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Donovan Returns To LA

The American's 10-week loan spell with the Blues officially ends.

Donovan Returns To LA
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Landon Donovan has returned to LA Galaxy following his 10-week loan spell but says his experiences at Everton will never be matched.

The American scored two goals during his time with the Blues and featured in 13 games, starting 11 of them including clashes with the so-called top four.

But one match in particular has made a lasting impression on the 28-year-old.

"The send-off from the fans after the Hull City game was one of the most incredible experiences of my life," Donovan told evertonTV.  "You feel proud but it was also a sad moment, because when you're accepted that way and you feel that love, it's hard to leave.

"I've never seen or experienced anything like that and I just kind of went with the moment - I didn't want to make too much of it and have them booing me and get me off the pitch!

"I just wanted to show my appreciation.  For me, I fed off that energy and I hoped that they fed off my energy - then it's been a win-win for everyone.

"Playing and beating Chelsea and Manchester United within the space of a week will be something I will always remember too," he continued.  "I don't think any other American has had the opportunity to do that and there aren't many other players in the world who get to play against and beat those two teams."

Despite being crowned the MLS MVP for 2009, last year started with a relatively unsuccessful loan stint at Bayern Munich.

Critics in Germany questioned whether the forward had the necessary mental toughness to survive in European football.

However Donovan believes his time with Everton has shown he can play football at the highest level.

"I've proved to myself that I can't control what people think or what people say or what people believe about me," he explained.  "Those closest to me know how important this was to me personally.

"I've proved to myself that I can play against any player in the world and that's a pretty cool thing to think. Where I came from as a young boy, I didn't have soccer on TV and I didn't know any teams in the world outside of Manchester United or Real Madrid. To come to this point and do what I'm doing is pretty special.

"It wasn't easy in Germany, for a lot of different reasons. It would be easier to say that it was because they didn't do something, but I came here this time with a different mindset. Maybe if I had done that before then it may have turned out differently."

Donovan picked up Everton's Player of the Month award for January during his time on Merseyside scoring his first goal against Sunderland that month.

But the record goal scorer for the United States team say his miss against Tottenham with the Blues 2-1 down still plays on his mind.

"The biggest thing for me is that I don't want to let the team down and when you're given an opportunity like I've been given and when you've been accepted that way then you don't want to let the team down.

"I knew personally that I was going to recover," Donovan said.  "I'm a firm believer that you can't let that miss affect your next game, because it will affect you over and over again. I let that go, but I felt poorly and if I got in the next game then I wanted to make an impact."

Donovan also leaves Merseyside with high praise for David Moyes and says the Everton manager played a huge part in helping him settle into Premier League life so quickly.

"Before I came, I had a lengthy talk with Tim Howard about the Club and the manager in particular and Tim has nothing but great things to say about him,” Donovan revealed to evertonTV.  "I think that first and foremost, there is a mutual respect. Every time I play and every time I train I try to give everything I have and I think he respects that.

"I give him so much credit for throwing me in the Arsenal game and saying: 'Just go.'

"When someone does that, you don't want to let them down, but you also bring more out of yourself because you want to play well for someone like that."

Despite attempts to extend Donovan's loan period at Everton, LA Galaxy have now recalled him to their squad ahead of the start of the MLS season on 27 March.

It is still unclear if the American league will kick-off on time as the threat of a players strike looms following disagreements over the labour contract currently in place.

Donovan's final word is for the Everton supporters though who have backed him through his 10-weeks at the Club.

"I'm 28 years old now and I've played over 100 times for my country, I've also played a lot of league games in different parts of the world. But I've never met a fan-base like this, either playing for them or as an away player," the American explained.

"They've been absolutely incredible and it's hard to imagine that they can be that passionate every time you go out but they care."

The MLS favourite admits it will be difficult to put into words the spirit of the Blues fans when he explains it to his friends and family back in the States.

"I think that we forget in America that our league is only 14 or 15 years old whereas a lot of people here at Everton have been going the games for 30, 40, 50, 60 years, so there's that history and that love for this team and you can see it when you're out on the field.

"It'll be hard to explain.  I was talking to my dad and I was saying that I wished he could have been here against Hull City, just to see the reception after the game, because it was something I've never experienced and I'm not sure I ever will again," he added.  "Moments like that in a career, I'm not sure they come very often.

"Forget about football for a moment, this is a life experience I'll never forget."

Watch evertonTV's exclusive final interview with Landon Donovan from Monday - click here to subscribe.

View images from Landon Donovan's final game - click here.

Download's podcast special with Landon Donovan now - click here.

Michelle Guycome back soon, been really good watching you,

Tuesday 16th March 19:44 Report Comment

Ciaran O'RourkeU.S.A

Tuesday 16th March 14:03 Report Comment

Jeff SalterI'm an MLS fan too (San Jose Earthquakes). However, I think it's better for MLS to sell Donovan at this point. He's done everything he can with MLS - league MVP, scoring titles, 4 championships with two different teams (Earthquakes and Galaxy). And, although I like the level of play in MLS and sometimes I think it doesn't get the credit it deserves, the level of play is nowhere near that of the EPL or the other big Euro leagues. It's roughly equivalent to the Championship in England. Thus, MLS should let this bird (Donovan) fly. It just looks good for the league to have their best succeed on the next level. Then they can develop the next Donovan type player.

Tuesday 16th March 13:30 Report Comment

Mikel ArreguiIt's sad to see you depart to the MLS, Landon, because it's clear you're at another level (no disrespect intended, it's just a fact). A world-class player has to play in a world class league especially after showing such class in such a short time. I just hope that the MLS will become reasonable and we'll have you back at Goodison wearing #9 after the World Cup. Meanwhile, all the best to you and your family Landon, and a big THANK YOU. And please US Evertonians I hope you push hard for the MLS to let him come back! I like your #9 Everton shirt idea, hope to see loads of Everton shirts on Galaxy's games :)

Monday 15th March 22:51 Report Comment

Jonathan SouthworthJeff Salter - You know what the Legend Alan Ball said. 'Once Everton has touched you nothing will be the same'

Monday 15th March 22:24 Report Comment

D MoneyAs an American, I find it hard to believe that a deal couldn't be worked out to keep LD in blue. In my mind, I am not able to even connect him with the Galaxy anymore. As I stated in an earlier post to all Everton fans (mostly new and some expat old) that live in the LA basin-show up at the game later this month with LD #9 jerseys. I hope to see an ocean of it (pun intended). Thanks again to everyone Everton. Look at what you have helped create. A simple measure would be to look at the TV ratings on ESPN and FOX in the US at 4:30am in California. I would venture to bet that ratings for football at that hour have never been higher.

Monday 15th March 21:23 Report Comment

Michel QuirozEverton have to buy now because there are rumors that Chelsea wants it because some of their players passed to Manchester United

Monday 15th March 20:07 Report Comment

Jeff SalterJust registered to the website. Don't mean to be long winded, but here goes. As an American die hard soccer fan (for about 35 years), living in California, and really liking the EPL, I've been searching for an EPL club to really pull for. There have been plenty that I've liked for various reasons, but none that I've really made an emotional connection to. Until now. Everton FC was already one of those clubs that I liked - David Moyes is one of the best managers in the EPL, in my humble opinion, they already had Tim Howard, had other players I liked (Pienaar, Fellaini, Saha, etc), and Paul McCartney is a supporter (I grew up a Beatles fan ;-) ). Then, it was announced that Landon Donovan would be taken on loan. I've been watching very closely ever since. Donovan did very well, which I was quite pleased with. It's very gratifying for an American soccer fan to see our best player do well in the best league in the world. It means a lot because when you're big soccer fan in the USA, you are kind of the red headed stepchild on two fronts - at home where the general sports media doesn't treat the sport with enough respect, and abroad where USA soccer doesn't garner much respect (although that's changing gradually). But what has really amazed me is the Everton fans and the organization and David Moyes. From the get-go, they welcomed Landon with open arms, and stood behind him 100%, and created an atmosphere in which he could succeed. And succeed he did. And it amazed me how much the Everton fans really liked Landon, and to hear them chant U-S-A, U-S-A, You-Must-Stay! ... sent shivers up my spine. Bingo. Big Emotional Connection! I'm now true Everton Blue. Everton are now my EPL team, whether they manage to get Landon Donovan back or not. I thank you Everton fans for treating our best field player so well. I also thank you for treating Tim Howard so well. And I thank Everton and David Moyes for putting out tremendous flowing, good passing, exciting, skillful, and hard working soccer. Again, sorry for my long winded post.

Monday 15th March 16:31 Report Comment


Monday 15th March 16:21 Report Comment

richard beckIt is sad to see you go back to america after a great time here at Everton. Hope to see you back again soon LD - you are welcome back anytime. Best of luck for the world cup, now you can show everyone what knowledge you have learnt from your time at goodisoon park

Monday 15th March 14:08 Report Comment

barry heyworththanks landon ! come back soon !

Monday 15th March 13:54 Report Comment

anthony warddont go...

Monday 15th March 11:39 Report Comment

John HauYou have done well during the last 10 weeks, and we could not thank you more for what you have done for us, hope you enjoy your time with us, we should miss you and hope to see you again soon!

Monday 15th March 06:58 Report Comment

willie kellyok first things first thanks landon for the helping hand you've been a star. secondly your statement saying i don't think any other american player has ever beatin united and chelsea in the same week? eemmmm what about my main man TIM HOWARD? a true blue :) and ok last things last all you blues lets not let our seaso lie with this now and get deflated we need to keep shouting loud and fighting for the highest possible leauge finish we can get. i wish landon could stay but i personally feel fellaini is a much bigger loss. but we can finish srtong coyb.

Monday 15th March 01:47 Report Comment

joseph grechin donovan own words:everton fans are fantastic,they appreciate players who try their all in blue shirts for the cause.thanks landon...think of you - i hope you'll be back in the future on permanent basis

Sunday 14th March 23:36 Report Comment

wilf jonesLandon, You came with only 10 weeks to make an impact on a very critical group of fans during a difficult season. We appreciated your immediate impact on the team, the No 9 shirt holds a special place in most Evertonians Hearts. You proved a worthy wearer of the shirt, we respect your commitment to our beloved EVERTON, and the game. We wish you and your family all the best and hope this last 10 weeks won't be the last with EFC

Sunday 14th March 23:04 Report Comment

andrew haweslistening to landon talking about what is an obviously well run,and very very good club to play for,its hard to read about how man utd are going to "unveil"rodwell and gosling next season as there new generation?? NO!!!sorry were not in debt or run by non-football foreigners .these young players are going to push for a very big season next year along with an already powerful squad!!time to show we have moved on since rooney and are ready to challenge for trophys as a club,team and fans!!!

Sunday 14th March 22:33 Report Comment

alan davieslandon hope to see you soon again in an everton shirt. once a blue always a blue.

Sunday 14th March 21:09 Report Comment

Mark LynchLandon I would like to thank you on behalf of Everton FC, and their humble fans for the effort and dedication that you have shown on your brief spell here, i sincerley hope(and i know that i speak for the vast majority of the fans) that one day soon we will see you pull on that Famous Jersey of ours once again.. either as a Loanee or preferably as a full time member of the Family.. Good luck on your forthcoming World cup Best wishes Mate EVERTON FC.....

Sunday 14th March 20:52 Report Comment

Mick EganLandon all your praise and thanks is warmly appreciated by us all, but that is our way of showing our appreciation for the efforts you made while in our team! You have been fantastic, your pace, desire and commitment have been unmeasurable!! But even more significantly, the impact you made on the rest of the team! Since your debut there has been an obvious buzz whenever you have been on the field, and that is what us fans want!! I think you are a star and Everton MUST now pull out all the stops to sign you in the summer!! Best wishes Landon..........

Sunday 14th March 20:32 Report Comment

jorge tejeiraMe and my kids will be wearing the number 9 true blue jerseys when LD comes home to play in LA. I hope to see a lot of 9 there. The game is day and night from here to there. I love to watch LD play live but I want to watch him on TV at 5:00 in the morning.

Sunday 14th March 19:09 Report Comment

jonathan butterlywe'll see you back in blue one day. Best of luck in the world cup mate.

Sunday 14th March 18:34 Report Comment

Ron VickersFrom day one, Landon Donovan dropped into place perfectly in our Club. For anyone who witnessed his top class performances for the USA in the last Confederations Cup competition, particularly against heavyweight opponents like Spain, Italy & Brazil, then it will have come as no surprise. The guy is a class act, and it's easy to see why he is rated as the best player the USA has ever produced. If our Club's hierarchy has any serious ambitions whatsoever then it will make signing Landon Donovan, on a permanent basis, its number one priority. Thanks for a superb contribution Landon. Over to you now, Blue Bill & Co.

Sunday 14th March 18:08 Report Comment

alan kaneIt was never goin to easy keeping donovan he's the best player in the mls,he's won most valueble player in the u.s. two seasons running so they were never goin to let him go without a fight hes the face of the mls and its gonna take a good bid to secure him i just hope the boss and blue bill have a plan for the summer to keep this team goin in the right direction and i honestly think landon is a piece of jigsaw that we've missed....Thanks for the effort, passion,drive and commitment you have showed in your short time with are club and ill keep all my fingers toes and short and curly bits crossed that we'll see you back in the royal blue again someday.COYB

Sunday 14th March 17:29 Report Comment

Paul HowellsIf their league does not start until the 27 th (assuming no strike) then why could he not have had his loan until the 20th in the first place, and let him play against Biolton next week? If they do strike now can we bring him back or is that out of the question because of the closed transfer window?

Sunday 14th March 16:03 Report Comment

Steve LehanyJust the type of player we like to see, and welcome with open arms at Everton. Great attitude and professional. All the best in whatever you decide to do. We'll miss you Landon! NSNO!

Sunday 14th March 15:47 Report Comment

Corey GallawayAs a U.S. soccer fan I feel the best thing for Landon is to stay in England. I would love to see him play when he comes to Dallas with Galaxy, but he belongs in Goodison. The U.S. needs to continue to grow the sport and get spectators to gain interest and the best way is to have our players playing top flight soccer. I think it is selfish of the Galaxy to keep Donovan. They already have Beck's to parade around the country and to help fill the seats in L.A., they don't need Landon too. Man... I really wished they could have figured out a way for him to stay. I hope he goes back to Goodison in the summer on a permanent deal. Go BLUES! Also, thanks for chanting USA. It as awesome to hear.

Sunday 14th March 15:32 Report Comment


Sunday 14th March 14:24 Report Comment

Mattthew StanleyI am so disappointed waking up to this this morning, I find it hard to believe we did enough to keep this man if this situation happened at one of the so called clubs who think they are bigger than us he would still be there, you need to seize the initative when someone is playing so well its ok say go back Jan but football and form move on. For someone who is 28 and playing with and against the biggest players in the world will only get better for it, its a world cup year and then be hauled back to a sub-standard championship league at best beggars belief. Again this is my thoughts only and dont expect everyone to agree but I was never convinced even with all the sound bites that he would stay for the long haul. Lastly Mr Arena if your reading this the league may strike up until the World Cup and you will have a player sitting doing nothing because he can't come back now.

Sunday 14th March 13:26 Report Comment

Shaun HannaLandon you've gad a great spell at Goodison and the People's Fans at the Peoples club really connected with you. You'll certainly be a big loss im just hoping that maybe a deal can be done in summer to bring you back to the club on a more perminant bases. With King Louis picking up a few knocks towards the end of the season meaning you'll be missed even more. The Enthusiasm you've show is second to none. Thanks

Sunday 14th March 13:15 Report Comment

Jordan Gillencan i just say Landon, on behalf of all the Evertonians, it has been an absoulute pleasure to have you put on that shirt. Very rarely do you come across a player who clicks with a squad from day 1. I will miss seeing you Landon, you may not be the best player in the world according to critics, but to us, your more than that. I hope to see you one day in the not-to distant future get that shirt on again, and hope we put up a battle to sign you in the Summer. USA USA USA !Moysey sign him up!

Sunday 14th March 12:57 Report Comment

Katie SmithYou've been great Donovan, will always be welcomed back at Goodison hopefully sooner rather than later. If not good luck back in the MLS

Sunday 14th March 12:52 Report Comment


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