Why would Landon Donovan come out of retirement for LA Galaxy?

Leave a comment

Moments after your initial reaction to reports that Landon Donovan is returning to Major League Soccer with the LA Galaxy, you likely asked one question…


That’s a very legitimate query and after the initial euphoria around this impending announcement, it is a question which will take some explaining from Donovan who is 35 next March and played his final game 19 months ago for LA.

[ MORE: Donovan is coming back ]

Another question you likely had is: “can he do this?” and the answer is of course, yes. Donovan is technically a free agent and even though the MLS transfer window is closed, clubs can still sign free agents.

However, the main reason this is likely happening is not because Donovan is yearning to get back on the pitch to score one last goal and win one last trophy. Oh no. This is more about LA and their push for another MLS Cup.

The Galaxy is currently ravaged by injuries with young U.S. international forward Gyasi Zardes out for the rest of the season, 36-year-old Robbie Keane struggling consistently with injuries, Jelle Van Damme also out and so is Steven Gerrard who is failing to make a big impact in MLS. If Donovan does return, as we all now expect, he will play. LA need him to.

[ MORE: Twitter reacts to LD’s return

LA has six games left this season and there’s no doubt Bruce Arena will use Donovan as much as he can for goals, assists and above all, experience. The Galaxy are currently in third-place in the Western Conference, seven points off leaders FC Dallas. That’s not disastrous but with injuries piling up, having Donovan around for the playoff push isn’t a bad idea and their remaining games in the regular season see them travel to playoff rivals Sporting KC and two games against Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Dallas.

When you break it down like that it’s not too surprising to imagine Arena giving LD a call and saying “hey, do you fancy a run out for a few games to help us get over the line?” Plus, when it comes to finances it is difficult to see there being an issue in paying Donovan for a few games under the salary cap structure of MLS, or in him actually asking for much in payment at all.

Let’s also not forget that when Donovan retired in 2014 he had 19 assists and scored 10 goals in MLS and was in fine form. With Kaka, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and others still going strong in MLS, why can’t Donovan roll back the years too?

2014 MLS Cup - New England Revolution v Los Angeles Galaxy

When Donovan hoisted MLS Cup with LA on Dec 7, 2014, that was the last we all thought we’d see of him on a soccer pitch as a professional player. Turns out that might not be the case and although many will laud his decision to put the cleats back on, it is mind-boggling to work out why he is doing this.

Commercially it will be a great success for LA Galaxy and MLS. Donovan sells shirts and he is box office. This comeback will reverberate around the soccer world and so many more fans will tune in to LA’s final six games of the season to see Donovan in action once again. There are even calls for Donovan to be recalled for the U.S. national team but given his outspoken criticism of Jurgen Klinsmann since he retired, plus the way he was treated by being left out of the 2014 World Cup roster, it seems very unlikely. After today though, who knows anymore…

There is, however, a sense that this has come out of absolutely nowhere. Less than a month ago, Aug. 9 to be exact, I spoke with Donovan and he raved about life after soccer and spoke about his plans to visit the UK this weekend as he has become a minority owner in Premier League side Swansea City. They’ve a huge game against Chelsea and Donovan was planning on being there. Turns out he will be at a stadium this Sunday but he could be back on the pitch instead, playing for LA against Orlando City SC.

Mind blown.

As unlikely as this return has always seemed, someone who knows Donovan well told me “I wouldn’t be surprised” when the news first broke about his return.

Despite his tales of being happy in retirement with his newborn son and getting into coaching with the MLS Homegrown teams, plus broadcasting ventures with FOX, those around him likely knew Donovan would like to have one last crack before it was too late.

However you slice it up or try to make sense of it, this is a comeback nobody saw coming and one of the most stunning in U.S. sports history.

A LegenD is about to return to the pitch.

Transfer news: Werner to Chelsea; Sanchez to Inter

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In the latest transfer news Timo Werner is reportedly being chased by Chelsea, while Alexis Sanchez could be staying at Inter Milan instead of returning to Man United.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

First up, a juicy report from Bild says that Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is trying to convince his Germany teammate and close friend Timo Werner to join hm at Stamford Bridge.

Werner, 24, has dazzled at RB Leipzig this season (31 goals in 40 games in all competitions) and is widely expected to leave with Liverpool, Man United and many others clubs across Europe chasing his signature. Per the report, Chelsea have Rudiger working hard to convince his friend and former Stuttgart teammate that west London is the place for him.

The release clause on Werner’s current contract is said to be $60 million and Chelsea are one of the few clubs who have a healthy transfer budget as they had a transfer ban for a whole year and Frank Lampard has just spent $44 million on one new signing so far, bringing in Hakim Ziyech who will not arrive until later this summer.

Werner is exactly what Chelsea need. They have created so many golden goalscoring opportunities and although Tammy Abraham was putting them away at the start of the season, his form and fitness was a concern in the last few months before the suspension.

Olivier Giroud is their only other forward option and Werner would be perfect to finish off the chances this attack-minded Chelsea team create. Even better for him, he would actually play at Chelsea which may not be the case at Liverpool and Man United given their stacked attacking lineups.

Getty Images

Heading to Manchester, it appears Alexis Sanchez may not be going back to his parent club next season.

Sanchez, 31, is on loan at Inter Milan for the 2019-20 season and the Daily Express claim that he could stay at Inter rather than heading back to Old Trafford despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously saying he was open to the idea. Per the report, Man United are keen to loan Sanchez out to Inter once again on a similar arrangement and the Serie A side are willing to see how Sanchez does when the season restarts in a few weeks. With Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and others around at Man United, he may struggle for minutes at Man United.

Would another loan be a good move for Inter?

Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have been their main strikers this season under Antonio Conte, with Sanchez out injured for large chunks of the campaign and then doing okay when he did play. However, with Martinez chased by Barcelona, if they do sell the Argentine forward for over $115 million, having Sanchez around on loan would soften the blow.

The main problem with Sanchez is that over the last three years he has picked up consistent injury problems. If he can shake those issues off, we all know he is capable of scoring goals and creating havoc. Given this recent track record though, that’s a big if, as he’s scored just one goal and added three assists in 15 outings for Inter this season.

Premier League confirm zero positive COVID-19 test results

Premier League
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Following the latest batch of tests on players and club staff the Premier League have revealed that zero out of 1130 COVID-19 tests taken on Thursday and Friday have come back positive.


The fourth round of testing is the first time that no positive tests have come back, as a total of 3,882 COVID-19 tests have now been carried out with 12 positive results.

All players and staff at Premier League clubs will be tested twice a week during the strict return to training protocols put in place, as full contact training is now up and running and a restart date of June 17 has been set.

Here is the statement from the Premier League in full:

The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive.

The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.

Previous test results

Round 1: 17-18 May – 748 tested, with six testing positive from three clubs.
Round 2: 19-22 May – 996 tested, with two testing positive from two clubs.
Round 3: 25-26 May – 1,008 tested, with four testing positive from two clubs.

This is more good news for the Premier League as the UK government gave the green light for elite sport in the UK to return from June 1 in empty stadiums, as the top-flight of English soccer continues to clear each hurdle in its way to finishing the final 92 games of the 2019-20 season.

With just over two weeks to go until the action returns, Premier League clubs will have to keep these test results low for the restart to take place.

Bayern Munich batter Fortuna, go 10 points clear at the top (video)

Bayern Munich
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bayern Munich are waltzing their way to an eight-straight Bundesliga title as they battered Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0 on Saturday at the Allianz Arena to record an eight-straight win in the German top-flight.

[ MORE: Schalke lose again; Saturday recap ]

An own goal, two from Robert Lewandowsk and a goal each from Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies did the damage to Fortuna as Bayern Munich are now just three wins away from securing the title, as they have five games left in the season.

Hansi Flick has now won 22 of his 25 games in charge of Bayern Munich after he took charge in November with the German giants struggling under Niko Kovac. Now, they are rampant and are one of the favorites to win the UEFA Champions League.

The Bavarian giants dominated early on as USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales made an important clearance but Mathias Jorgensen was so lucky a few moments later.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule, stats

A ball into the box found Benjamin Pavard and his scuffed effort was going wide before it hit Jorgensen and went into his own goal.

Bayern then doubled their lead as Thomas Muller’s shot was pushed wide and from the resulting corner Pavard nodded home to make it 2-0.

Lewandowski made it 3-0 before the break as he has now scored against all of the current Bundesliga clubs and had previously gone without a goal in five outings against Fortuna.

Kimmich’s surging round saw the loose ball find Muller and his pass to Lewandowski was perfect as he swept home to an empty net.

Lewandowski was at it again just a few minutes after the break as he finished off a slick Bayern move as the Bavarian giants put their foot on the accelerator.

Alphonso Davies made it 5-0 as he bulldozed his way through the Fortuna defense and slotted home, while Muller and Pavard went close to adding a sixth and Fortuna had the odd chance on the break.

In the end, the victory was as routine as possible for Bayern Munich who have more than one hand on the Bundesliga title.

USMNT’s Weston McKennie honors George Floyd with armband

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Schalke and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie has released a statement after he wore a personalized armband with the message ‘Justice for George’ on it to honor George Floyd.

McKennie, an American international who has played in the Bundesliga for the last four seasons at Schalke, was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He wore the armband in Schalke’s defeat at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN on Monday there have been widespread protests across the USA. A video showed former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, putting his knee on George Floyd’s neck for more than 8 1/2 minutes. Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with murder, authorities confirmed.

Weston McKennie released the following statement after wearing the armband at the weekend to honor George Floyd:

“To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on to long feels good!!! We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard! #justiceforgeorgefloyd #saynotoracism

Here is a photo of McKennie wearing the armband which he put on before the game kicked off and wore on his left arm.