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Landon Donovan (born March 4, 1982, in Ontario, Californiamarker) is an American soccer player who currently plays for Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer. He plays usually as a withdrawn forward, and can also be used as an attacking midfielder on either wing.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. Soccer residency program in Bradenton, Florida, Donovan was declared player of the tournament for his role in the national U-17 team that finished fourth in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, before signing for Bayer Leverkusen. After six years with the club, including a loan spell at San Jose Earthquakes, Donovan moved to Los Angeles Galaxy in 2005, though he returned to the Bundesliga for a six-month spell at the start of 2009 on loan to Bayern Munich.

For the United States national team, Donovan currently is the all-time leader in scoring and assists, and has the most cap of all active players. He is the only six-time winner of the Honda Player of the Year award.

Early life and career

The son of Timothy Donovan (a former semi-pro ice hockey player) and Donna Kenney-Cash, Donovan grew up in Redlands, Californiamarker. Encouraged by his older brother, Donovan was five years old when he started playing soccer. He attended Redlands East Valley High School, where he was a standout gymnast and soccer player.

Donovan was a member of the inaugural class of the U.S. Soccer residency program in Bradenton, Floridamarker with many international teammates including Oguchi Onyewu, DaMarcus Beasley, and Bobby Convey. The U-17 team that was formed from that class competed at the 1999 U-17 World Championship, finishing in fourth-place with Donovan receiving the Golden Ball as the tournament's outstanding player. Shortly after the tournament, Donovan signed a professional contract with German club Bayer Leverkusen, becoming the youngest American to sign with a foreign club.

Club career

San Jose Earthquakes

Unhappy with his situation in Germany, he was loaned to the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer for the 2001 season. In MLS, Donovan had immediate success, leading the Earthquakes to MLS Cup championships in 2001 and 2003 and becoming one of the most recognizable faces of soccer in America. 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. Donovan was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2003.

Bayer Leverkusen

On June 3, 2004, Bayer Leverkusen announced that Donovan would return to the club in 2005, and Landon followed suit, announcing his return to Germany on November 23, 2004. He then became the first man to be named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year two years in a row, taking the award for that year. After playing seven games with Bayer Leverkusen, only two of which were starts, Landon stated his intentions to return to MLS. Despite a late offer from English club Portsmouth, Bayer Leverkusen officials respected his wishes. However, because San Jose GM Alexi Lalas had traded away Donovan's 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 one week before the season started.

Los Angeles Galaxy

In his first season with the Galaxy, Donovan scored twelve league goals and 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. In the 2007 Superliga tournament, Donovan was the top scorer. Donovan scored a goal in every game except for the Final, where he missed the game winning penalty kick. Donovan now has eighty-four all-time regular season goals putting him in seventh place on the league's all time scoring list. 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.

Bayern Munich

Since the summer of 2008, Donovan had been linked with a move back to Europe during the January 2009 transfer window. Landon himself mentioned German side Bayern Munich (then managed by California resident and former Galaxy consultant Jurgen Klinsmann) as a potential destination. Concerning a possible move to Europe he said, "If the Galaxy is OK with me going, if the league is willing to accept an offer, if an offer comes. In my situation, I can't be super picky but if it's the right offer and makes sense with the right team ... there's a lot of ifs. But from my standpoint, I'm ready to take that step and I want to." From November 11-21, 2008 he trained with Bayern Munich, and at the end of his training period, Bayern Munich entered into negotiations to acquire him on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, allowing Donovan to play for the German club until the start of the next MLS season in mid-March. Donovan made his friendly debut on January 10 against Al-Jazira Club, playing the full ninety minutes and assisting on a goal by Bastian Schweinsteiger, and scored his first goal for the club in his second game, in a friendly against Al-Wehda.

Donovan made his competitive debut for Bayern in their 5-1 win over Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal on January 27, 2009, coming on as a 66th minute substitute for Luca Toni, and made his Bundesliga debut on January 30, 2009, against Hamburg, as a seventy-seventh minute substitute for Bastian Schweinsteiger. He ended up with a total of four goals scored in five friendly matches for Bayern, but did not score any in league play. The team declined to extend his loan, with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stating that with strikers such as Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni already available, additional forwards should be young "with perspective".

International career



Donovan was a member of the inaugural class at U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program at the IMG Soccer Academy, in Bradenton, Floridamarker. He won the Golden Ball at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship as the tournament's best player. In his two years playing for the U-17 team, he scored thirty-five goals in forty-one games. In 2000, he moved up to both the United States U-23 men's national soccer team as well as the senior team.

After starring for the U.S. team that nearly won a medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics, he earned his first cap for the United States senior team on October 25, 2000, against Mexico, and scored in his debut. Donovan had a breakout tournament, scoring two goals during the United States' run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup in South Koreamarker and Japanmarker, and was named Best Young Player for the tournament. He had a rare four-goal game against Cuba in 2003. On April 11, 2006, Landon became the United States' all-time assist leader with twenty-three when he set up Ben Olsen; the previous all-time assist leader was Cobi Jones.

Donovan was a member of the U.S. squad at the 2006 World Cup, in which the Americans were eliminated in the group stage. 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 11, 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 twenty-six 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. Donovan scored on a penalty kick against Italy, shortly after his team had been reduced to 10 men, and scored for the United States in a 3-2 defeat to Brazil in the final. On October 10, 2009, Donovan scored on a free kick, giving the U.S. a 3–2 victory over Honduras in San Pedro Sulamarker, clinching a berth in the 2010 World Cup.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
01. October 25, 2000 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseummarker, Los Angelesmarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
02. January 19, 2002 Rose Bowlmarker, Pasadenamarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
2 – 1
2002 Gold Cup
03. March 2, 2002 Safeco Fieldmarker, Seattlemarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
4 – 0
Friendly
04. March 2, 2002 Safeco Fieldmarker, Seattlemarker, USAmarker
4 – 0
4 – 0
Friendly
05. May 16, 2002 Giants Stadiummarker, East Rutherfordmarker, USAmarker
4 – 0
5 – 0
Friendly
06. June 14, 2002 Daejeon World Cup Stadiummarker, Daejeonmarker, South Koreamarker
1 – 3
1 – 3
2002 World Cup
07. June 17, 2002 Jeonju World Cup Stadiummarker, Jeonjumarker, South Koreamarker
2 – 0
2 – 0
2002 World Cup
08. March 29, 2003 Qwest Fieldmarker, Seattlemarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
09. May 26, 2003 Spartan Stadiummarker, San Josemarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
10. July 6, 2003 Columbus Crew Stadiummarker, Columbus, Ohiomarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
11. July 13, 2003 Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
5 – 0
2003 Gold Cup
12. July 13, 2003 Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
5 – 0
2003 Gold Cup
13. July 13, 2003 Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, USAmarker
4 – 0
5 – 0
2003 Gold Cup
14. July 13, 2003 Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, USAmarker
5 – 0
5 – 0
2003 Gold Cup
15. January 18, 2004 Home Depot Centermarker, Carsonmarker, USAmarker
1 – 1
1 – 1
Friendly
16. June 20, 2004 Grenada National Stadiummarker, St. George'smarker, Grenadamarker
1 – 0
3 – 2
Q 2006 World Cup
17. September 4, 2004 Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
2 – 0
Q 2006 World Cup
18. October 13, 2004 RFK Stadiummarker, Washington, D.C.marker, USAmarker
1 – 0
6 – 0
Q 2006 World Cup
19. October 13, 2004 RFK Stadiummarker, Washington, D.C.marker, USAmarker
2 – 0
6 – 0
Q 2006 World Cup
20. June 4, 2005 Rice-Eccles Stadiummarker, Salt Lake Citymarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
3 – 0
Q 2006 World Cup
21. June 4, 2005 Rice-Eccles Stadiummarker, Salt Lake Citymarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
3 – 0
Q 2006 World Cup
22. June 8, 2005 Estadio Rommel Fernandezmarker, Panama Citymarker, Panamamarker
2 – 0
3 – 0
Q 2006 World Cup
23. July 7, 2005 Qwest Fieldmarker, Seattlemarker, USAmarker
2 – 1
4 – 1
2005 Gold Cup
24. July 7, 2005 Qwest Fieldmarker, Seattlemarker, USAmarker
4 – 1
4 – 1
2005 Gold Cup
25. July 9, 2005 Qwest Fieldmarker, Seattlemarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
2 – 0
2005 Gold Cup
26. January 20, 2007 Home Depot Centermarker, Carsonmarker, USAmarker
1 – 1
3 – 1
Friendly
27. February 7, 2007 University of Phoenix Stadiummarker, Glendalemarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
28. March 25, 2007 Raymond James Stadiummarker, Tampamarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
3 – 1
Friendly
29. March 25, 2007 Raymond James Stadiummarker, Tampamarker, USAmarker
2 – 1
3 – 1
Friendly
30. March 25, 2007 Raymond James Stadiummarker, Tampamarker, USAmarker
3 – 1
3 – 1
Friendly
31. June 12, 2007 Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
4 – 0
2007 Gold Cup
32. June 16, 2007 Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, USAmarker
1 – 0
2 – 1
2007 Gold Cup
33. June 21, 2007 Soldier Fieldmarker, Chicagomarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
2 – 1
2007 Gold Cup
34. June 24, 2007 Soldier Fieldmarker, Chicagomarker, USAmarker
1 – 1
2 – 1
2007 Gold Cup
35. January 19, 2008 Home Depot Centermarker, Carsonmarker, USAmarker
2 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
36. June 15, 2008 Home Depot Centermarker, Carsonmarker, USAmarker
4 – 0
8 – 0
Q 2010 World Cup
37. October 11, 2008 RFK Stadiummarker, Washington, D.C.marker, USAmarker
3 – 1
6 – 1
Q 2010 World Cup
38. June 3, 2009 Estadio Saprissamarker, San JosΓ©marker, Costa Ricamarker
1 – 3
1 – 3
Q 2010 World Cup
39. June 6, 2009 Soldier Fieldmarker, Chicagomarker, USAmarker
1 – 1
2 – 1
Q 2010 World Cup
40. June 15, 2009 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker, Pretoriamarker, South Africa
1 – 0
1 – 3
2009 Confederations Cup
41. June 28, 2009 Coca-Cola Parkmarker, Johannesburgmarker, South Africa
2 – 0
2 – 3
2009 Confederations Cup
42. October 10, 2009 Estadio OlΓ­mpico Metropolitanomarker, San Pedro Sulamarker, Hondurasmarker
3 – 1
3 – 2
Q 2010 World Cup


Personal life

Donovan is married to, but currently separated from, actress Bianca Kajlich, whom he wed on December 31, 2006.

In July 2009, Donovan came under fire regarding his critical comments about teammate David Beckham in Grant Wahl's book The Beckham Experiment, calling Beckham a poor captain and teammate. He later apologized to Beckham for discussing his concerns to a reporter rather than to him directly.

Honors

United States



Los Angeles Galaxy



San Jose Earthquakes



Individual



Major League Soccer

  • Career regular seasons goals list: 6th place
  • Career playoff goals list: 1st place
  • Career playoff assists list: 7th place


See also



References

  1. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/match?id=261540&cc=5901
  2. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/match?id=252559&cc=5901&league=GER.1
  3. SoccerTimes.com player profile
  4. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20292059,00.html
  5. Beckham Responds to Book Criticism - Yahoo Sports - July 11, 2009


External links




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