Landon Donovan was named the manager and executive VP of soccer operations for the USL’s San Diego Loyal on Thursday, as SI.com reported earlier in the week .
Donovan, a National Soccer Hall of Famer, is also part of the ownership group of the second-division team, which is starting play in 2020. Donovan has lived in San Diego in recent years.
"I am truly honored to be named the first manager in San Diego Loyal history,” said Donovan in a press conference on Thursday. “This is the right place, at the right time, with the right people for me to begin my managerial career. I am extremely grateful to The Locals and all of our amazing fans for putting their faith in me to help build a club that is authentically San Diegan. Together, we will put forward a product that all of San Diego can be proud of and that will bring smiles to countless faces.”
Donovan is currently finishing his U.S. Soccer license and is expected to finish it during the inaugural season.
One of Donovan’s assistant coaches will be Carrie Taylor, who is one of the first women to be on the coaching staff of a U.S. pro men’s soccer team. Hall of Famer Shannon MacMillan, a World Cup and Olympic champion, will also serve as an advisor to the club.
Donovan will be a manager only and will not be playing for San Diego.
Check out SI’s Planet Fútbol Podcast for an in-depth interview with Donovan about why he decided to become San Diego’s manager and his candid thoughts on the state of the U.S. men’s national team.