Landon Donovan's desire to stay with LA Galaxy makes lucrative renewal a no-brainer
CARSON, Calif. – Once the LA Galaxy and Landon Donovan started talking in earnest, it didn't take much time to reach an agreement on the multiyear contract that was announced Wednesday.
Donovan, 31, had options in Europe and in Mexico, but he always wanted to stay with the Galaxy, and they made that simple for him.
“I never made decisions for money, and I think I'm a much happier person because of it,” Donovan said after his news conference Wednesday afternoon at the StubHub Center. “At the same time, you do want to be valued and respected, so it was important for me in this process to be treated fair financially.
“The Galaxy made it clear early on that they wanted a type of deal that would give me the opportunity to be the highest-paid player in the league, if I perform well. I think that was important to me, and I think that was fair, so we came to a good agreement.”
The multiyear deal is for at least three years and, according to Donovan, is “somewhat incentive-laden."
The Galaxy offered no details, as per league policy, but Donovan joked that it was “for $500 million a year, for 20 years,” when asked during the news conference.
“I think it's safe to say it's multiyear and he got a raise,” Galaxy coach/GM Bruce Arena said.
Putting the deal together didn't take much time.
“There's been casual conversations really since I got back [from a winter sabbatical], but only seriously just before [CONCACAF] Gold Cup we started talking, [Galaxy president Chris] Klein and I,” Donovan said. “And I think there was a desire on both sides to get something done relatively quickly. Once I was back from Gold Cup, the Galaxy certainly made it a priority, and I wanted to make it a priority, too, to get something done.”
Said Klein: “Once the commitment was made from Landon that he wanted to be here, we knew we'd have the commitment from Mr. [Phil] Anschutz and AEG to get it done.”
Donovan first had to decide that he wanted to play on, something that wasn't so clear when last season closed. As he found his best form a few months after returning to LA from his sabbatical, he rediscovered his passion for the game, knew he had several years left in him, and knew how he wanted to spend them.
“This is the place I want to end my career,” said Donovan, who grew up in Southern California's Inland Empire region and has played for the Galaxy since 2005. “I've always wanted to be here. I've always wanted to play here. When other opportunities arose, they paled in comparison to being here.”
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Donovan wouldn't identify his suitors, but he gave a lot of thought to playing overseas or in Mexico.
“I contemplated it during the summer. Particularly when we had real interest from teams,” he said during a media teleconference Wednesday afternoon. “And I wanted to make sure that this was a decision that was thoroughly thought through. When you have a decision of this magnitude, you try to write down pros and cons, and in this case, the pros of staying here heavily outweighed the pros of going somewhere else, and so that decision for me became very easy very quickly.”
He was asked whether David Moyes -- his coach during two productive loan spells at Everton -- had tried to bring him to Manchester United.
“I won't speak specifically about conversations that I have had with [Moyes] over the years, but there was certainly interest from very high-profile teams in England. How's that?” he replied.