More good news for LA Galaxy fans as manager Bruce Arena says that Landon Donovan will “definitely” return to the Los Angeles Galaxy this season. Exactly when that might occur remains unclear.
Last week the Galaxy announced that striker Robbie Keane had signed a new multi-year contract extension.
Speaking to reporters on Monday as the Galaxy began preseason training, Arena said that he had spoken to Donovan on Sunday, and that the Galaxy attacker will returning this season.
“We’ve given [Donovan] a little more time off,” Arena said. “He’s definitely playing this year. We’re just working out the return date that makes sense for all of us.”
Donovan hinted during the Galaxy’s MLS Cup run that they might retire or at least take an extended break from the game, but Arena stated that he always believed the player would come back but also understood the player’s desire to take some time off.
“[Donovan] has had a couple of years that have taken its toll,” Arena said. “He needs a little bit more time.”
Arena would not answer when Donovan will be back in training. But the Galaxy’s first regular season game is on March 3 against the Chicago Fire, so the clock is ticking.
“Everyone is a little different,” Arena said. “The older players, they prefer less time because it wears them down. The younger players can deal with the grind a little bit better. But generally we’d like to see players get three to four weeks in before they’re ready to play. Then you need some real competitive matches to bring your fitness along.”
Someone else who will be happy to see Landon Donovan back playing football is U.S. national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann. The U.S. kicks off the final round of World Cup qualifying in February, and the U.S. has a much better chance of advancing to Brazil with Donovan in the line-up than without him.