[AMERICANS ABROAD] Landon Donovan, MLS's leading scorer last season, scored for Bayern Munich in a 3-1 friendly win over Saudi Arabia's Al-Wehda on Monday.
Donovan, in the midst of a 75-day loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, was a second-half sub in the game played in front of 12,000 fans in Jeddah. On Saturday, in his first game action for the German power, Donovan notched an assist and drew a free kick that led to a Bayern goal in a 3-2 win over the UAE's Al-Jezeera SC.
On Monday, Frenchman Frank Ribery scored Bayern's first in the 31st minute. Tim Borowski gave it a 2-0 lead four minutes later. In stoppage time, Donovan controlled the ball at the edge of the penalty area with his back to the goal before spinning around a defender and striking into the lower left corner of the net.
"That was a pretty goal that should give him a boost," said Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann, who will be deciding whether to turn Donovan's loan deal into the full-time contract that Donovan is hoping for.
Donovan had three other chances against Al-Wehda before his goal. He shot narrowly wide twice and hit the crossbar with a header.
Klinsmann has indicated that Donovan is third on the two-man frontline depth chart after Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose. That puts him ahead of German international Lukas Podolski, who may be headed back to FC Cologne. Podolski's falling out at Bayern has opened the door for Donovan.
"It hurts to see a special
talent [Podolski] who just stops and does not progress because he cannot deal with the situation of having two players in front of him," Klinsmann said. "I would have hoped he had some
anger, which he would express in his game and he would say to himself: 'I will show them what I have got.'
"Bayern is a club where it is either or. Either a player faces the challenge and says 'I will fight my way into the team'... or it is better to change your environment."
Donovan is on loan until March 15, but if Bayern hopes to use him for the rest of the Bundesliga season, which restarts Jan. 30 and ends May 23, it will have to come to terms with MLS before the transfer window closes Jan. 31.
Following the Middle East portion of its winter training camp, Bayern returns to German and faces a minor league opponent in a Jan. 14 friendly. On Jan. 19, it meets Second Division Kaiserslautern in a friendly.
Bayern faces VfB Stuttgart in the German Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 27 and returns to Bundesliga action Jan. 30 against Hamburg SV, the first of seven league games that take place during Donovan's loan stint.
The Los Angeles Galaxy's first game of the 2009 MLS season is March 22.