Landon Donovan
Professional soccer player
Landon Donovan
Landon Timothy Donovan is an American soccer player for Los Angeles Galaxy and United States men's national soccer team. He usually plays as a withdrawn forward, and can also be used as an attacking midfielder on either wing. A member of the inaugural class of the U.S.
Biography
Landon Donovan's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Landon Donovan from around the web
Donovan in talks for MLS return at Real Salt Lake: reports
Yahoo News - about 2 months
Los Angeles (AFP) - Landon Donovan, the all-time US national team scoring leader, has been offered a two-year deal to return to Major League Soccer with Real Salt Lake, according to multiple reports Thursday.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Landon Donovan retires from Major League Soccer, again
LATimes - 3 months
Landon Donovan is retiring – again – Galaxy President Chris Klein said Tuesday, ending a brief but successful two-month return to Major League Soccer in September. “With Landon, when he came back, it was always going to be a short-term thing,” said Klein, a former teammate of Donovan’s, both with...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Giovani dos Santos' goal lifts Galaxy over Rapids in first game of Western Conference semifinal
LATimes - 4 months
Landon Donovan has been with the Galaxy just seven weeks, so his point of reference may be a bit skewed. But the team, he said Sunday, may finally have found the personality it’s been looking for all season. “We have a way we play now. It’s just a mentality,” he said after the Galaxy’s 1-0 win...
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LATimes article
For Landon Donovan, coming back meant taking a new path
LATimes - 4 months
When Landon Donovan decided in September to end his 21-month retirement from soccer and rejoin the Galaxy, he had a vision of how his return would unfold. He imagined he’d step back into his old midfield position and play like the man who retired as owner of Major League Soccer’s records for regular-season...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Galaxy need to step up, or it's time to step aside
LATimes - 4 months
Landon Donovan wasn’t even with the Galaxy until the middle of last month. Yet, four games after coming out of retirement, he may already have put his finger on why the best MLS team on paper has suddenly folded like origami. “When we’re at our best, we’re as good as anybody. So we don’t have issues...
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LATimes article
Landon Donovan scores in Galaxy's 2-2 draw at Sporting KC
LATimes - 5 months
Landon Donovan scored two minutes after entering as a second-half substitute to help the Los Angeles Galaxy tie Sporting KC, 2-2, on Sunday.  Donovan entered in the 74th minute and scored with his left foot after a give-and-go with Robbie Rogers.  Los Angeles (11-4-15) moved into second place in...
Article Link:
LATimes article
In coming back, Landon Donovan is following a well-worn path
LATimes - 6 months
Kyle Martino admits he went through some dark times after injuries forced him to hang up his soccer boots for the last time nine years ago. “It’s sort of like a Peter Pan complex. You never think you’re going to grow up,” the former MLS rookie of the year said. “Ever since we’re little we dream...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Juergen Klinsmann cheers Landon Donovan's decision to return to Galaxy
LATimes - 6 months
Landon Donovan’s return to competitive soccer with the Galaxy after a 21-month break has won him an unexpected supporter in U.S. national team Coach Juergen Klinsmann. “I think it’s great to have Landon back on the field. For himself and MLS,” Klinsmann wrote in an email. Klinsmann’s cut Donovan...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Juergen Klinsmann cheers Landon Donovan's decision to return to Galaxy
LATimes - 6 months
Landon Donovan’s return to competitive soccer with the Galaxy after a 21-month break has won him an unexpected supporter in U.S. national team Coach Juergen Klinsmann. “I think it’s great to have Landon back on the field. For himself and MLS,” Klinsmann wrote in an email. Klinsmann’s cut Donovan...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Landon Donovan
    THIRTIES
  • 2016
    Age 33
    Donovan scored a goal already in his second match after the retirement. On September 18, 2016, he entered the game on the 74th minute in a match against Sporting Kansas City and on the 76th minute tied the game 2–2 after a left foot strike.
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    On September 11, 2016, Donovan entered the match against Orlando City as a substitute on the 83rd minute.
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    On September 8, 2016 Landon Donovan announced he returned from retirement and officially signed with Los Angeles Galaxy for the remainder of the 2016 season (six regular season games and any consecutive play-off matches).
    More Details Hide Details Donovan explained that the injuries sustained by the club late in the season led to his decision to return: "Two weeks ago, I was working as an analyst on the LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps match and during that game, the Galaxy suffered injuries to three players: Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes. Over the next few days, Nigel De Jong was transferred to Galatasaray and news broke that Gyasi would be out for the rest of the season. Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy. I spoke with some of them that week and they jokingly asked if I was ready to make a return to the field to help fill some of the void left by the injuries and departures. I reminded them that I haven't played a meaningful soccer game in almost two years and I certainly couldn't fill the holes left by those players. Over the ensuing days, I began to think about their inquiries and it struck me that perhaps this is something I should consider. I care so deeply about the Galaxy organization, and I believe I could help in a small way to aid the team in its quest for a sixth MLS championship."
    Donovan made his first appearance fo the Galaxy after coming out of retirement on September 11, 2016, wearing the No. 26 jersey.
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  • 2015
    Age 32
    In July 2015, it was announced that Donovan had been appointed as coach of the MLS Homegrown Team for the 2015 MLS Homegrown Game.
    More Details Hide Details The game took place on July 28, 2015, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. Donovan led a team of MLS academy graduates, assembled just one day prior, to a 1–1 regulation tie, followed by a 4–5 shootout loss, as reported online. After being left off the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster for the United States, Donovan joined the ESPN broadcast team for the World Cup as a studio analyst. After his retirement, Donovan became a color commentator for FOX Sports, participating in the network's coverage of the United States-Ecuador quarterfinal of the Copa América Centenario. San Jose Earthquakes LA Galaxy United States
    In May 2015, he married Hannah Bartell.
    More Details Hide Details They welcomed their first child, son Talon, in January 2016. Donovan has been open about dealing with depression throughout his life and career, and has criticized the professional sports world for its approach to mental health issues. Since joining the Galaxy Donovan has resided in Manhattan Beach, California. He speaks fluent Spanish, which he learned both in school and through playing in Hispanic clubs and leagues while growing up in Southern California. He also speaks German as a result of his time spent in Germany. After his two brief stints playing for Everton in which he became a fan favorite, Donovan declared himself an "Evertonian for life." Donovan is of Irish descent and his maternal grandmother is from County Kerry.
  • 2014
    Age 31
    On October 10, 2014, Donovan played his 157th and final match for the United States in a friendly against Ecuador in East Hartford, Connecticut.
    More Details Hide Details The match was arranged by United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati to give Donovan a proper farewell, despite the disagreement between Donovan and Klinsmann. Following his retirement, he was named by The Guardian as the USMNT's greatest ever player. Donovan was a versatile attacker known for his pace and stamina as well as intelligence and technical skill, allowing him to play at various forward and midfield positions at different points of his career. His longtime international and club manager Bruce Arena once stated that “the problem with Landon is that he’s your best player at so many positions that you never know where to put him." Particularly in the early parts of his career, Donovan played as a withdrawn striker and was most noted for his quickness and goalscoring ability. As his professional career progressed, Donovan was increasingly utilized by managers as a wide attacking midfielder, where he could additionally benefit the team with his passing vision and defensive work rate. Donovan also possessed capable delivery on set pieces (as well as occasionally scoring from direct kicks) and served as first-choice penalty taker for club and country for much of his career.
    However, on May 22, 2014 Donovan was controversially left off of the final US roster by manager Jürgen Klinsmann.
    More Details Hide Details Klinsmann called it "one of the toughest decisions in his coaching career", but stated that "I just think the other guys right now are a little bit ahead of him". Klinsmann's decision, which was described by media staff as abruptly timed, saw additional controversy when Klinsmann's son Jonathan published and later deleted a post on Twitter that appeared to ridicule Donovan following the announcement.
    In May 2014 Donovan was named in the preliminary squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and joined the team in training camp.
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  • 2013
    Age 30
    On July 5, 2013, Donovan became the first US player to reach the 50 international goal mark and the fourth man in CONCACAF to score 50 international goals after a brace vs Guatemala in a warmup friendly nefore the Gold Cup.
    More Details Hide Details Four days later, Donovan became the first player to reach 50 goals and 50 assists for the United States during a 6–1 group stage victory against Belize in which he had one goal and two assists. After the United States won the Gold Cup title with a victory over Panama, Donovan was awarded the tournament's Best Player trophy after tying for the tournament lead with 5 goals scored. Donovan was recalled to the full national squad for the first time in over a year for the USA's September World Cup qualifying matches against Costa Rica and Mexico. Donovan started and played 90 minutes in both games. With the US needing a win over Mexico to clinch qualification, Donovan's corner kick assisted Eddie Johnson's go-ahead goal in the 57th minute. Then, in the 78th minute, Donovan scored off a low cross from Mix Diskerud to make the score 2–0, and effectively seal the win, and the World Cup berth.
    However, Donovan was re-called to the national team for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be played in July.
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    After missing the first three World Cup qualifiers of 2013 due to his extended offseason sabbatical, Donovan was left off of the squad by Jürgen Klinsmann for the June qualifying games despite having returned to playing full-time in March.
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    Donovan returned to training with the Galaxy on March 25, 2013 and made his season debut five days later against Toronto FC, coming on as a 61st-minute substitute.
    More Details Hide Details However, upon his return it was announced that he would be forced to relinquish the captaincy to Robbie Keane for the 2013 season. He scored two goals against C.D. Chivas USA tying him with Jeff Cunningham together as the top MLS goalscorer with 134 goals. On May 25, 2014, Donovan scored twice against the Philadelphia Union to break Cunningham's record of 134, making Donovan Major League Soccer's All-Time leading goalscorer with 136 goals. On August 6, 2014, Donovan scored the winning goal at the MLS All Star game, getting the ball past Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at the 70th minute, he was subsequently substituted for Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer and gave the captain's armband to Canadian international Will Johnson. On August 7, 2014, Donovan announced that he would be retiring at the end of the 2014 Major League Soccer season; the season ended with the Galaxy winning their fourth MLS Cup of the Donovan era on December 7, 2014.
  • TWENTIES
  • 2012
    Age 29
    In the Galaxy's next game, the 2012 MLS Cup, a rematch with Houston, Donovan converted a penalty kick in the 65th minute of play to give LA a 2–1 lead.
    More Details Hide Details The goal was Donovan's fifth in MLS Cup Finals. The Galaxy went on to win their second straight MLS Cup, 3–1.
    In October 2012, Donovan expressed his desire to take a break from his professional soccer career, citing physical and mental exhaustion as the main reasons.
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    Donovan took his tally of assists to 7 when he assisted Denis Stracqualursi's goal in a 2–0 victory over Chelsea on February 11, 2012.
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    On January 31, 2012, he assisted in Darron Gibson's winning goal over Manchester City.
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    On January 27, 2012, Donovan assisted in both goals in a 2–1 win over Fulham in the FA Cup Fourth round Proper.
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    In his third game on loan, he assisted Everton's only goal in a 1–1 draw against Aston Villa on January 14, 2012.
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    Donovan made his returning debut for Everton on January 4, 2012 against Bolton Wanderers, Everton lost 2–1.
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  • 2011
    Age 28
    In the 2011 MLS Cup, Donovan scored the title-clinching goal in the 72nd minute over the Houston Dynamo, securing his 4th MLS Cup title.
    More Details Hide Details Donovan was named the MLS Cup MVP.
  • 2010
    Age 27
    On September 18, 2010, he became the all-time leading scorer for the LA Galaxy.
    More Details Hide Details The Galaxy had another successful campaign in 2010 winning the Supporters' Shield for the first time since 2003. In that campaign, Donovan notched 7 goals and a team high 16 assists. In the playoffs, the Galaxy would ultimately succumb to FC Dallas in the semifinals. In 2011, the Galaxy again won the MLS Supporter's Shield.
    On August 1, 2010, Donovan scored the 100th goal of his MLS career.
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  • 2009
    Age 26
    The two reconciled upon Beckham's midseason return to Los Angeles and Donovan enjoyed an outstanding 2009 campaign, winning the league's Most Valuable Player and MLS Goal of The Year 2009 award and leading the Galaxy to MLS Cup 2009, which they lost on penalties.
    More Details Hide Details Following the season Donovan agreed to a four-year extension to his contract with the Galaxy, with clauses that allow him to seek loans during the MLS offseason.
    In July 2009, Donovan received praise and criticism for his critical comments about Beckham in Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Wahl's book The Beckham Experiment, calling Beckham a poor captain and teammate.
    More Details Hide Details He later apologized to Beckham for discussing his concerns to a reporter rather than to him directly.
    After his former national team manager Bruce Arena was named Galaxy head coach and Beckham joined AC Milan on loan in early 2009, Donovan once again was given the club captaincy on a permanent basis.
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  • 2008
    Age 25
    Although the 2008 season was a disappointment for the Galaxy, it was a banner year for Donovan as he scored twenty goals and nine assists in twenty-five games, forming a strong offensive partnership with David Beckham and Edson Buddle.
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  • 2007
    Age 24
    In the 2007 SuperLiga tournament, Donovan was the top scorer.
    More Details Hide Details Donovan scored a goal in every game except for the final. At this point in his career, Donovan had eighty-four all-time regular season goals putting him in seventh place on the league's all-time scoring list.
    Donovan had a mixed year with the Galaxy in 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Upon the signing and arrival of David Beckham, Donovan relinquished his captaincy to the English superstar.
  • 2006
    Age 23
    Donovan married actress Bianca Kajlich on December 31, 2006; the couple separated in July 2009, and Donovan filed for divorce in December 2010.
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  • 2004
    Age 21
    In 2004 Donovan became the first man to be named U.S. Soccer Athletes of the Year three years in a row, before returning to the Bayer Leverkusen first team in January 2005.
    More Details Hide Details After playing seven games with Leverkusen in the spring season, only two of which were starts, Donovan requested to leave the club. Despite a late offer from English Premier League club Portsmouth, Donovan expressed a desire to return to the United States. Upon his re-entry to MLS, San Jose was denied the chance to re-sign Donovan because Earthquakes general manager Alexi Lalas had traded away his rights. The Los Angeles Galaxy, his hometown team, were able to trade leading scorer Carlos Ruiz to FC Dallas to get on top of the MLS allocation order as Donovan prepared to leave Germany. Donovan signed a multi-year contract with Los Angeles that made him the highest-paid American player in the league. In his first season with the Galaxy, Donovan scored twelve league goals with ten assists and added four goals and an assist in the playoffs as the Galaxy won the MLS Cup (his third MLS championship to date). He was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI after the season. In his second season with the Galaxy, Donovan scored twelve league goals and eight assists. Donovan also scored three goals in the Open Cup. Despite this, Donovan and the Galaxy failed to make the playoffs and lost in the Open Cup to Chicago Fire. Donovan's playoff goals make him MLS' second all-time leading scorer in the playoffs with fourteen, behind Carlos Ruiz with fifteen.
  • 2003
    Age 20
    He was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2003.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 2002
    Age 19
    Donovan made his World Cup finals debut in the 2002 World Cup starting in the shock upset of pre-tournament favorites Portugal, a match the Americans won 3–2.
    More Details Hide Details Donovan's cross in the 29th minute deflected in off Jorge Costa, giving the U.S. a 2–0 lead. Later, Donovan would tally his first World Cup finals goal in the 83rd minute of a 3–1 loss to Poland in the third match of the group stage. He then scored his second goal of the tournament on a header which clinched a 2–0 round of 16 victory for the Americans over arch-rival Mexico. Though the U.S. would go on to lose 1–0 to Germany in the quarterfinals, Donovan would later be named Best Young Player of the tournament. Donovan was a member of the U.S. squad at the 2006 World Cup, in which the Americans were eliminated in the group stage. Failing to provide any goals or assists throughout the three games, he was widely criticized by American viewers for his performance. The following year he led the U.S. to the 2007 Gold Cup title with 4 goals, including a crucial penalty in the 2–1 victory over Mexico in the final. On January 19, 2008, Donovan scored his 35th international goal, a penalty against Sweden, and passed Eric Wynalda as the United States' all-time leading goal scorer. Donovan reached 100 caps at the age of 26 on June 8, 2008, in a friendly against Argentina that ended in a 0–0 draw, and was the fourth-youngest person to do so. Donovan captained the U.S. in the group stage of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup due to Carlos Bocanegra's injury absence.
  • 2001
    Age 18
    In MLS, Donovan had immediate success, leading the Earthquakes to MLS Cup championships in 2001 and 2003 and becoming one of the only recognizable faces of soccer in America.
    More Details Hide Details In four years in the league, he scored 32 goals and 29 assists in league play, and 10 goals and six assists in the playoffs. Two of those goals were in the 2003 MLS Cup, a 4–2 Earthquakes triumph over the Chicago Fire. Donovan earned Man of the Match for his actions.
    Unhappy with his situation in Leverkusen, Donovan was loaned to the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer for the 2001 season.
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  • 1999
    Age 16
    Donovan was a member of the inaugural class at U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He won the Golden Ball at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship as the tournament's best player.
    More Details Hide Details In his two years playing for the U-17 team, he scored 35 goals in 41 games. In 2000, he moved up to both the United States U-23 men's national soccer team as well as the senior team. Despite this he played for the United States U-20 men's national soccer team in 2001. On March 20, 2001, he was involved in a collision with Marvin Lee, the captain of Trinidad and Tobago U-20 team during the 2001 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament in Trinidad. Lee collided head to side with Donovan which resulted in Lee being paralized after sustaining neck and spine injuries, while Donovan had fractured ribs. Lee died in 2003 from complications caused by his condition, the stadium now carries his name.
    As his traditional number 10 was worn by Giovani dos Santos, Donovan selected number 26, which he wore at Bayer Leverkusen when he began his career in 1999.
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    Later in 1999 Donovan signed a six-year contract for German club Bayer Leverkusen, whose sporting director Michael Reschke spotted him at a youth tournament in Europe.
    More Details Hide Details Despite becoming a regular starter for the club's reserve team upon arrival, Donovan had trouble "adapting to the German culture" and was allowed extended training periods with United States youth national teams.
    In 1999 Donovan attended the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida with other members of the U-17 national team as part of U.S. Soccer's youth development program.
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  • 1997
    Age 14
    In 1997, he was accepted into U.S. Youth Soccer's Olympic Development Program.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1982
    Born
    Donovan was born (along with twin sister Tristan) on March 4, 1982 in Ontario, California to Donna Kenney-Cash, a special education teacher, and Tim Donovan, a semi-professional ice hockey player originally from Canada, which makes Donovan a Canadian citizen by descent.
    More Details Hide Details His mother raised Landon and his siblings in Redlands, California and he attended Redlands East Valley High School when not engaged in soccer activities elsewhere. Donovan first played soccer with his older brother and when Donovan was six, his mother allowed him to join an organized league, where he scored seven goals in his first game. Donovan was a member of Cal Heat – a club based in nearby Rancho Cucamonga under coach Clint Greenwood.
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