What Landon Donovan’s Return means to LA Galaxy

Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy (Google Creative Commons)

Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy (Google Creative Commons)

Landon Donovan has been the face of Major League Soccer, the Los Angeles Galaxy and the United States men’s national team for the better part of five years now.

After taking a sabbatical that started after the Galaxy took home the 2012 MLS Cup, the 31-year-old star returned to the Galaxy setup last week and he even got on to the pitch as a substitute against Toronto FC for 29 minutes.

Now that Donovan is finally back to playing soccer again after his much-debated sabbatical, fans of the Galaxy can shift their attention to the exploits on the pitch from the midfielder.

In Donovan’s absence, Mike Magee, whose talents have always been overshadowed by the world-class talents on the Galaxy roster, lit MLS on fire with a league-leading five goals in the month of March.

Another strong player who contributed  to the Galaxy attack in Donovan’s absence was American youngster Jose Villarreal, a player who has turned heads in the national team camp as of late.

With Donovan re-entering the Galaxy lineup, he will be able to play alongside the talented players like Magee, Villarreal, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas and countless others.

Without Donovan, the Galaxy attack struck fear into any opposing defense and with Donovan in the lineup, the Galaxy have become the team to beat in MLS once again this season.

Not only will Donovan’s presence on the pitch boost ticket sales and help out with the marketing of the club, he will help out the product on the pitch.

Donovan can either line up on the wing or up front in the forward position. If there is anything that we have learned from the last few seasons, Donovan succeeds more when the goal-scoring pressure is lifted off of his shoulders.

With that being said, Donovan is in a perfect position with the Galaxy right now as he can line up on the wing and provide plenty of creativity to the strong goal-scorers on the roster like Jack McBean, Magee and Villarreal.

If the offensive production levels of the Galaxy do begin to slip over the course of the season, Donovan will be asked to step up and provide his team with scoring opportunities.

For the time being, Donovan will be able to slot into the Galaxy lineup on the wing as he finds his feet in MLS this season. When Donovan is finally fully fit, he should be able to provide his teammates with plenty of quality crosses and set pieces.

Regardless of how Donovan performs this season, his mere presence in the starting 11 gives the Galaxy a valuable weapon that no other team possesses in MLS.

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

Posted in: Analysis, USA

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