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Landon Donovan says another Everton stay highly unlikely

Aug 26, 2012, 9:50 AM EDT

Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy

Landon Donovan says he is highly unlikely to join up with Everton for yet another loan spell during the MLS off-season. He won’t be going anywhere else in January, by the sounds of it.

The L.A. Galaxy man and U.S. national team all-time leading scorer said so Saturday morning on the Soccer Today radio show/podcast.

“The chances of me playing again this off-season are very slim,” he said. “I’ve had, not since this January but last January [2011], a total of two weeks off. My soccer enthusiasm is not as high as it was two years ago. I’m kind of ready for a break when this [MLS] season is over.”

The rest of the interview is here. Donovan’s interview begins around the 34-minute mark.

Donovan made the comments on the show and podcast that that I co-host along with ESPN’s Marc Stein.  When I heard Donovan talking about it, a lot of things suddenly made sense.

The Galaxy attacker keeps scaring everyone with retirement talk. More than once this year, U.S. Soccer’s all-time leading scorer has said the competitive fires simply do not burn with the same white-hot intensity as before.

U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann says it’s natural for a player to have these ebbs and flows in professional enthusiasm over a long career, and likes to remind everyone that Donovan signed his first professional deal when he was just 17. And fair enough.

But how about this as a theory: Maybe Donovan just needs a break. Perhaps the man just needs some time away from the game to re-supply the competitive stores. Could that be it, I asked him?

“It’s possible. That’s why I’m really focused on doing my best this year and finishing up the year and then reevaluating. It could very well be. I’ve been out the last 10 days with this [hamstring] injury and I’m already chomping at the bit to get back on the field again, so that could very well be the deal.”

Donovan also revealed:

Due to that injury, he’s still iffy for tonight’s contest at the Home Depot Center against FC Dallas. (That match kicks off at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network).

Also, as Donovan evaluates everything and considers his future, he will, indeed, think about his chance to become Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer and all-time assist leader. If that happens, there’s a reasonable chance that Donovan could be the only person to ever hold both titles – and wouldn’t that be something?

(MORE: Tracking Landon Donovan’s career record pursuits)

  1. footballer4ever - Aug 26, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Landon Donovan is as important to MLS as Beckham has been. While Beckham has brought the casual fan and international spotlight to the league, Landon Donovan has added his skills and play in an “Americana” kind of way. It helps to have a league where kids can relate to and not only “foreigners” populate the league.

  2. mikeevergreen - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    If Galaxy does not make the semis, that gives Donovan an extra two weeks on top of what he’d already get. If they’re also out of the CONCACAF Champions League by then, Donovan would be available and rested by mid-January. If Everton is sitting top-5 in England, then if I’m Donovan, I’d go. For good.

    • Steve Davis - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      Perhaps. But he has a year to go on his Galaxy contract (one year after this one, that is). That would mean Everton buying at MLS asking price. Not sure Goodison management would have that kind of $ lying around.

      • jmillmac - Aug 27, 2012 at 5:31 AM

        One would think the Tim Cahill move might grease the wheels, wouldn’t it? Besides, if the goals and assists records aren’t important to him, then he has nothing left to prove in MLS. If it turns out Donovan really wants to move on to Goodison and MLS doesn’t let him go (either for finances or publicity) , it’d be bad for all parties involved, including the USMNT.

  3. footballer4ever - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    It’s in Donovan’s and the USMNT benefit for him not to burn himself bu pulling double duties. World cup qualifiers are in its way and next year will be even tougher.
    The worst thing it could happen for US football is to not qualify for the WC. The olympics? Thst was just an ego let down, but WC is another thing. Get some rest and specially get that juice back in your veins.

  4. footballer4ever - Aug 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    If Everton does not have that kind of money, i am sure other Premier league will come knocking. LD has proven his a great footballer and even greater at making decisions even if those decisions are not merely based on dollars.

  5. docstraw - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    It’s been pretty obvious for a while that Landon’s legs are in need of a rest. He has been missing that extra gear for some time, more apparent in his international appearances than anything. That could simply be age catching up to him, but he sure has logged a lot of miles since the start of the 2009 MLS season.

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