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Landon Donovan Joins San Diego’s MLS Push

March 7th, 2017 · No Comments · Galaxy, Landon Donovan, soccer

Well, yes, it appears Landon Donovan’s soccer playing career has ended without a formal declaration, which we suggested last month when a deal to play for Real Salt Lake fell through.

Donovan now seems interested in the business side of the game, which would mark an obvious, prominent and perhaps lucrative move for him as he transitions away from the pitch.

According to a Facebook Live post, Donovan has joined FA Investors in a drive to bring a Major League Soccer team to San Diego.

It makes sense, for several reasons:

1. The timing is right. His return to the pitch with the Galaxy last fall was solid but unspectacular. Donovan, now 35, seemed to have lost a step, a sobering development for a player whose speed was such a big part of his game.

2. Who better to be a face for FS Investors and San Diego? Donovan is the all-time leading scorer in both MLS and U.S. national team history. He is among the small group of players who warrant inclusion in the “best American soccer player” discussion.

3. The NFL Chargers left San Diego in January to play in greater Los Angeles — in Donovan’s old Galaxy stamping grounds, StubHub Center.

FS Investors are angling for one of two MLS expansion franchises to be awarded in the coming six months which will begin league play in 2020. (Two more clubs, taking the league to 28, are expected to join the league a year or two later.)

FS Investors have said they will build a 33,000-capacity stadium on the site of the former home of the Chargers, which the MLS side would share with the San Diego State Aztecs.

4. Donovan has left Manhattan Beach and now lives in San Diego, with his wife and child. San Diego has a magnetic pull on people who grew up in California’s Inland Empire, as Donovan did. The temperate weather, the ocean and all the green of San Diego County is a siren call to IE kids. Also, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the family of Donovan’s wife Hannah, owns the San Diego-based Bartell Hotels group.

Joining the investment group that seems to stand a very good chance of getting an MLS expansion franchise puts Donovan in position to be move into management or public relations.

During his career he had not expressed particular interest in the management side of things, but it may be a role he will come to enjoy and one that brings significant responsibility and keeps him in the game he loves.

Witness Magic Johnson of the Lakers and John Elway of the Denver Broncos, who have powerful roles with the teams they played for.

Landon Donovan, president of soccer operations for the San Diego MLS club? Could happen.



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