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High marks for Donovan on Bayern debut [VIDEO]
by Mike Woitalla, January 12th, 2009 7AM



[AMERICANS ABROAD] Landon Donovan saw his first game action for Bayern Munich in a 3-2 friendly win over Dubai's Al Jazeera SC on Saturday. Donovan's 90-minute performance drew positive reviews from the German press, including the headlines "Donovan Makes Klinsmann Happy" (Rheinische Post) and "Donovan Shoots Half-Goal in Debut" (Bild).

Donovan started the game and was one of two players, along with defender Christian Lell, who played the full 90 minutes in a game in which Coach Juergen Klinsmann gave 19 players action.

In from of 6,500 fans at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium, Donovan, who is on a 75-day loan to the German power, came close to scoring on a half-volley, then set up Bastian Schweinsteiger for a 31st-minute equalizer (1-1). VIDEO

Early in the second half, after Klinsmann made nine halftime changes, Daniel van Buyten scored on a free kick awarded after Donovan was fouled to give Bayern a 2-1 lead. Al Jazeera tied on a van Buyten own goal. But Miroslav Klose - Donovan's second-half frontline partner after playing alongside Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni in the first half - scored the gamewinner in stoppage time.

"It was fun," Donovan said on Bayern Munich's official Web site. "The legs were a bit heavy. I lacked acceleration, but not bad for the first game."

Bayern's Web report said, "Donovan looked mobile on his maiden outing in a Bayern jersey."

"Landon has class," said Klinsmann, who indicated Donovan is Bayern's third choice for its two-man frontline line behind Toni and Klose.

Donovan is due to return to the Los Angeles Galaxy when his loan ends before the 2009 MLS season kickoff, but he has made no secret that he hopes to parlay the loan into a permanent move. His next chance to see game action for Bayern comes when it faces Al-Wehda in Saudi Arabia on Monday.


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