CARSON, Calif. -- Head Coach Bruce Arena may not have expected to give Landon Donovan a full 90 minute run out in Sunday night's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders, but he admitted that he was happy to give it to the LA Galaxy captain.
The match involved a different role for Donovan as the Galaxy captain, who is still dealing with the effects of a left knee bone bruise that kept him from appearing in last week's 2-2 draw in San Jose, started in midfield for the first game since June 17. With Christian Wilhelmsson on his opposite flank, Donovan and the Galaxy created numerous scoring opportunities -- albeit allowing many for Seattle -- throughout the action. Following the match, Arena admitted that he did not expect Donovan to go 90, but was pleased with his contributions.
"I told him that I wanted him to play a minimum of 60 minutes and gave him the call on whether to keep going and he was fine," said Arena. "Landon generally needs a half to get fit and he is one of those rare breeds and I think that the 90 minutes was good for him."
Donovan was quick to agree when asked about his injury, saying with a smile he'd rather not be asked about injuries any longer.
"Knee’s great, thanks for asking. Let’s not talk about it anymore, I'll be fine. We got a deal? No one asks me about injuries? I’ll be fine," Donovan said with a smirk. " When Sean came out, it put us a little bit behind the eight ball, so I was fine, I was a little tired but I was fine otherwise. We have enough days now, I haven’t played in a while, so I have enough days to get ready for Thursday, so it was good to get 90 in."
With the Knockout Round match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC looming on Thursday, Donovan admitted that Sunday's win was a major confidence boost for LA.
"I think the thought process behind Bruce putting out a real lineup as opposed to resting a bunch of guys was we wanted to get some rhythm and some continuity heading into the playoffs," said Donovan. "We certainly weren’t perfect, we were maybe a little lucky at times and Josh made some goods saves, but I thought we played, actually, pretty well and I think we feel good now going into the playoffs."