Landon Donovan to sign multi-year contract with L.A. Galaxy
Landon Donovan has reached an agreement on a new multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS, SI.com has learned. The Galaxy is expected to make an official announcement on Wednesday.
Donovan, 31, was in the final year of his MLS contract. No player has won more MLS Cup titles than Donovan's five, including the past two with Los Angeles. He currently has 131 MLS regular-season goals in his career, just three behind the all-time record of 134 held by Jeff Cunningham.
After taking a three-month sabbatical from soccer earlier this year to rediscover his hunger for the game, Donovan has enjoyed a resurgence this summer for the U.S. during its run to the Gold Cup championship and lately for the Galaxy. He has seven league goals for L.A. this season, including four in the last three games. Donovan is also expected to make his return to the U.S. World Cup qualifying team next week for the first time in more than a year.
In the big picture, Donovan's extension with the Galaxy is the latest example that MLS is on a roll with player signings, especially U.S. players who will likely play major parts in World Cup 2014. Seattle's signing of U.S. captain Clint Dempsey, L.A.'s Designated Player extension of Omar González and now Donovan's extension with L.A. are signs that national team starters feel they can do well at the World Cup while being based in MLS.
The same could be said for U.S. players like Clarence Goodson, who recently returned to MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes.
Donovan and the Galaxy are currently in second place in MLS's Western Conference with 40 points (12-9-4), five points behind Salt Lake. L.A. is aiming to become the first team to win three MLS Cups in a row. Donovan's extension also means the Galaxy has the maximum allotment of three Designated Players, and all three (Donovan, González, Robbie Keane) are signed to long-term deals.