CARSON, Calif. – You’re not going to want to miss this.
Landon Donovan has returned to the LA Galaxy on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s match against the Philadelphia Union after his shocking omission from U.S. National Team roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Head coach Bruce Arena has already stated that Donovan will be available for selection and this reporter wouldn’t be surprised if Donovan is right back in the starting XI.
None of this is a surprise to any Galaxy fans, but the words that I’m about to write may surprise you—Not only will Donovan return to the lineup on Sunday, but I’m predicting that he’ll find the back of the net against the Union.
That’s right; goal no. 135 is coming on Sunday.
When Donovan scores that goal, it will etch Donovan’s name in the league’s record books as the all-time regular season goal king. Donovan is already the league’s all-time leading goal scorer with a total of 156 goals in regular season and postseason play.
The day before the match, Donovan said all the right things about wanting to return to the field and being disappointed yet surprised that he was left off Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad, but he was hoping to move forward.
But don’t you think that he’ll be hoping to prove the detractors wrong—starting with Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Union?
The people that been saying that despite being 32 years of age, he has lost a step. Those who joke that his iconic goal no. 135 will never come?
The sting of missing the World Cup will stay with Donovan for some time—after all, it’s only human nature—but the always-candid Galaxy forward admits that the outpouring of support from fans at home and abroad has been “overwhelming.”
“The amount of support I've had has been, I mean, overwhelming is the best word I could use,” said Donovan. “The responses and the messages I've had from fans, from friends, from family, from my teammates in camp, from my staff at camp, from my teammates here and coaching staff, it's really been pretty amazing.
“Someone said to me, and I think it's true, a lot of times you don't hear those kind of messages unless unfortunately you're already dead at a funeral,” he added. “So some of these things I heard were really uplifting, sort of validates the way I feel about myself as a player and a person, and I really appreciate all the support I've had from everyone.”
As he looks to repay that show of support, expect Donovan to find the back of the net against the Union.
Just be sure that you’re at the StubHub Center for this one.