Landon Donovan has recently made his post-retirement return to the MLS in an LA Galaxy home match against the Orlando City SC. This game was his first attempt to prove to the haters and his fans alike that he really is the same player he was before he hung up his boots.
Donovan surprised everyone when he decided to come back to the field and play after two whole years of time off. The player decided to go into retirement after he took the MLS LA Galaxy to their fifth MLS cup and his astonishing record of receiving sixth MLS cups. Donovan also still leads the MLS in regular season goals and assists, which is an accomplishment to himself.
It was actually at the national level that this truly extraordinary player really shined. He set two records for the United State’s Men’s National team for 57 goals and 58 assists, and he also appeared 157 times for the Stars and Stripes.
So, you definitely guessed that his appearance on his team the LA Galaxy can only help this MLS team. The Galaxy were currently tied in the Western Conference, but there record went up by one win when Donovan brought them back up to win against Orlando City. The team could use his leadership skills and his play making abilities.
The real question is, can this guy still play like he used to?
Landon Donovan wasn’t just on vacation, he was retired. This means that he wasn’t going to grueling practices or training like he used to. He also became a dad, which means that his focuses might be a little off of the soccer pitch. The twenty months that he hasn’t been training could really start to show in his upcoming games, proving that his retirement might make him not as stealthy as some of the other players.
Before he retired, Donovan was playing at an all time high, better than most his age, but also better than he had played in a couple of years. He was extremely helpful to the team in his last couple of months, and as long as he wasn’t sitting around eating Big Macs for those months, he shouldn’t be too out of shape.
The player also isn’t too old. The 34 year old has only played 641 senior pro games, where as his teammates Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane have both played 850 games each.
There definitely is room for this player to improve on the team as well, and improve the team. With Gyasi Zardes missing from the team due to a broken foot, the team needs someone to provide width and skills in creativity play.
Landon Donovan isn’t pulling out of retirement for publicity either. The LA Galaxy are in a problematic situation with their offensive players either off of the pitch or hurt, and any other viable option would be worse off for them than Donovan. If he can play the 90 minutes to the best of his ability, Donovan will definitely help the Galaxy again.