Landon Donovan (born March 4, 1982 in Ontario, California) is
one of the most talented and best-known American soccer players,
who currently plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League
Landon is the son of Canadian Tim Donovan and Donna Kenney Cash.
Donovan grew up in Redlands, California, and attended Redlands
High School, before transferring to Redlands East Valley. Landon
signed a professional contract with Bayer Leverkusen in February
1999 at the age of 17, shortly before playing in the U-17 World
Cup where he won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player.
Donovan could not break into the first team with Leverkusen,
however, and, unhappy with his situation in Germany, was loaned
back to the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer for the
beginning of the 2001 season. In MLS, Donovan has been hugely
successful, leading the Earthquakes to two MLS Championships,
and becoming one of the most recognizable faces of soccer in
America. In four years in the league, he scored 32 goals and 29
assists in league play, and ten goals and six assists in the
playoffs. Donovan was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in
Donovan has also been successful on the international stage.
After starring in the 2000 Summer Olympics, he earned his first
cap for the U.S. National Team on October 25, 2000 against
Mexico. He was integral to the United States' run to the
quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup in Japan/South Korea,
scoring two goals. As of end of 2005, he has amassed 73 caps for
the US, scoring 25 goals, including a rare four-goal game
against Cuba in 2003.
On June 3, 2004, Bayer Leverkusen announced that Donovan would
return to the club in 2005, and Landon followed suit, announcing
his return to Germany on November 23, 2004. He then became the
first man to be named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year two years
in a row, taking the award for that year.
In early 2005, after not getting much playing time with Bayer,
Donovan stated his intentions to come back to MLS. His wish was
granted, but it was not San Jose that he returned to. Los
Angeles traded leading scorer Carlos Ruiz to F.C. Dallas to get
on top of the allocation pecking order, and signed Donovan on
March 31, 2005. In his first season in LA, Donovan scored 12
league goals and 10 assists and added four goals and an assist
in the playoffs as the Galaxy won the MLS Cup (his third MLS
championship to date), making him the MLS' all-time leading
scorer in the playoffs with 14. He was named to the MLS All-Time
Best XI after the season.
Donovan resides in Manhattan Beach, California with his
girlfriend, actress Bianca Kajlich.