Galaxy captain Landon Donovan is heading back to the English Premier League next month, on a two-month loan to Everton.
Donovan also played for Everton in 2010, appearing in 13 games and scoring twice. He will be eligible to play his first match with the team Jan. 4 against Bolton Wanderers 4 and will remain with the club through its Feb. 25 game against Liverpool before rejoining the Galaxy.'
Donovan played in 34 of the Galaxy's 46 games this season, missing six because of injury and five others to his duties with the U.S. national team. That's an average of more than a game a week between the opening of the Major League Soccer season in March and the Galaxy's victory in the MLS Cup final in November.
Nevertheless, the 29-year-old midfielder called the chance to rejoin Everton "too good to pass up."
Donovan led the Galaxy in scoring with 16 goals in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play. His last score came in the Cup final and accounted for the only goal in the Galaxy's 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. Donovan was named MVP of that game and also made the MLS Best XI for the fourth consecutive year.
"This is a great opportunity for Landon," Galaxy Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. "During the final months of the 2011 season he was limited because of an ongoing injury and he just started to get his legs back during the playoffs. Therefore I think his opportunity with Everton comes at a perfect time as he is relaxed and ready to go."
The coming year figures to be another busy one for Dononvan with the Galaxy resuming both Champions League and MLS play in March and the U.S. national team resuming World Cup qualifying in June.
Striker Robbie Keane, whom the Galaxy acquired in August, has also been the subject of loan requests but the Irish national team star has said he has no desire to play in Europe this winter, preferring to rest and recuperate from a series of injuries that limited his playing time n MLS.
-- Kevin Baxter
Photo: Landon Donovan. Credit: Bret Hartman / Associated Press.