CARSON, Calif. –Landon Donovan will take the field for a final time for the U.S. National Team this Friday against Ecuador and according to the Galaxy great, it couldn’t have happened without the influence of U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati.
Donovan was named captain for the match on Tuesday by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but the 32-year-old forward told reporters that he has yet to speak to the national team boss ahead of the game. While Donovan’s relationship with Klinsmann has been noticeably frosty since he was excluded from the U.S. squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,
“I give Sunil a lot of credit for making the effort to make this happen. He made sure that this was going to happen and I’m glad that he did. I wasn’t sure at first, but he did a good job of making sure that it all came together. I’m sure that it’s going to be a terrific event and I’m very excited.”
And when asked if his USMNT swansong would not have happened without Gulati’s sway, Donovan's answer was revealing.
“I don’t know for sure,” admitted Donovan. “But I’d say that’s a safe assumption.”
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan will serve as the captain for his final U.S. National Team match which will take place this Friday against Ecuador in Hartford, Connecticut.
The match against Ecuador will help Donovan close out an impressive international career that included 157 caps and 57 goals as well as three World Cup appearances. Donovan will depart for Hartford on Thursday ahead of the game against Ecuador where he expects to have a ceiling on his minutes ahead of Sunday's Galaxy match against FC Dallas.
"I'm guessing I'll play 20 to 30 minutes," said Donovan.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan is a front-runner for the MLS MVP, but the forward isn't too focused on his own candidacy, he's backing teammate Robbie Keane's bid to be recognized as the top player in MLS in 2014.
In his final professional season, Donovan has enjoyed a stellar campaign with the Galaxy notching 10 goals and 18 assists. Those numbers have catapulted Donovan to the thick of the MVP conversation alongside Keane, Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins, New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen and several others.
Much like Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, Donovan believes that the stats are clear that Keane is the choice for MVP.
"His ability to create chances and wreck havoc on defenses is unlike any other," said Donovan. "With all due respect to Obafemi, there's no other player in the league like Robbie. The things that he does week to week are spectacular.
"We're very lucky to have him and there's no question that he's the MVP."
But wouldn't an MVP trophy help Donovan close out his legendary career in style? The Galaxy star says no.
"To be completely honest, I'd rather Robbie win [MVP] and I'd rather us win a championship," said Donovan. "I'm not worried about that."
CARSON, Calif. -- After their 4-0 shellacking of the New York Red Bulls, it's no surprise that the LA Galaxy are well represented on MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week.
Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez were each named to MLSsoccer.com's squad for their role in LA's victory. In the win against New York, Keane tallied twice to set a new personal single season MLS career high of 17 goals while Gonzalez was vital in helping LA notch their ninth shutout of the season. Donovan took home top honors being named MLS Player of the Week after tallying three assists and one goal en route to tying Steve Ralston's all-time MLS assist record of 135.
Also receiving recognition was Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena who was named 'Coach of the Week" while Jaime Penedo earned an honorable mention for his six save performance in the win.
CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan was awarded the North American Soccer Reporters' MLS Player of the Week award on Monday for his one goal and three assist performance in the LA Galaxy's 4-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls.
With three assists in the win over the Red Bulls, Donovan brought his career regular season total to 135 and tied New England Revolution legend Steve Ralston's all-time MLS assist mark.
Donovan has now been awarded Player of the Week four times during the 2014 season.
CARSON, Calif. – Two titans of MLS will likely play their final match against one another on Sunday when Landon Donovan’s LA Galaxy faces off against Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls.
The similarities for the two players are easy to see: both players are stars for their club teams and the leading goal scorers for their respective national sides. While Donovan has pledged to hang up his boots at the end of the 2014 season, speculation has swirled that Henry will end his own storied career at the end of the year—a fact that he has denied.
Even if Henry stays with New York another year, Donovan says that he is relishing what may be his final chance to face the French maestro.
“Sometimes we forget how special his career has been. When you’re caught up in the moment and you’re caught up in the game, you just see him as an opponent to stop. But when you think about it historically, it’s pretty special that we get to play against him,” said Donovan. “We’re certainly not in awe of him when we’re playing, but when you step back and take a look at his career, it’s special that we get to play against a player of his caliber.”
But will Sunday’s match be the last time that the Red Bulls face the Galaxy this year? Donovan hopes not.
“Hopefully, it’s not the last time. Hopefully they see us again in December,” Donovan said. “We’ve had very different careers, but he’s meant a lot to French Football, Arsenal and the Red Bulls. He’s brought them back to prominence after a longtime of not being a prominent team on the national scope. It’s been impressive what they’ve done with him and I’m going to try to enjoy the last encounter.”
Make no mistake, Steve Ralston is hoping that Landon Donovan will not break his MLS all-time assist record, but even if he does lose the honor, he "won't lose sleep over it."
Donovan currently sits at 132 assists and has just five matches left to pull level with Ralston's all-time mark of 135. Ralston, a mainstay with the New England Revolution during his career, who is now an assistant coach with the Houston Dynamo was frank in a conversation with MLSsoccer.com's Darrell Lovell when asked about Donovan's pursuit of the record.
“People keep asking me ‘What do you think?’ I think he’s at least going to tie it and probably break it,” Ralston told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “Do I want him to break it? No, not really. The only person I’d want to break my record would be my son. People that say they want their records broken, they’re liars. Who doesn’t want to keep it?
“At the same time, if he breaks it I’m not going to lose sleep over it. He’s Landon Donovan. He’s arguably the greatest player in US soccer history. If someone’s going to break it, and it’s Landon Donovan, that’s fine with me.”
Thoughts on Ralston's comments?
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Even if you aren't the biggest soccer fan, you most likely play EA Sports' widely popular game FIFA, and later this year, the Vancouver-based company will unveil their FIFA 15 edition.
Above, you can see the trailer for the latest edition which you can preorder now. Also in FIFA news, LA Galaxy stiker Landon Donovan was named to FIFA's Team of the Week.
"I would be pretty shocked if he’s not called into the U.S. team soon," Landon Donovan on Gyasi Zardes' USMNT prospects
CARSON, Calif. -- The U.S. National Team buzz surrounding Gyasi Zardes is at a fever pitch and now the striker's LA Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan is getting into the conversation.
Zardes scored twice during the Galaxy's 6-0 rout of the Colorado Rapids on Friday night to continue his impressive streak of 17 goals in 18 games in all competitions this summer. With 14 goals in his sophomore season in MLS, Zardes now holds the highest single-season total for an MLS Homegrown Player breaking the record previous held New England Revolution's Diego Fagundez who scored 13 goals last year.
As Zardes continues to score, the national team chatter will continue to intensify, but to have the seal of approval from Donovan is likely to aid the striker's case for the USMNT.
"He deserves everything he has got; success is not an accident. People think you’re just born a certain way and everything either comes to you or doesn’t and it’s not true," said Donovan. "Last year, we saw the other side of that where he wasn’t quite there yet. He put in a lot of work last year and a lot of work this year and it’s starting to pay off. I would be pretty shocked if he’s not called into the U.S. [Men’s National] Team soon.”
Throughout Zardes' impressive performance against the Rapids, the 22-year-old displayed not only his trademark speed, but also a variety of tricks learned from players like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. Whether it was Keane’s ability make a dummy run and set up a chance for a teammate or Donovan-esque turn and shoot, Zardes showcased that he’s steadily adding tricks to his growing arsenal of offensive moves.
And as he displays some of their trademark moves on the field, Zardes credits the role that Keane and Donovan have played in his maturation.
“My teammates are helping me. All these guys are older than me and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from them," Zardes said. “Landon is a phenomenal player and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him. As you can see in the recent games, he’s the one giving me all my assists and I’m just trying to build off that as much as I can from these guys because they’ve played professional soccer longer than I have.”
Does Zardes get a national team call for the match against Ecuador?
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CARSON, Calif. - It was an emotional night at StubHub Center.
The LA Galaxy honored the memory of A.J. DeLaGarza's departed son Luca with a 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The largest victory for the club since 1996.
Relive the emotional night through the great photos of Mora Photography.