CARSON, California – Fresh off a CONCACAF Gold Cup title with the United States, Landon Donovan returned to training on Friday with the LA Galaxy, one day prior to an encounter against reigning Italian champion Juventus at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The game is part of the Guinness International Championship Cup series, a tournament that is taking place across the United States with many of the world’s footballing powers.
In addition to lifting the CONCACAF trophy, Donovan captured the Golden Ball award as the Gold Cup’s most outstanding player and shared Golden Boot honors with fellow five-goal scorers teammate Chris Wondolowski and Panama’s Gabriel Torres.
“It’s nice to be home, it’s nice to be back in training with these guys,” said Donovan. “I’m looking forward playing tomorrow (Saturday v Juventus) and putting the past behind us. This team has a lot going on in the next few months, so we got to move forward.”
The Galaxy, who have won the last two Major League Soccer championships, currently occupy fourth place in the league’s Western Conference, four points behind first-place Real Salt Lake.
“It was a lot of fun, but I’m excited to come back,” commented Donovan in regard to the Gold Cup. “Omar (Gonzalez) and I come back with a taste of a championship, which is good, a lot of confidence and we’re excited to keep going.”
After facing off against Juventus, the Galaxy will return to Major League Soccer play on August 11 at FC Dallas and then host Real Salt Lake six days later. Its Champions League opener is on August 20 against visiting Cartagines of Costa Rica.
“We have 12 games left in the season and the Champions League,” added Donovan. “And we want to use these games (in the Guinness International Championship Cup) to get better, so we are prepared for those.”
LA, which dropped a 3-1 decision to Real Madrid on Thursday without Donovan, will be making its fourth appearance in the CONCACAF competition, all in the last four editions.