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Galaxy's Landon Donovan is making a strong case at Bayern Munich

January 23, 2009 |  5:15 pm

     Landon Donovan, right, controls the ball for Bayern Munich while Marcio Rozerio of Al Jazira chases him during a friendly soccer match two weeks ago.

You would think that with such top-flight international stars as Miroslav Klose, Luca Toni, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger in its ranks, one of them might be leading the charge for Bayern Munich.

But, no, it's the Galaxy's Landon Donovan. He banged in two more goals in Bayern's 5-0 demolition of second-division co-leader Mainz on Wednesday night and now has scored a team-high four goals in five games for the German club.

Donovan, the top scorer in Major League Soccer with 20 goals last season, also made it abundantly clear that he wants to stay in the Bundesliga rather than return to MLS.

"If I go back to the Galaxy, we have our first game March 21 [March 22, actually], so I'd have to return at least one week earlier," Donovan told the Abendzeitung newspaper. "But that would be sad. I want to make it here. It is my dream. I want to stay here a few years."

Donovan has one year left on his contract with MLS, and the league would want at least $10 million for the U.S. national team's all-time top goal scorer. The amount would not be an issue for Bayern, but Coach Juergen Klinsmann needs to be certain that Donovan can perform as well in real competition as he has in friendly matches during the German league's winter break.

The best of Donovan's four goals came on a superb glancing header against Kaiserslautern on Monday and had Bayern coaches beaming on the bench. They were doing so again Wednesday, when Italy's Massimo Oddo again provided the telling cross.

Here's Donovan's first goal and subsequent celebration on Wednesday night.

Now answer this question: If you were Donovan, would you come back to the Galaxy?

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Landon Donovan, right, controls the ball for Bayern Munich while Marcio Rozerio of Al Jazira chases him during a friendly soccer match two weeks ago. Credit: Nousha Salimi / Associated Press

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