With his defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy last in the Western Conference, Landon Donovan is with the U.S. squad preparing for friendly games and World Cup qualifiers. In a FIFA.com interview Donovan reflected on his foreign loan stints -- in 2009 under current U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann at Bayern Munich and with Everton in 2010 and earlier this year.
"Well, as ‘quote’ bad or disappointing the Bayern Munich spell was, it was still a very good learning opportunity for me ... " said Donovan. "That being said, the first stint at Everton was pretty special just because I didn’t know what to expect. And, going there and being welcomed that way is really remarkable, not only as an athlete but as a human being – it’s a pretty special feeling. I think this time was more challenging in certain ways. I think there was more expectation. I think the team had lost Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta, who were their two most creative players, a little bit of quality was missing. But, it was a little more rewarding because to be a part of a team that pulled off some special results after they had gone through a stretch where things weren’t going too well was really fun to be a part of."
Would he like to return to Everton?
"I would absolutely like to come back. There’s no question about that. And I know I will be back at some point. Now, whether I’m back as a player or just as a fan, who knows? Right now, my focus is obviously is on this season and qualifying for the World Cup. ... I miss the people. I miss the people a lot. I miss driving to Goodison Park. I miss just the positive energy of the fans walking into the stadium and how much they care about that club and the team. And I miss the players a lot. The players are really what made it easiest for me when I first went. I’ll be forever indebted because with a lot of teams’ guys there would be jealousy, they wouldn’t be welcoming, and they would do everything they can to not allow you to get on the field in that couple of months. And, it was the opposite when I first got there (Everton) and I will always remember that."