Was there ever any doubt the Redlands native would win the award announced today yet again? The Galaxy and U.S. National Team playmaker also won in 2003 and 2004.
From the U.S. Soccer press release:
The 27-year old, a former Young Male Athlete of the Year in 2000, played a large part in the USA’s qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scoring three goals and providing nine assists during the Final Round of qualifying. The forward was involved in 12 of the USA’s 19 Final Round goals as the team advanced to its sixth consecutive World Cup finals.
Along the way Donovan added two more records to his already impressive international rsum. He took his career qualifying caps to 35, surpassing Keller, Claudio Reyna and Eddie Pope for first all-time and also moved into first on the all-time qualifying goal chart. Donovan’s 12 goals in World Cup qualifiers give him two more than former Men’s National Team forward Brian McBride. Donovan was also a vital part of the USA’s run to the Confederations Cup Final in June, playing 90 minutes in all five games while registering two goals and one assist. His goal in the final against Brazil was recently voted by the fans as the Best Goal during the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards.
At the club level Donovan excelled with the revitalized L.A. Galaxy. He earned Major League Soccer MVP honors for the first time in his career and helped the Galaxy win the Western Conference championship en route to a trip to MLS Cup in Seattle.
“It’s a great accomplishment and a great award,” said Donovan. “I’m very proud of it and knowing that the fans vote on it, your teammates vote on it, and your colleagues vote on it is very special to me.”
“It was a great year for me individually, it was a great year for the L.A. Galaxy and the turnaround we had, and an incredible year for our national team with the Confederations Cup and how we did in qualifying. We look forward to next year. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Except for the Sol and expansion Atlanta Beat, that is.
Women’s Professional Soccer play begins April 10, two weeks later than the start of the inaugural season in hopes of warmer weather and to avoid playing on the Easter weekend.
The opening game on Fox Soccer Channel’s WPS Sunday package will start at 3 p.m. April 11 with the 2009 WPS Champion Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY) hosting the Chicago Red Stars.
Info on the Sol home opener will be announced “soon,” league officials said; the full WPS schedule will be released in February.
*England’s Everton has said the loan deal for the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan is all but done. And I don’t care what Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena says about no permanent transfer for Donovan away from the club: if Donovan is a massive success with Everton – or at the World Cup – he’s gone. And probably will have more negotiating power to boot because of his improved MLS contract.
Added LD on Facebook today:
Long day yesterday but very exciting! I’m so grateful that I get to choose the direction of my career and, more importantly, my life. Thanks to all of you for supporting me and I’m looking forward to a great year next year…how many players get the chance to play for 3 incredible teams in the same year?!?
It was just announced at LA Live as you can see below.
Donovan: Committed to the Galaxy? (AP Photo)
And as part of that agreement, Donovan is allowed to go on loan to Everton or another team from Jan. 1 to March 15 that’s been in contact with MLS. Although it has “not been finalized,” Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said the front runner is Everton.
“This is further evidence the LA Galaxy and AEG are committed to building a strong team here in LA,” Arena said. “He’s a great building block to assure that year in year out we will have a quality team here in LA.”
“This has been a very, I would say, interesting decision for me,” Donovan said. “Its been very difficult at times. And at the end of the day after a lot of thinking, a lot of soul-searching, this is the place I want to be.”
New contract wouldn’t have happened without AEG/MLS allowing him to go out on loan, Donovan said.
Wonder how much more latitude/control the deal gives him over any possible trades, especially overseas after the World Cup?
Updated: One reported rumor is the new deal is worth more than $1.2 million a year, which if memory serves is an increase of about $300,000.
While we await the expected noon announcement of Landon Donovan’s likely move to Everton and perhaps vastly improved contract terms to ensure he actually returns to MLS (would the Galaxy schedule a press conference just to announce his loan move away from the club?), it’s good to note that the dreams of a group of local kids are certain to come true this year thanks to Daily Breeze readers.
The annual Daily Breeze ball drive reached the goal of 1,400 balls collected for children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor thanks to a late influx of donations.
Special appreciation to all the 100 Percent Soccer readers who responded to the request for donations in a down economy and especially the Galaxy whose late contribution of 100 goals pushed the Breeze over its goal. Who knows whether one of those kids getting a ball turns out to be the next Donovan or Shannon Boxx?
BTW, a 36-man U.S. Under-20 camp gets under way today at Home Depot Center. Locals involved include defender Cesar Zamora (Chivas USA; Sylmar), midfielder Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jrs.; San Pedro) and strikers Tristan Bowen (Galaxy; Van Nuys) and Victor Chavez (Real So Cal; Fontana).
Prices start at $26 and go on sale starting Thursday to Visa card holders and the general public at 8 a.m. Friday for the game that was reported earlier here (although that report was off by one day).
The 6 p.m. game, confirmed today by U.S. Soccer, will also be televised on Fox Soccer Channel.
“Obviously we know the quality of the Honduran team very well and we think the match is a great way to start the year as we commence preparations for the World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “With both teams working toward finalizing their rosters for South Africa, we expect it will be a very competitive game.”
As is usual for the traditional January friendly in Southern California, expect an MLS-laden U.S. roster. And let’s hope U.S. fans find tickets in their stocking or we are going to host another predominantly Central American crowd in Carson for the occasion.
The U.S. went 4-0 last year against their fellow World Cup finalists including a 3-2 win in Honduras that clinched a World Cup spot for the Americans.