Landon Donovan headed back to San Jose with Leon for exhibition

The top two goalscorers in MLS history could be on the field March 24 in San Jose, and, yes, that means Landon Donovan is headed back to Northern California.

Mexican club Leon, which signed Donovan to a contract last month, announced Monday it will play San Jose in an exhibition at Avaya Stadium, which has been the Quakes’ home since 2015. He could thus match up against former U.S. teammate and current Quake forward Chris Wondolowski, who ranks second to Donovan with 133 league goals.

Donovan notched 145 in MLS regular-season play and also holds the league record for playoff goals with 25.

“This will be the first time in club history that we will play Club Leon in any competition, and the first time that former Earthquakes player and soccer legend Landon Donovan will play at Avaya Stadium," said Earthquakes president Tom Fox in a team statement. “We have hosted some great international opponents during the past years, and this match is poised to be extra special.”

Donovan, who turns 36 March 4, started his pro career with the Quakes in 2001 on loan and helped them win two MLS Cups before he left in a transfer to Bayer Leverkusen after the 2004 season. He quickly returned a few months later to play for the Galaxy, with which he won four more MLS Cup crowns. He retired after the 2014 season, came back to the Galaxy to play six games in 2016, then retired again.

He debuted for Leon last weekend in a league match against Puebla, entering as a sub in the 83rd minute of a 2-1 victory. The Quakes open their MLS season schedule March 3 at home agianst Minnesota United.

2 comments about "Landon Donovan headed back to San Jose with Leon for exhibition".
  1. R2 Dad, February 13, 2018 at 1:10 p.m.

    V curious whether Norcalians will turn out for Donovan. Tainted by LA association and a team owner that bailed out of Silicon Valley for Texas. I don't know how many Leon supporters there are--I mostly hear from Chivas and America fans in the south bay.

  2. Ridge Mahoney replied, February 13, 2018 at 3:32 p.m.

    Lots of Morelia fans in the area, too. But for this rare chance for Leon fans to see their team, even in an exhibition, I think the turnout will be decent, especially with this much lead time.
    Also depends on ticket prices and/or if Quakes fans elect to go or sell their tickets. 

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