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Major League Soccer


February 17, 2013
Star to be back at Galaxy practice at end of March

Landon Donovan took several months to ponder his playing career.
Landon Donovan took several months to ponder his playing career.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan will return to the LA Galaxy for training in the final week of March.

Whether the talented U.S. international midfielder-forward decides to make a similar decision to come back to the National Team, it remains to be seen.

The Galaxy made the announcement of the 30-year-old Donovan's return on Sunday.

Donovan, who scored the game-winning goal in MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo on Dec. 1, requested an extended leave of absence following the club’s fourth MLS championship.

“After a series of collaborative discussions between Landon, his representative and our key club leaders, we have agreed to allow Landon to remain on an extended leave of absence and return to training with the team during the final week of March,” Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement.

“We understand this arrangement is not ideal, but we are confident it will allow Landon the time he needs to be both mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season. We remain focused on our preparation for the start of the 2013 season and look forward to Landon rejoining us next month.”

Donovan's return means he will not play for the U.S. in two World Cup qualiiers in March. The Americans host Costa Rica in Commerce City, Colo. on March 22 and visit Mexico in Mexico City four days later.

Donovan, the club’s all-time leader in goals, has spent the last eight seasons with the Galaxy, scoring 92 times while adding 79 assists in 194 regular-season matches. One of two players in league history with 100 career goals and 100 career assists. Donovan ranks third in MLS history with 124 goals and fourth with 108 assists in his 12-year MLS career.

The all-time leader in MLS post-season goals with 22, Donovan has won five MLS Cup championships since 2001, including three with the Galaxy in 2005, 2011 and 2012.

In addition to captaining the Galaxy to back-to-back MLS Cup titles, Donovan has scored a record 49 goals in 144 appearances with the U.S. National Team. A veteran of three World Cups, Donovan is 20 caps shy of Cobi Jones’ U.S. record of 164 international appearances.
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