LA Galaxy is one of the biggest franchises in the American version of association football; ‘soccer’. The MLS side have arguably the biggest star in professional sport in their ranks in the form of David Beckham but he isn’t alone at the club in terms of ‘designated’ players. You have Republic of Ireland’s record goal-scorer Robbie Keane also leading the line at the club and then you have the iconic figure of American soccer for the past decade and more, Landon Donovan.
Considering the longevity of his current career it is hard to believe the attacker is only 30-years-old. With 144 caps for the USMNT and almost a half century of goals you would be forgiven for thinking he was nearer the age of Mr Beckham himself.
He made his first ventures into the footballing world in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen but it his stints with San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy that have made him such a popular figure.
His future however has been cast into doubt with the recent open admiration from the Galaxy for Chelsea’s Frank Lampard. Considering the side already has a full quota of Designated Players it seemed likely that Landon was going to have a more permanent crack at European football, with the obvious location being Everton. During his two loan spells at the club he has earned a real affinity from Evertonian’s who enjoyed his magnificent technical skill and work ethic and that adulation was shared as he himself said:
"Everton was a fling that grew into a full-blown affair. I do think about them because they really stole my heart when I walked into Goodison Park, everyone was so unbelievably welcoming, from Moyes to the tea lady. I have such affection for the club.’’
So there you go, surely he will come back in January, or not as he has also admitted he may take an extended break from football.
He has suffered with niggling injuries this season and wants to rest up but also has a desire to travel the world while he is young enough to appreciate the freedom to do so. Divorced from his ex-wife he does not have the shackles of parenthood or marriage to prevent him from doing so, and with the money he has likely accrued over the years he sure could plan one hell of a trip.
A California boy he could hit Australia or South Africa and catch the waves on a surfing excursion, or find himself in the temples of Cambodia or night-life of Indonesia like so many British locals have in recent years. Maybe he will do what many Americans dream of doing and see Europe, he speaks German and Spanish so getting by shouldn’t be too bad and he could probably get on the sleeper train from Milan to Barcelona without many people noticing who he was if he grew some mandatory travelling facial hair.
The point is good luck to Donovan whatever he decides to do, he says himself ‘’I don’t care what people think about me anymore’’ and personally I find that refreshing for a football player to simply tell it as it is.
Hopefully one day he decides to return to Merseyside and on a permanent deal rather than a loan-spell but until that day comes he should be wished all the best in his next career choice.
You can view an eye-opening interview with Donovan for ESPN here…
image: © Albumen