Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy - smiles
Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports

Landon Donovan: The LA Galaxy need a genuine level of care about the club

Landon Donovan, during an interview with The Cooligans this past August, remarked that the “soul of the club” was gone when asked about the LA Galaxy, a club that he won four MLS Cups with.

Referencing that comment, the US men’s national team legend went a bit further on the latest episode of The Call Up when asked by co-host Susannah Collins about how LA can recover. Donovan, second all-time in MLS goals scored (145), pinpointed what he feels is missing.

“There has to be a level of care about the club that’s genuine,” Donovan said. “I don’t mean to say that guys don’t care when they’re on the field, but it’s different when you feel like you’re really a part of it. You feel what the fans feel, you feel what the coach feels, you feel what the president and the ownership feel when there’s a loss. I don’t get that sense right now.”

The Galaxy have missed the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs three of the last four seasons, and in 2020 finished 10th in the Western Conference standings, two places away from earning a postseason berth. Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto was fired in late October, and now a pivotal offseason awaits on the roster front.

Despite the weighty decisions ahead, Donovan feels as though the issues aren’t etched in stone, but can be untangled and solved.

“The good news is it’s fixable, it is fixable,” Donovan said. “It’s a difficult process, but I think they can get it right. Obviously for those of us who care so much, it’s hard to watch, so I hope sooner rather than later.”

As Donovan offers his perspective, he’s also charting his own post-playing career in American professional soccer. He’s the executive vice president, manager and co-founder of USL Championship side San Diego Loyal, and they recently completed their inaugural season.

Would Donovan ever consider opportunities beyond San Diego, though? He certainly left the door open when asked about his ambitions in the game.

“As far as what's next ... I still love being a part of the game and I want to be a part of the game in some way,” Donovan said. “I guess it's my avenue to help people and really have a positive impact on people, so I'm loving what I'm doing here. 

“It’s hard to say what the future might hold. I am naturally ambitious and competitive, so having the opportunity to grow this and potentially consider a different job one day might be enjoyable, too. But right now this is a really fun project and there's so much involved.”

For more from Donovan, check out the entire episode of The Call Up here.

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