[MLS SPOTLIGHT]Landon Donovan has been the man of mystery. On Wednesday night, he made his first public appearance since winning a fifth MLS Cup in December. He spoke at USC's Marshall School of Business on his life on and off the field. Donovan, who plans on returning to the Los Angeles Galaxy late in March, said he would love to play for the national team -- if given the chance. In the meantime, he said he was off to Cambodia for 10 days, saying soccer is not a big part of him and feeling he has so much more to give after soccer.
USC student Jesse Xiao live-tweeted the talk.
Here are some excerpts of what Donovan had to say:
-- On the 2006 World Cup, where the USA was eliminated in the first round, he said it was "my first big failure. There was two weeks when I went into depression. I started wondering if soccer is for me again."
-- On the breakup of his marriage to actress Bianca Kajlich in 2009: "I'm scared, trapped. I wanted to get away. Then I suddenly realized I was l like my dad [who had divorced his mother]. For some reason, there was something inside me that was pulling me to get out of it ... I became not a great -- pause -- man. The following year, I played best soccer of my life."
-- On needing time off after the 2012 season: "I was so exhausted from the weight of the past 15 years... really the past 28 years [he was 2 when his parents divorced]."
Donovan admitted that he still gets chills watching the goal he scored to give the USA a 1-0 win over Algeria at the 1990 World Cup and that he has great pride playing for the USA. But he added that soccer has gotten to a point that he plays because he wants to, not because he needs to.
During the Q&A session, the big question finally came. Noting that "we looked pretty lost without you," a student asked Donovan if he would return to the national team.
“Yes, I do have interest in playing for the U.S. national team again," Donovan said. "For those that don't know, it has been a while since I was back in with the national team. We are starting our qualifying this year so it is a hectic time. I still feel I needed some time to rest. But, absolutely, if given the chance, yes I want to play again."