Thursday, March 30, 2017

Donovan targets USA return

SoccerNews in MLS 29 Mar 2013

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LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan says he is eager to return to the USA squad having come back from his self-imposed hiatus from the game.

The midfielder rejoined his Galaxy team-mates in Washington DC in time to visit the White House on Tuesday, in a ceremony honouring the team’s second straight MLS title.

And he told reporters on Thursday: “I realise I have a long way to go both on the field and off the field to work my way back into the national team, and that’s my goal.

“If that’s something that presents itself, it’s something I want to do. I miss being a part of that and I want to represent my country again.”

But Donovan admitted that time away from football was just what the doctor ordered.

“I definitely needed a break,” he added.

“My favourite part was being home with my family. For 15 years I haven’t spent more than two weeks at a time with my family so it was really nice to do that.

“I was fortunate to have a lot of people both personally and professionally that also understood that. Now I’m excited to be back and to move forward and enjoy playing.”

Having last played a competitive match in December’s MLS Cup triumph over Houston, Donovan eschewed call-ups to the national team and the beginning of the Galaxy’s season to take a break from soccer.

With Donovan away, the USA national team experienced mixed results, falling in Honduras before bouncing back with a win against Costa Rica and a away draw at Mexico in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

And though he was not playing, Donovan was certainly an interested spectator.

“It was fantastic,” he said of the Mexico result. “Having been a part of many of those games both home and away, I don’t think you can overstate the significance of that result.

“I’m real proud of those guys, and I thought (coach) Jurgen (Klinsmann) was fantastic, the guys were fantastic and it was a really good result.”

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