, 28, helped the Galaxy finish with the best record in MLS during the regular season and also led the U.S. into the second round of the World Cup in South Africa during the summer. He has played almost nonstop for more than two years, but said that was part and parcel of being a professional.
‘It’s our job, that’s what we do,’ he said at the Home Depot Center in Carson, where the Galaxy is preparing for its one-game trip to Australia next week. ‘A lot of players do it around the world. The way the game is now, FIFA seems like they’re always trying to add games and tournaments and competitions, so it’s part of what we deal with.
‘You hope that you don’t break down physically during the year and that you play as much as you can. I’ve been fortunate to be relatively healthy.’
Donovan spent a couple of months on loan with Everton during the previous MLS off-season and indicated that Everton is the only Premier League team he would consider joining. Whether it would be for another loan period or on a permanent transfer was left up in the air.
Being in form and in demand at the moment, combined with his age, means the opportunity to make a move to Europe is rapidly becoming a now-or-never choice.
‘It does play into it,’ Donovan said. ‘Not only being in demand or not, but I also realize that I only have so many more years to play in general and to have a real opportunity to do this. So that comes into it. I’m certainly going to think that through a lot. No question.’
The highest-paid American in MLS, Donovan earns roughly $2 milion a year, but the lure of proving himself at a higher level makes a move to England enticing, even if it is only for another loan spell.
--Grahame L. Jones