US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann is all about Landon Donovan’s return to the LA Galaxy.
Donovan, 34, came out of retirement last week and made his first appearance in nearly two years on Sunday, coming off the bench in the 83rd-minute of LA’s 4-2 home win against Orlando City SC.
Klinsmann, who controversially left Donovan off the US roster for the 2014 World Cup, commented on Donovan’s decision to come out of retirement during a fan Q&A on his Facebook page on Monday, calling it “pretty cool” that the all-time leading scorer in MLS and USMNT history returned to the field.
“I’m not surprised to see a lot of questions about Landon Donovan,” Klinsmann said. “I think it’s pretty cool that Landon is back on the field. He just wants to give it another shot.”
Klinsmann is confident that Donovan, who admitted Sunday that he still has a ways to go before he’ll be able to effectively contribute, will be brought up to speed in “the right way” by Bruce Arena and the Galaxy. LA, who are currently dealing with a bit of injury crisis, moved into second place in MLS with Sunday’s win.
“So obviously he’s been gone for quite a while, coming back is not going to be easy for him, but with the experience of Bruce Arena at the Galaxy I’m sure that they’re going to time him the right way and build him the right way towards the playoffs,” Klinsmann said.
“There’s no better thing in life than kicking the ball around, than playing,” he continued. “Every time a player comes back to me and asks, ‘When is the right moment to stop? What should I do?’ I always tell them ‘Go as long as you can, because these days when you played the game are not coming back anymore, so as long as your body is going strong, keep playing.’”