Landon Donovan is staying put this offseason, forgoing the chance to be loaned to a European club for the third straight winter.
Donovan scored two goals in 13 matches during a loan to Everton from last January to March, helping the team beat Chelsea and Manchester United, and draw against Arsenal. Everton manager David Moyes appeared open to having the 28-year-old player return.
“While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I feel that it is important to continue to rest and recover this offseason as opposed to going on loan,” Donovan said in a statement Tuesday.
“I never considered being loaned to a club other than Everton, but I have been playing nearly nonstop for the past two years and I believe that this decision will allow me to perform at my best for the Galaxy and the national team throughout the upcoming year.”
Donovan spent the early part of 2009 on loan to Bayern Munich, then rejoined the Galaxy. After a summer in which he played for the U.S. at the Confederations Cup, he returned to the Galaxy, took a short break, then joined Everton. That started a 10-month stretch that included the World Cup, where he scored three times for the Americans, including a stoppage-time goal against Algeria that took the U.S. into the knockout phase.
Donovan said during the MLS playoffs last month that overcoming the mental fatigue was more challenging than dealing with the physical. Despite missing time because of the World Cup, Donovan scored seven goals for the Galaxy and led the MLS with 16 assists.
“We think [its] in the best interest of the club and the player that Landon continues his postseason break and begins preparations for what will be a challenging year in 2011 at both the domestic and international levels,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said.
Donovan and all other veterans were bypassed for the U.S. training camp ahead of a Jan. 22 friendly against Chile. He likely will rejoin the national team for a contemplated March 26 home friendly against Argentina.