CARSON, Calif. – Much of the talk on Thursday centered around David Beckham’s departure from MLS, but the fact that MLS Cup 2012 may also be the final match for LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan remained in the minds of many.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times last week, Donovan stressed his need to evaluate his future during the club’s offseason. On Thursday, Beckham declared that he is hopeful that Donovan will continue to play in 2013 and beyond.
“He’s a special talent in this team and a special talent in this country. And he’s still young. So I personally hope that he doesn't stop playing because I believe that he’s still got a good few years left in him,” said Beckham. “Whether he needs a break, whether he needs to just step away from the game for a while and then come back, but 30 years old is still young.
“I hope he continues,” Beckham added. “Let’s hope this is not his last game and let’s hope that when he spoke about he didn't have the hunger like he used to, let’s hope that was just a moment that he had because from what I've seen when he’s on the training field and on the field the hunger’s still there to me. So I hope a talented player like him continues to play for this club.”
One person who is quick to agree with Beckham is San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop. The relationship between Donovan and Yallop dates back to 2001 when the ‘Quakes head coach brought Donovan to San Jose.
Donovan spent another three years with Yallop in San Jose through the 2003 season before joining the Galaxy where he was reunited with his former coach in 2006 as he held the LA post for two seasons. With their extensive history in mind, Yallop offered his full support for his longtime player.
“There’s been no better player in our league that I can think of,” said Yallop. “That will be a shame if he wasn't playing next season, but I think that he just needs to step away and think about everything then decide. I fully support whatever he does because we go way back and he feels like a son to me. I just wish him all the best, whatever he decides to do."