MLS legend Landon Donovan joins English third tier side as strategic adviser

US men's national team and MLS legend Landon Donovan is joining English club Lincoln City FC as a strategic advisor as part of a new investment deal, the team announced on Thursday.

The news was made official as part of an announcement that Arizona-based businessman Harvey Jabara is joining the ownership group for Lincoln City as part of the club's effort to expand its North American profile. Lincoln City currently play in the English third division League One.

Donovan explained the genesis of the role and what he hopes to contribute in quotes supplied by English outlet on Friday.

“I’ve just fallen in love with the club during this process,” Donovan said. "At the end of last year, through a mutual friend, who is also an intermediary, I just started following the club as I passed it on to Harvey to look at. I watched 13 of the last 14 matches they played and had numerous calls with [the club staff], just getting to know the club. My role is that at any point, in any way, if they need help with anything, then I’m happy to try to help. But you don’t come into a club that’s been this successful and pretend like you’re going to have much to add. I’m more of a fan while I’m happy to help in a small way to get this over the line.”

Donovan, of course, became one of the most decorated players in the history of US Soccer and MLS during a standout career that saw him win six MLS Cups and rack up 57 goals in 157 career caps for the USMNT, leaving him tied with Clint Dempsey atop the all-time list. He's also got plenty of firsthand experience with English soccer, having spent two separate loan stints with Everton.

Since his retirement from playing, Donovan has stayed involved with the game, dabbling in broadcasting before becoming the coach and executive vice president of soccer operations for USL Championship club San Diego Loyal (which he also co-founded) in 2019.