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Donovan to Return

No surprise.....

After spending much of the winter with Bayern Munich, Galaxy forward Landon Donovan will return to Los Angeles and begin MLS training camp next Tuesday. Bayern did not make an official formal offer to extend the loan into a full transfer.

"He is a very important part of our club and will be coming back to us very motivated and fit for the upcoming season," Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said.

Donovan, the 2008 MLS leading scorer, had four goals in five friendlies with Bayern and appeared in five league matches and one German Cup game.

"Although the [club's] results were not what we had hoped for, the time in Germany still was very positive for me," Donovan said. "I am fit, motivated and excited to be coming back as a better, more experienced player."

The Galaxy opens the season March 22 at Home Depot Center against D.C. United.

How do you think his time in Germany will impact his performance for the Galaxy?

By Steve Goff  |  March 5, 2009; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Friday Kickaround

Comments

I only hope for success for the guy, and that he comes correct when he's in the US team. Except for when the Gals face DCU, that's when I hope he whines, cries, misses every shot, and gets bloody noses. Too bad about Germany, I'm sure he is fit as a fiddle though.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, LA sucks, Donovan realizes that he needs to play in Europe and he leaves MLS for a good European team where he is a consistent starter.

Alas, I think good 'ole Landycakes will be satisfied being a big fish in a small pond and the US national team will suffer because of it. What else is new...

Posted by: therealfootball | March 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The MO for Donovan is that when he's done bigger stuff (like the WC), his game suffers afterwards (kind of like "oh, this is a letdown"). I think he's got to be a bit down from the failure of Hoeness and Rummenigge to make him an offer. And he's going to spend the summer doing Gold Cup, Confed Cup and WCQ's--all of that doesn't bode well for LAG.

Posted by: JoeW1 | March 5, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

See You Next Tuesday

*tee hee*

Posted by: Kev29 | March 5, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Alas, I think good 'ole Landycakes will be satisfied being a big fish in a small pond and the US national team will suffer because of it. What else is new...

Posted by: therealfootball | March 5, 2009 3:35 PM

Umm, he decimates Mexico (while stuck in MLS). Not exactly my definition of "suufer" for our national team.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 5, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Alas, I think good 'ole Landycakes will be satisfied being a big fish in a small pond and the US national team will suffer because of it. What else is new...

Posted by: therealfootball | March 5, 2009 3:35 PM

Umm, he decimates Mexico (while stuck in MLS). Not exactly my definition of "suufer" for our national team.

****

But does he play well against anyone else? We can beat Mexico, and everyone knows that. I want the US to be better in soccer, which means they have to beat good teams other than Mexico. Against those teams, Landycakes fades away. I want him to dominate, and being a star in MLS is not helping the US national team, even if he helps beat Mexico all the time.

Posted by: therealfootball | March 5, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The Galaxy's words of the day? "Fit" and "motivated." As in "Donovan hopes to stay fit because he is motivated to leave on a transfer in the summer..."

Posted by: TwinCity | March 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Landycakes has no heart. If he were a real man he would seek to break his contract ala Becks and then try and hook on to another team in Europe.

Posted by: vthokies1 | March 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Bayern probably would have made an offer on Donovan, IF he weren't considered so valuable to MLS. Because Jozy got a $10M transfer, Donovan would automatically have to go for at least $12-$15M, and thats too much for BM to pay for a 3rd/4th striker who is, as they put it "not a young project player". There is no shame in failing to beat out world class guys like Klose and Toni.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 5, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Landycakes has no heart. If he were a real man he would seek to break his contract ala Becks and then try and hook on to another team in Europe.

Posted by: vthokies1 | March 5, 2009 4:20 PM

That's ridiculous

Posted by: JkR- | March 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Landon Donovan's time in Germany will impact his performance by him not wanting to play for LA Galaxy or the MLS. Ultimately Bayern Munich proved to be too big of a club for Donovan to make an impact, but a June move to a more modest, yet competitive, team like EPL's Fulham or La Liga's Deportivo La Coruna makes too much sense for him.

No way he finishes the 2009 season in the MLS.

Posted by: cgonzalez1 | March 5, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

vthokies1:

You can't be serious. You think Beckham's recent actions are how a "real man" acts?

***

Donovan has a long history of being disinterested after spending time amongst the game's elite, as JoeW pointed out. On the other hand, he was a different player last season. For LA, he was engaged and determined from the start. This resulted in by far his best season. Perhaps Donovan has finally turned over a new leaf, and will view the MLS season and lengthy national team calendar as an opportunity rather than an obligation. If Donovan wants to prove himself abroad, the way to do it is dominate MLS and qualifying and make an impact at the Confederations Cup.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 5, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

So being a "real Man" is not honoring a contract? Where the hell are you from man? Spoiled brats should be taught lessons... Beckham's credibility as a footballer isn't in question, but him being a grown man, and honoring his word is already tarnished in my book.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

It has to be frustrating to go from attacking with Ribery, Klose, and Toni, all making nice runs off the ball, to no one making runs; or if they do, lacking the skill to do anything with the ball you send them.

At least he can commiserate with Becks. Maybe they'll be better this year.

Posted by: JkR- | March 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

When does Donovan's contract with MLS end?

Maybe he and Klingsman are just biding their time until August or January (as in deal with MLS before the beginning of the Bundesliga's 2009-2010 season and while Donovan is still under contract, or deal with Donovan directly in January with no concerns about a transfer fee).

Posted by: Rhio | March 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | March 5, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

He gave it a good try on a team where it was going to be very difficult to break in as a starter. No doubt he has learned somethings about playing on big teams and himself. Bet he plays hard for LA and moves on to Europe (EPL)in the summer transfer window. I admire people who test themselves.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | March 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

And yes, what Chest said! vthokies set it off!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"...a June move to a more modest, yet competitive, team like EPL's Fulham or La Liga's Deportivo La Coruna makes too much sense for him."
--------------
How about Hull City (assuming they stay up)? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | March 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Because Jozy got a $10M transfer, Donovan would automatically have to go for at least $12-$15M

Posted by: VTUnited | March 5, 2009 4:40 PM

Not necessarily true. Altidore's move had a lot to do with his age, potential and physical attributes. Donovan is older and a known commodity, a greater fee would not be required. Also keep in mind the weakening economy since Altidore's move.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Agree with cgonzalez1 on Donovan's not finishing the 2009 season in MLS.

About Beckham? I respectfully disagree with DadRyan. Players and teams sign contracts and routinely buy their way out for the right price. How many of them pledge their eternal loyalty to a club, but bolt when a suitcase of cash is on the table? I don't have any ill will towards Beckham - it's a business. He's too good for MLS and he should go. We say the same about American players. Beckham showed me his real character when he persevered after WC98 when the media burned him in virtual effigy, after McLaren retired him from the English national team, and after Capello and Mijatovic wrote him off from Real Madrid and top-tier soccer. He didn't whine in public, he kept training and proved them all wrong. If I were coaching kids, I'd point to that as the aspect of Beckham they should most seek to emulate.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 5, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

""But does he play well against anyone else?""

Yes. He played very well against Portugal in 2002, Germany in the quarters of 2002 (only Kahn's big paw stopped a shot of Landon's), and Italy in the most recent Cup---in which an Italian defender said "he was everywhere."

Oh, and two years ago he outraced the entire DC United defense to score on us despite giving our players a 2 yard head start.

Posted by: delantero | March 5, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"Donovan to Return"

Can't say I missed him...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsPvigSTeD0

Posted by: joedoc1 | March 5, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

""But does he play well against anyone else?""

*****

I remember a hatrick against Ecuador a few years back. And I dont recall him looking dreadful in that draw with Argentina last year, when they were #1 ranked by FIFA.


I will never understand why people insist on tearing down this guy. Why don't we take some pride in the fact that the best outfield player the US has ever produced has played in our own league for years now, and has still continued to be the best national team player we have...

Posted by: VTUnited | March 5, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I-270Exit1 I agree with you about Beckham's knuckling down in the past, he gets off on proving the press wrong, and he could be a poster boy for working hard/against the odds, etc. I was originally just questioning the *being a manliness* of trying to get out of his contract because he's "too good" for MLS, or simply for the fact that he's tired of LA. It is a business, and that's the point. The MLS season is right around the corner, and the guy is acting like he's entitled to do whatever his heart desires regardless of the piece of paper he put pen to. I'm just sick of the drama, Milan needs to pony up or shut up. If I want star drama I watch TMZ, not read Soccer Insider.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I think that he will have a disappointing season, either with MLS or with the MNT. the problem with donovan is not his skill level, no one will deny that he is very skilled, it is the question of consistency. If he improves his consistency and stays focused then he would be amazing. If he had the heart and determination of McBride he would be excellent. until he gains some heart i will always see him as a whiny complainer.

Posted by: xiopik | March 5, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Donovan is still the best American player. While I won't root for him when he's playing against DC, I hardly see how his presence won't help MLS and make it better.

The only drawback (and it's a big one) is that he could leave in the August transfer window. If he comes back I hope LD, MLS and the Galaxy commit to him playing the full season here.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 5, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It's also laughable to me that some folks think beating Mexico or other CONCACAF countries doesn't mean much. Sorry, but our Hex games are way more important than any gussied up friendlies against England, Spain or Argentina.

The Hex is priority #1. Beating Mexico last month was nice but it's just the first out of 10 games and we've had tough qualifying fights after initial successes in past cycles.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 5, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

You mean he won't get a chance to show how amazing his skills are against Sporting in the CL?

I'm pretty sure he was ecstatic to hear that he is coming back.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | March 5, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Did Landon's time in Germany do anything to slow that receeding hairline of his?

I mean, according to the Sham-Wow and Chop-It guy, Germany makes some great products. So maybe Landon was able to get his hands on some german-made hair regrowth formula.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 5, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

VT, I think you're missing the point. A friendly against Equador doesn't equate to coming up big when it matters. Questioning someones heart is not tearing them down. People recognize the fact that he has a great deal of talent, so when he doesn't "show up" for games sometimes, especially ones that matter, they absolutely have the right to question it. Back in WC2002, he wasn't the leader of the Nats. Now he is....or hes at least suppose to be. He needs to step up more in games that count.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 5, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

im sure the guys bashing Donovan are with Barra, i think whatever they are smoking has them high 24/7. Over here in the more quite confines of the north, we all hate donovan to the bone, but respect that he is one of the best players in the league well above any current united player. Its one thing to hate a guy, its another thing not to give him his respect for what he has done. If you want someone to go to europe and succeded then why don't some of you old/beer drinking buffons go out there and show landon how its done? until then donovan has everyone on this page including myself owned. Hate the player but respect is game is my motta.

Man do I love him with Us jersey...

Posted by: Norteno4life | March 5, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't question his heart. Never saw him as a fantastic finisher, but I thought he was good at holding the ball and making opportunities for others. As others have said, he was a long shot to make the German club since they have 2 of the best in the world. No shame in coming off the bench behind them. Should he come back home? Nah, as others have said, I think he can probably start for other euro squads. Not the elite teams, but definitely could in some of the middle of the pack kind of teams that are safe from being demoted. Still a step up from the the Galaxy. Assuming he starts and gets healthy playing time, the higher caliber defenses he'll face will only make him a better player. For better or worse he's the best US player, and you want your best playing against top competition and not on some last place club.

Posted by: doh1 | March 5, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Norteno4life,

im sure the guys bashing the Barra are with the quiet side, i think whatever they are blackberrying has them distracted 24/7. Over here in the more passionate confines of section 135, we all hate Donovan to the bone, regardless of whether he is one of the best players in the league well above any current united player. Its one thing to hate a fan group, its another thing not to give them their respect for what they have done. If you want to be a more secure fan, why don't some of you old/baseball-loving computer geeks go out there and show the Barra how its done? until then the Barra has everyone on this page including myself owned. Hate the fan group but respect its impact on the match is my motta.

Man do I think Landon Donovan is dreamy...

Posted by: notafembot | March 5, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the Barra and I'd like to see him do well for the US and even in MLS if it doesn't have a bad effect on DC.

Donovan can play on a high level team anywhere in the world. He might not crack the starting XI at a team like Bayern but he's versatile enough to sub in for any of the 4 main attacking players (if you count him coming on for Klose, when Klose moves up to take Toni's target role). Bayern's braintrust above Klinsmann prefers other options (Podolski and Olic are already under contract) but that doesn't mean Donovan couldn't cut it at that level.

MLS may put a big pricetag on him that makes him a less attractive purchase but Donovan has the skill for any league.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 5, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

who's bashing the barra? I gotta admit that was kinda cute how ya flipped it notafembot but riding your own jock isn't going to impress anyone.
If you've got a legit reason to hate Donovan other than raising your hand because everyone sitting around you in class is, let it out.
It's one thing to hate a fan group for sure, but to hate something or someone because that's what your environment ingrains in you without questioning it doesn't make you passionate, it makes you ignorant.
Anywayz, can't wait for the season to start...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

That Scarf Seattle thing has me wondering if that team/program/organization has done anything wrong yet, and if they ever will.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 5, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd say it's got more to do with his attitude in-game than his play or anything else. Like in the Mexico game, when we saw him yelling at officials every time the ball went near him and squandering his chances.

And who can forget last summer when Gallardo got Donovan's nose bloody? He threw such a fit that the referee didn't give Gallardo too much trouble the Barra even made a song out of it, at least for the day.

Oh sure, he has so much talent, and we'll never forget the 2002 World Cup. But he talks too much for his own good. We like our American stars to be reliable and to act natural, but he's prone to reaction. While he wears the nickname Prima-Donovan for a reason, we all hope for the sake of the national team that he puts roots down in Europe and elevates his game.

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | March 5, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I think I saw Donovan play once . . . . maybe. But it could have been a bad dream.

17 days until United's first match!

Posted by: Curious99 | March 5, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

That Scarf Seattle thing has me wondering if that team/program/organization has done anything wrong yet, and if they ever will.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 5, 2009 9:04 PM
=====================================
I can think of a couple things... they're just opinions though:
1)lack of real tailgating
2)marching band
3)Rave Green
4)drafting Parke, and Khano Smith
5)Signing Letoux
other than that? Can't think of anything.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough Dad.

But, surely you do see my point? They're really doing a lot of things right. I'm impressed, as a monstly un-biased MLS fan. (Push comes to shove, I'll take DC still)

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 5, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

GO IMPACT!

And before this game, I didn't realize my most hated Mexican player played for Santos--Oswaldo "Pinche Cabron" Sanchez. Poor thing hurt his hammy and left in a whimper---maybe it was because he was losing on aggregate 3-1!!!

Go MONTREAL!

Posted by: delantero | March 5, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I can think of a couple things... they're just opinions though:
1)lack of real tailgating

Huh? Give me a flat, a bar, a restaurant, but give me a team that wins, man.

Best "soccer time" I ever had was being a part of thousands of fans simultaneously pouring out of neighborhood bars for a English 3rd division match against their local rivals.

Tailgating? Unnecessary.

Posted by: delantero | March 5, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Jacob, those are just my trash talking opinions...No worries mate.
Just don't jump on the stinking bandwagon, and drinking the green Kool-Aid. They are after all just a bunch of Sonics fans left feeling lonely and dejected, Seahawks fans who're starting to think twice about their loyalty and a small sprinkling of actual fans who don't need to happen upon scarfs strung up in coffee shop awnings to become interested...;-)
Vamos United!!!
Can't wait to get this season on... Saw pics of Jakovich on BTB:
http://flickr.com/photos/behindthebadge/3332163440/in/set-72157613349634802/

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and not's not pity Landon.

He'll be headed to Europe as soon as the MLS let's him go to Europe.

Not sure what the price was for his services, but the summer window will see plenty of interest. It will just depend on if MLS needs the coin!

Posted by: delantero | March 5, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a given that he'll be in top shape when he reports to LA. I understand the "letdown" factor as a concern, but I believe his desire to return to Europe will prevent that. He knows if he lets down, he's throwing a wrench in his chance for a summer transfer.

Posted by: PHXguy | March 5, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry delantero, if only RFK had anything around it other than top notch tailgating. I'm not a rich man, and I'm very satisfied with a cheap 12 pack, some brats, or whatever is on sale that we can toss on the grill and enjoy with my buddies that I've dragged to the game. Some would argue I can't afford my tickets to DCU games.
Each city/club/stadium has it's own atmosphere and unique characteristics. Having lived in the same neighborhood that Qwest is in, and also having tailgated at RFK, I've got to say it's a damn shame that folks won't be able roll up into Uwajimaya on any given match day and grab some of the finest things you can throw on a grill and walk across the street and cook it up unless you've got a George Forman Grill.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow - Carlos Quintero is a rock star!

Posted by: Pedalada | March 6, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

And Montreal gives up 2 goals in added time. Damn it!

Posted by: RedDevil1 | March 6, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Montreal Impact lose a heartbreaker as Santos Laguna roar back to score 2 goals in stoppage time for a final, aggregate score of 5-4. Santos advances.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 6, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Link to highlights...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTsteME6YV8&eurl=http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?p=17120902#post17120902

Too bad I was rooting for the Impact.

Posted by: Mig18 | March 6, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mig18 | March 6, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I don't think he was used very smartly by Bayern (and I blame pressure from Hoeness more than Klinsi--all of Uli's quotes re LD reflected scepticism about the quality of an American, IMO). But then again, LD doesn't really fit well with the current Bayern personnel, so it's not terrible surprising that they weren't interested in signing him at that price. In many of his sub appearances, what Bayern really needed was a target forward. Doesn't make sense to expect LD to knock down headers from all of those long crosses.

More importantly, gotta think LD's confidence is sky high right now, and that's a huge part of professional success. He knows he can play with the players on FC Bayern. Were I in his position, I would want to thrash defenses in MLS in support of a summer move. And he should be more creative than repeatedly going back to the Bundesliga. He reads games very well; would be a good player in La Liga. Or why not Holland?

Posted by: scotto2 | March 6, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

And he should be more creative than repeatedly going back to the Bundesliga. He reads games very well; would be a good player in La Liga. Or why not Holland?

Posted by: scotto2 | March 6, 2009 8:36 AM

----------------------------------------

It always seemed to me that going to Bayern was about exorcising his demons from Leverkusen. What better place to show he was world class than one of the greatest German teams in a league where he was widely acknowledged as failed, twice.

I agree, Landon's game did not match up with the personnel that Bayern uses, and everyone had to adapt when he came on. It will be very interesting to watch what happens with Olic, who is a very similar player to Landon.

I may be wrong, and am sure I will be corrected, but I thought he could leave on a free at the end of the season. If I were him, I would play my heart out to get attention. However, I'm not him, and as previously mentioned, Landon can play anywhere in the world, if he wants to. But him wanting to play has always been the issue.

Posted by: Josh8 | March 6, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

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