CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on an old friend on Wednesday in former LA defender Sean Franklin.
Drafted by the Galaxy in 2008, Franklin spent the last six years with the club and played a major role in the Galaxy sides that won back to back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012, before joining D.C. United via the Re-Entry Draft process last December. Franklin won't be the only familiar face in Black-and-Red on Wednesday as he'll be joined by defender Kofi Opare who was dealt to D.C. United last month from LA, but is not expected to play a role against the Galaxy.
"It'll be nice if I get the chance to go up against him. I did get the chance to play against him in the All-Star Game which was nice because he did really, really well. We're all really happy for him."
Added Omar Gonzalez, "It's going to be fun to see him. He's been having a great season and I'm very happy for him, but hopefully we can shut him down tomorrow."
Landon Donovan has been named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week after tallying two goals and an assist in the club's two win week.
Donovan notched the game-winner in the Galaxy's victories against the Colorado Rapids and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The 32-year-old, who is retiring at the end of the season, has tallied six goals and eight assists this season.
In addition to Donovan being named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week, Galaxy players Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane were each named to the squad's bench. Gonzalez ended the week with a goal and an assist while Keane tallied one goal and three assists in the two games.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at season’s end, but the long time U.S. international knows that MLS is in safe hands because of players like Colorado Rapids youngster Dillon Serna.
A favorite in youth soccer circles, Serna has enjoyed a strong first full season in MLS with three goals and three assists in 20 appearances for the Rapids. Serna's finest strike came in last Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to D.C. United when the 20-year-old launched a 35-yard volley that sailed into the back of the United net.
Even though the U.S. Under-20 midfielder may not be old enough to drink, he has a fan in Donovan.
“He’s done well. It’s exciting for this league to have all sorts of young Homegrown Players do well,” Donovan told LA Galaxy Insider. “That’s the future of this league in my opinion and to see another one like him do well is very good. It’s very early for him and he still has a lot to prove, but he has done well.”
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Landon Donovan may have been displeased with his team's performance in the LA Galaxy's 4-1 loss to the Columbus Crew, but he was all smiles about the Crew's ceremony honoring the attacker prior to the match.
Flanked by Crew owner Andrew Percourt as well as former teammates Frankie Hejduk and Gregg Berhalter, Donovan appeared noticeably moved by the ceremony that included a video highlight reel of all of his goals at Crew Stadium and the presentation of a framed piece of the north net where the Galaxy midfielder scored the second goal in the USMNT's 2-0 victory over Mexico last September.
Despite a frustrating showing by the Galaxy, Donovan was moved by the honor.
"It was incredible. I don't know how many of you [reporters] were here when [Crew Stadium] was first built, but this became the home of soccer [in America] for many years. I have memories here for the U-17 national team, many games with the national teams as well as with the Quakes and the Galaxy against the Crew. I can't imagine another stadium that I've played in more throughout the league.
"I have a lot of very good memories here and I was very appreciative of them doing that. They certainly didn't have to and I certainly have a lot of respect for the Gregg [Berhalter] and the Crew organization."
But for all the kind words from Donovan, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided one of his trademark deadpan answers when asked if the ceremony was a distraction for the Galaxy.
"I would blame the entire game on the pregame ceremonies," Arena joked before going on.
"I think it is very nice. Landon has had a great career and to be recognized in these markets we go into, it is tremendous," he added. "Hopefully, the results don’t all end up like they did tonight, but It was a tremendous gesture on behalf of the Crew. We are very grateful for that."
The ceremony honoring Donovan can be viewed in its entirety is below.
Landon Donovan will play at Columbus Crew Stadium for the final time on Saturday as he prepares to retire at the end of the season.
Donovan has enjoyed plenty of memories at the stadium for both club and country and because of his sterling career, he'll be honored prior to Saturday's match. In a video for TheCrew.com, Donovan discusses his memories of Columbus and his excitement to play in the venerable stadium one last time.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will be up against an old friend and an unfamiliar foe when they take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Crew Stadium.
LA will be facing a Crew team that currently finds itself in the thick of the postseason chance with 27 points which is good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Leading the Crew is former Galaxy center back and assistant coach Gregg Berhalter, who took the top job with Columbus in the offseason.
“They started off pretty strong, but they hit a little bit of a lull and have come back as of late and have played better,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “They’re a certainly a team that goes forward and attacks. As you look at them, you can see that their attacking scheme is built around [Fredrico Higuian] and rightfully so because he’s a terrific player and a great play maker.”
While Arena focused on the specific strengths that Columbus boast, Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan made a broader claim about the difficulties of facing Eastern Conference competition.
“The east games present a different challenge [because] stylistically [because the team’s play is different and we have to make sure that we are well prepared which we will be for Saturday,” said Donovan. “I think inn the west, teams put more emphasis on possession while the teams in the east are more direct.
“When I watch the [Eastern Conference] games, there’s not the same flow to the games as there is in the Western Conference games, it’s different, but we have to adjust.”
LA must use the match against Columbus as a chance to adapt to a different style of play as the club will play five of their last 14 games of the season against Eastern Conference opponents. As Arena’s side seeks to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield, the Galaxy boss believes that taking full points from their Eastern Conference is vital.
“It’s important that we take advantage of those kinds of games,” said Arena. “Because it’s likely that most of our opponents in the west are not getting three points. That’s just probability.
Such recognition ceremonies are common place in the MLB and NBA, but Donovan will be the first retiring MLS player to be honored by an opposing team. Donovan’s honor comes as no surprise as the forward has enjoyed plenty of success at Columbus Crew Stadium with the U.S. National Team, the Galaxy and the MLS All-Stars.
Although Donovan doesn’t expect tributes prior to each match like retiring New York Yankee great Derek Jeter, he is honored by the gesture.
“It’s very respectful and it’s not necessarily my personality to want that stuff, but it still feels good. It’s nice as a human being. I’m very grateful that they’re going to do that,” said Donovan. “I just think that when teams around the World do it for their own players, it’s nice and it’s respectful.
“I think that we live in a society where we’re always so quick to move onto the next and we forget about what people have done so that to me is a big statement and I appreciate it. They certainly aren’t obligated to do so and it’s a nice gesture. I certainly hope that it is a trend that continues. When guys spend their career here and grow the league then they deserve it, there are guys that deserved it before I came into the league and I’m sure there will be guys who will deserve it after.”
Foot Locker has tried to make viral gold with their new "Short Memory" series featuring NBA star James Harden and in their latest episode, they feature LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan.
In the video, Donovan doesn't remember the fact that he was omitted from the U.S. National Team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and repeatedly refers to himself as the team's captain. It's worth mentioning that Donovan has never been the captain for the USMNT over a prolonged period of time.
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at the end of the season.
The LA Galaxy midfielder announced via his personal Facebook page on Thursday morning that he’ll be retiring from the sport of soccer at the end of the 2014 MLS season. The all-time leading goal scorer for MLS and the U.S. National Team, Donovan has four goals and seven assists this season.
Donovan is expected to speak at a press conference at StubHub Center on Thursday.
Landon Donovan proved to be the hero of MLS yet again on Wednesday evening.
In a brief cameo, Donovan scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute as the MLS All-Stars defeated the reigning German champions FC Bayern Munich 2-1 at Providence Park in Portland. For his strike, Donovan was awarded the MLS All-Star Game MVP award. Bradley Wright-Phillips added the first goal for the All-Stars while Robert Lewandowski scored the lone goal for the Germans.
With the score tied at one goal apiece, Donovan broke the deadlock in the 70th minute with stellar finish past Germany World Cup champion goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for the game-winning strike after a pass from Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri. After scoring the eventual game winner, Donovan was promptly pulled from the match after his brief 26 minute appearance.
Omar Gonzalez was not available for the match, but the Galaxy defender was present for the match as he was honored after the game along with the rest of the MLS and Bayern Munich members of the U.S. World Cup squad.