CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan’s restful offseason could extend to his role with the US National Team, leaving the LA Galaxy midfielder potentially out of the Americans’ international friendly against Egypt next month.
Donovan said this week that he may skip the Feb. 9 match in Cairo as he continues to rest after a busy 2010 and ahead of an important year with the Galaxy.
“It’s hard to know now,” Donovan said. “If you ask me today I’d say, ‘No chance,’ because I’m pretty tired and sore. We’ll see how it goes in the next few weeks."
When Donovan opted not to pursue any loan deals during the offseason, he did so with rest in mind. The US National Team star had played non-stop for nearly two years when the 2010 season ended, and didn't play for Everton or any other club over the winter. Nor did he participate in the national team's January camp at The Home Depot Center, skipping the US-Chile match last weekend.
How did he fare with relatively little going on?
“It was nice – a little bit of traveling, a lot of rest,” Donovan said.
With no activity for more than two months, Donovan said he is anxious to get started and was looking forward to getting on the field for the first time in 2011.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “This is the first time I can remember where I had enough time to really get antsy to play again. I’m excited to be back, to see new faces, to start up again and that hasn’t happened in a while.”
When the Galaxy broke camp 12 months ago, Donovan was starring for Everton. During preseason in 2009, Donovan was mired on Bayern Munich’s bench. Because of those loans, Donovan hasn't participated for the entirety of a Bruce Arena training camp. Until now.
“For me, this is the first time in a long time I’ll be with the team during preseason,” he said. “It does make a difference. It helps to know guys from Day 1 so you don’t have any hiccups in the beginning of the season.”
One thing he said he found difficult to do during the offseason was to unwind. And when the restless feelings became too much to handle, Donovan said he knew it was time to come back.
“I’m so used to going all the time that it was almost difficult to just relax,” he said. “You want to find something to do. You almost have to force yourself to just relax, and my body actually up until the last week before preseason started this week, there were still some spots that hurt.
“I knew it was the right decision, but I also knew it was the right time to come back when I watched the US game the other night and it was just killing me to just sit on the couch watching.”