WASHINGTON -- Landon Donovan re-joined the LA Galaxy earlier this week, but now that he has re-joined his team, the question remains: when will he return to the field?
After joining the team on Tuesday, Donovan has participated in three training sessions and has already drawn rave reviews from his Galaxy teammates, particularly for his sharpness and skill despite missing the club's preseason and first five matches.
“He’s been doing work still," said defender Sean Franklin. "He’s been working out so it’s not like he’s coming in like it is preseason. He’s not 90 minute fit, but he can definitely make a difference for this team.”
“He seems like he didn’t take any time off.," said forward Jack McBean. "He seems fit, he’s still as good with the ball as he was before. He’s very impressive so far, that’s for sure.”
As for Donovan, he affirms that there is no set date for his return, but admits that he was keeping fit during his absence.
"I actually feel really good. My body feels as good as its felt in a long time. I've been very fortunate and blessed to be able to get my heart and [cardiovascular] fitness back quickly every time that we have an offseason or a break," said Donovan. "Now it's just about getting the soccer part back. That part, I've been doing my whole life, so it's kind of like riding a bike so it comes back pretty quickly. Once Bruce feels that those two pieces are meshed and ready and I feel like I'm ready then we'll get back on the field and start playing."
But could one possibility be the Galaxy's CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Monterrey, which begins on April 3 at The Home Depot Center?
"I could potentially see myself playing some role. I think it might be a little early to say I'm going to be playing significant minutes, but you never know," said Donovan. "Obviously, I understand the importance of this tournament to our club, to our team, and to our organization and if I feel could and I could contribute then I want to contribute."
When do you expect Donovan to return? When do you want to see him back on the field?
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WASHINGTON – Landon Donovan has returned to the LA Galaxy, but for the first time since the 2007-2008 MLS regular season, he will not serve as the club’s captain. That role has been taken over by Irish forward Robbie Keane, who has donned the armband since the outset of preseason after serving as Donovan’s vice-captain during the 2012 season.
Keane captained the Galaxy during their first four matches of the season, while defender Todd Dunivant took over the armband while the Irishman was away on International duty during their 1-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids last week.
Finally back in the fold, Donovan threw his support behind the club’s new captain while also offering further thoughts during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.
“Robbie’s been as influential player as any over the last year and a half. He is justifiably earned the respect of all of us, all of his teammates and the entire club,” Donovan said. “I love being the captain of any team that I play for, I thoroughly enjoy it, I’m also very aware and Bruce made it very clear that this would be the case so there is no surprise here. At the end of the day, whether I’m wearing the armband or not, I’m going to do the same things and I’m going to act the same way.”
“I’d be lying to say that I don’t want to wear the armband, I’ve always wanted to wear the armband or both the Galaxy and the U.S., but my actions as of late, could be perceived as not captain-like by some,” Donovan added. “Although, I would argue that making sure that you’re mentally engaged is being a leader and taking the time away that you need is being a leader so that you can contribute in a positive way. But I understand how that’s not always perceived that way. I will support the team in any way that I can, if at any point when Robbie is out, Bruce wants to make me the captain, I will be proud to wear it and I will continue to do the things that I’ve done.”
What are your thoughts on Donovan’s return?
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WASHINGTON - Landon Donovan addressed the media for the first time since returning to the club earlier this week following the LA Galaxy's training session at Georgetown University.
WASHINGTON – When Landon Donovan returned to the LA Galaxy on Tuesday after an extended leave absence from the game, he took a moment to address his teammates on their way to a brief training session before their trip to the White House.
“He said, he’s enjoyed watching us and he’s proud of the way that we’ve started,” defender Todd Dunivant recollected. “He’s really excited to contribute and it’s as simple as that. He’s enjoyed the spirit of the team and obviously, we’ve had great results and moving forward, he’s only going to make us that much better.”
The comments may have been brief, but they were quite meaningful for his teammates.
“He didn’t have to say much, we’re not a young group of guys that was wondering, it was very clear that we were going to let him do what he needed to do,” said midfielder Mike Magee. “He came in front of the guys and said thanks for having me back, we didn’t guilt trip him too much so he’s happy to be back and we’re happy for him to be back.”
Donovan has trained with the club for the last two days and although he may have been away from the team for several months, there was no change according to Dunivant.
“It was honestly, like he never left. Having Landon back in the mix is about as easy a transition as there’s been. He’s been our leader for a long time now and to have him back on the field is honestly like he never left," said Dunivant. "We have a lot of guys on this team who have played with Landon for a long time and there are a lot of unselfish guys, so there’s not a lot of egos getting in the way, there’s no animosity anything like that. It’s just great to have him back.”
But how long will it take for Donovan to return to the field? Possibly sooner rather than later.
“With Landon, I wouldn’t put anything past him. He’s going to want to play quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if we use him quickly,” said Dunivant. ‘It’ll take him some time, but even at 70 or 80 percent, Landon is probably a best XI player in this league.”
WASHINGTON -- During LA Galaxy training on Wednesday, Omar Gonzalez's impressive performance with the U.S. national team in their scoreless draw with Mexico was a major topic of conversation amongst the team. Following training, I spoke to head coach Bruce Arena and defender A.J. DeLaGarza to get their impressions on Gonzalez's showing.
As for the match, watch the highlights of the game below...
WASHINGTON - Landon Donovan will officially address the media on Thursday following the LA Galaxy's training session, but my counterpart Jon Rosen with the LAKingsInsider.com (sidenote: If you're a hockey fan, be sure to check him out, he does great work) caught up with Donovan to discuss his trips through the years and his respect and fandom for the Los Angeles Kings.
The audio is below...
WASHINGTON – The LA Galaxy returned to training on Wednesday on the campus of Georgetown University ahead of Saturday’s match against Toronto FC.
LA took part in a 90 minute session that included Landon Donovan, who returned to the club on Tuesday.
A couple notes as well as a photo and a vine from training…
*Bruce Arena confirmed that Omar Gonzalez will rejoin the club on Wednesday. But as for Robbie Keane and when he will join the club, Arena had this to say.
“We haven’t seen him yet. Once he gets back in the U.S. We’ll make a determination about it.”
*Sean Franklin talked about Donovan's fitness and admitted that he was impressed with the forward.
"He seems pretty fit, I heard that he's been doing some training, I'm assuming obviously being away from the game awhile. He may not be 90 minutes fit, but he looks good to go. Hopefully, in the next week or so, we can give him some minutes."
*One Galaxy player did not participate in training on Wednesday as forward Jose Villarreal was given the day off.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) March 27, 2013
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Following Tuesday's visit to the White House, I caught up with LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee in this exclusive interview for LAGalaxy.com
Check it out below..
Omar Gonzalez has been yearning to become a regular on the U.S. national team and after Tuesday, it seems that he's destined to become a staple for the U.S. for many years.
Gonzalez lead the U.S. defense as Jurgen Klinsmann's group played Mexico to a scoreless draw at the vaunted Estadio Azteca. Throughout the match, Gonzalez's physicality and aerial prowess was vital as the U.S. back line held Mexican forwards Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez. In turn, the stat sheet was kind to Gonzalez as he made 33 successful passes, seven clearances and four interceptions.
The draw was the Americans' second World Cup qualifying draw in Mexico with the last one coming in 1997. The U.S. boosted their record in World Cup qualifying matches in Mexico to 0-13-2 while the U.S. is 1-23-2 all-time, in all competitive matches on Mexican soil.
After three matches, the U.S. find themselves in third place in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with four points, just a single point behind group-leader Panama. World Cup qualifying kicks off again with three matches in June. The U.S. will travel to Jamaica on June 4 before returning to the States for a two-game homestand against Panama on June 7 and Honduras on June 18.
What were your thoughts on Gonzalez's performance? Expect him to become a U.S. regular now?
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WASHINGTON—After President Barack Obama honored the LA Galaxy and their AEG-owned brethren Los Angeles Kings for championships in their respective leagues, I caught up with LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant to discuss returning to the White House.
Dunivant’s quotes are below…
(On returning to the White House…)
DUNIVANT: “It never gets old; it’s a really nice perk of winning the championship. We’re stoked to take the tour again and meet the President again. We’d love to do it every year if we can.”
DUNIVANT: ““It’s funny because going back to where we were at this stage last year, we were obviously celebrating the championship, but it was a little bit of a different tone because we had started off so poorly and I think there was a feeling around the group that it wasn’t too good. This time around it was a lot better feeling and a lot better start. Hopefully, the same result though.”
(On whether he appreciates it more…)
DUNIVANT: “It’s cool. It doesn’t get old. It’s as good as it gets, it’s a huge honor and a really cool tradition in American sports. I wasn’t able to do it after my first two championships so do it the last two years has been really neat.”