Landon Donovan enjoyed one of the most successful periods of career during his loan to Premiership side Everton over the winter, but now finds himself readjusting to life back in his native California. The United States international admitted that he already misses his time in England, but is ready to commit himself to the Galaxy cause for the coming season.
“It was a little bittersweet to leave, but the reality of the agreement all along was for me to be here March 15,” said Donovan. “I’m a big part of this team, and I understand that and I enjoy being a part of this team. I wouldn’t have made the commitment to this team if I didn’t want to be here.
“Obviously to get caught up in what’s going on (in England) it’s fun and exciting to be a part of. You can’t duplicate that. But the reality is I’m very excited to be home. If fate comes around again and I’m meant to go back at some point, then I’ll go back there.”
Donovan’s loan move not only proved his doubters wrong, but also gave him renewed confidence ahead of the MLS season and, more importantly for US fans, the World Cup.
“That’s the biggest thing,” said the striker. “Throughout the years I’ve had the opportunity to play in some big games in some big moments and do well. You get there and every week is a massive game. The ability to produce week after week gives you a lot of confidence, and playing against some of the best players in the world gives you a lot of confidence.
“I don’t live under a rock – I’m not stupid. I know things that people say. I also understand when people say those things they have their own issues and there’s nothing you can do about it.
“I’m not a revengeful person, a vindictive person. I think what was most important for me was to prove to myself I was capable of that. That was the most validating.”
As Donovan prepares for his club’s opening match against the New England Revolution on Saturday, he admits that the strangest thing about being back in America is driving.
“It’s kind of weird when you’re driving, then all of a sudden you see someone coming right at you,” Donovan said. “It was actually interesting coming back here and driving for the first few times with people in the car and they were like, ‘What are you doing?’
“Hopefully I don’t have any problems.”
Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy play host to the New England Revolution at the Home Depot Center this Saturday at 8:00pm PST. The match can be seen live on Fox Soccer Channel.