he's actually the first guy that scouted me when was 17," says Donovan. "[Agent] Richard [Motzkin] and him have exchanged a couple of e-mails.
"They've said, 'We want to make this work for you, but it's business for us and we've got to get something out of it.'"
In recent days, Donovan has seen two U.S. teammates move to Europe in high-profile deals, DaMarcus Beasley to PSV (Holland) and Bobby Convey to Reading (England). When asked if assurances of regular playing time would influence his attitude towards a return to Germany, Donovan agreed.
"It'll certainly influence my decision a little bit. The fact of the matter is, I definitely don't want to be there for three or four or five years. If a situation developed for a very short period of time and something could happen, I might be open to that. But if not, then we've got to find alternative options."
But if he does go back to Leverkusen, has Donovan's game developed sufficiently to compete in the Bundesliga?
"Absolutely," he says. "I think I'm at a point where I'm ready to take that next step and challenge myself, but at the same time, I enjoy it here. It's certainly not easy for me here. I'm not going to [go back] just to do it, I'm going to do it because there's a reason."
Charles Boehm is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.