VANCOUVER, Canada –When Landon Donovan returned from international duty, he promised to become a better leader to a team that was mired in the lower half of the Western Conference standings and deliver he has.
Donovan has tallied a goal or an assist in five of the LA Galaxy’s last six games and is once again expected to lead the offense on against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. A result would add to what has been a banner week for Donovan, who tallied his 100th career assist during Saturday’s victory over the Portland Timbers. Perhaps making the match even more special is the fact that Donovan’s father Tim—who is Canadian—has traveled to Vancouver and will be in the stands for Wednesday’s match.
Below are Donovan’s thoughts following Tuesday’s training session…
DONOVAN: “We’re feeling good about where we are right now. We’re very confident and we have a good stretch of games. Whether it’s good or bad, we played them very recently and I’m sure that they’re going to remember that and in front of their home fans, they’re going to want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
(On the two team’s proximity in the standings…)
“With the way that we started the season, you wouldn’t have expected this, even three weeks ago. We’re very aware of where we are in the standings and where they are. We know that they’ve gone through some changes recently, but they’re a team that plays well here and they’re going to be up for it tomorrow.”
(On his impressions of the city of Vancouver…)
“I love Vancouver, I’ve been here many times and I’ve always really liked this city. This is my first time at BC [Place] since it’s been renovated and I think that it’s fantastic. It’s going to be a lot of fun tomorrow.”
(On Vancouver’s Scottish midfielder Barry Robson…)
DONOVAN: “I think that he’s been pretty effective so far. This league takes some time getting used to, but he looks like he’s pretty comfortable. Once he gets integrated a little more than you can tell that he’s talented and he’s got a really great left foot, he’s going to make this team a lot better especially once [fellow Scottish DP] Kenny Miller gets playing too.’’
(On his 100th assist mark and the difference between assists and goals…)
DONOVAN: “I'm proud of it, very proud of it. I guess what I'm most proud of is the consistency and doing it for a number of years, like Jaime did. I've always tried to take pride in the fact that I can do it year after year, and this is a good milestone.”
“To me, they're pretty similar. Obviously, a goal is more exciting, but I'm equally proud of this. I always wanted to be a player who can score but can also help my teammates out, so this is meaningful.”
(On joining Moreno in the 100 goals and 100 assists club…)
DONOVAN: “For the years that Jaime played in this league, I always thought he was the best player in this league. He was a good player, but he was also a good pro, and he was a good teammate, and guys around the league liked him. He was always fun to watch, and the few times I had a chance to play with him were a lot of fun. In my mind, he'll always be remembered as one of the best ever to play in this league.”