Landon Donovan held a press conference today (along with Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena) after his first training session with the team since finishing his loan to Bayern Munich.
It was a bittersweet event because although Donovan said he was happy to be back you could tell he wanted to latch on permanently with the German team. The complicating factor was that he was not a free agent but under contract to MLS, which would have naturally demanded a large transfer free for him.
“If I had been (available for) free I think things would have been different,” he said. “It became an economic matter in a lot of ways. … “I can’t really worry about what my marketability is,” he added, “or what my future might hold.”
Here’s Donovan on whether he would have chosen the path Beckham took (extending his loan and returning later in the season) if possible:
“Personally, I don’t think it would have been fair to the (Galaxy),” he said. “If that’s what (David) wants to do I’m happy for him. In my situation, that’s not something I want to do.”
On Bayern’s bad run of results while he was there:
“It became almost depressing around the club for a week or so. A club like that is not used to losing.”
On the experience in Germany in general:
“It was a very interesting experience, for a lot of reasons, some good some bad. It made me appreciate certainly having teammates (here), people you’re familiar with, comfortable with, people you enjoy being around.”
On what he wished could have been different with Bayern:
“I wish I would have had the chance to start a game because I think I’m most valuable in that circumstance. It’s always hard to come in for a few minutes and make an impact.”
On learning Bayern officials didn’t want him as a fourth striker because they wanted to develop a player younger than someone who was age 27:
“I didn’t know before I read that .. they felt like that. Obviously in any professional environment you’d like someone to speak to you directly so that was a little disappointing.”
Finally, here’s Arena on Donovan’s return:
“One of the building blocks of our team is now here,” he said. “This time around we’re asking him not only to be a leader on the field, but we’re asking him to do a little bit more and be a leader on the team. … When he stepped on the field today he was business, he was all quality.”