The San Jose Earthquakes today released the following statement regarding the return of former Quakes star Landon Donovan to Major League Soccer. Donovan played for the Earthquakes from 2001-2004 before departing San Jose to play for the German team Bayer Leverkusen on January 1.
"While we are disappointed in Landon's decision, we recognize his right and moreover his ability to dictate the course of his career," Earthquakes President and General Manager Alexi Lalas said. "Based on Landon's own comments and actions at the end of last season, we don't think anyone could have predicted that his return to the German Bundesliga would only last three months. At the time, we wished him well in Europe and immediately set about the task of building an improved Earthquakes team. We would love nothing more than to have Landon back in an Earthquakes uniform, but evidently this is not what he wants. It is clear that his desire, from a personal and professional standpoint, is to play in Los Angeles. While that may be a decision that is difficult for many to accept, given Landon's association with our team, it is nonetheless the reality. We have moved on from Landon Donovan and we are excited to kick off what we feel is going to be a successful 2005 season and one that lives up to the standards that our fans have come to expect and deserve."