MEXICO CITY — Landon Donovan has a long love-hate relationship with Mexican soccer. He has been involved in nearly all of the US national team’s biggest wins over Mexico, and his sharp comments about the US-Mexico rivalry over the years have made him a constant lightning rod for Mexican players, media and fans.
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But there has also always been tremendous respect for Donovan as a player and a personality, including his ability and willingness to do interviews in Spanish.
On Wednesday, the LA Galaxy star will once again be a focal point for the 100,000-plus Mexicans who will cram into the Estadio Azteca to watch the US face Mexico in a friendly (8 pm ET, ESPN2, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
And despite the love-hate relationship between him and Mexico, Donovan once had an offer on the table to join Mexico City giants Club América three years ago. And the possibility of moving to Mexico apparently still intrigues him.
“I don’t know what the future will hold," Donovan said on Tuesday. "But there was a time, when I went to Everton last, I considered it. And I would if it was genuine.”
In recent years, an increasing number of Americans have moved from MLS or Europe to Liga MX clubs, including Puebla’s Damarcus Beasley and Santos Laguna’s Herculez Gomez, both of whom are here with the US team. Others, such as Pachuca’s Jose Francisco Torres and Tijuana’s Edgar Castillo, have joined Mexican clubs as youths and worked their way up to the first team.
“This is a very good league,” Donovan said. “It’s a very difficult league to play in. It’s very difficult especially as an American to get minutes on a team. So to have guys consistently contributing is very helpful.”
Donovan — who on Tuesday denied the lingering rumors that he could head back to Everton on another loan or a permanent move — obviously isn’t going to a Mexican club any time soon. He has another year on his contract and says he “wants to be with the Galaxy.”
And when asked which Mexican club he’d prefer if he were to go there, he played coy.
“I’d love to go to Cancún,” he said, smiling in reference to the resort city. “But I don’t know if that’s in the cards.”
Donovan on playing in Mexico (November 2011)