By DAN KARELL
For Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan, having a longer than usual offseason may be just what he needs.
According to a report at the Galaxy’s last media availability of the season, Donovan plans to use the entire offseason to rehabilitate his ailing left ankle, an injury that has kept him at less than 100 percent for the last month and a half. Donovan suffered the injury on September 14 in a 2-2 draw with D.C. United.
“[The offseason] is a little bit of a blessing, and I’m probably going to need the full time to let it heal,” Donovan told LA Galaxy Insider on Monday. “My aim is to take at least the next four weeks and probably six weeks and let the ankle heal and then get myself ready.”
Donovan was left off the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for their November camp in Europe to take care of the injury, but while Donovan is planning on being fit and fresh for the start of Galaxy preseason training, he was unsure if he’d join the USMNT for their winter camp in Los Angeles and Brazil.
“We’ll see what happens,” Donovan said. “I have to speak with (head coach) Jurgen (Klinsmann) and see if that’s something he wants me to be a part of.”
Here are some more stories from around the league:
KINNEAR HOPEFUL THAT BONIEK GARCIA WILL REMAIN FIT WITH HONDURAS SQUAD
With USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to leave both Brad Davis and Tally Hall in Houston, Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear only has to worry about the fitness of designated player Oscar Boniek Garcia and reserve forward Jason Johnson during the international break.
With Honduras heading to the World Cup next summer, head coach Luis Fernando Suarez wants to have his strongest squad on hand whenever possible, and has chosen Boniek Garcia for two friendly matches this week. Luckily for Kinnear, Honduras faces Brazil in Miami on Friday before coming to BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston to face Ecuador next Tuesday.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Monday. “I hope everyone’s smart enough to realize how important our game is. We all know their games are important. We have a good relationship with [Honduras head coach Luis Fernando] Suárez, and we want to make sure Boniek is available for both teams and can play his best for both teams.”
The Dynamo still have the second leg of the Eastern Conference finals to play against Sporting Kansas City on November 23 at Sporting Park. The two clubs played to a scoreless draw in the first leg last Saturday.
MLS INTERNATIONAL CALL-UPS GALORE
With a number of teams scheduling either friendly matches, World Cup qualifiers, or even 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers this week, a number of MLS players have been called into action across the world.
From the Chicago Fire, midfielder Arevalo Rios is in the Uruguay squad that is set to face Jordan in the two-legged World Cup qualifying playoff starting on Wednesday in Amman. Rios’ club teammate Joel Lindpere has also been called into the Estonia squad for a pair of friendly matches against Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein.
San Jose Earthquakes right back Steven Beitashour has accepted a second consecutive call-up to the Iranian National Team, coached by former Metrostars boss Carlos Quiroz. Beitashour, who was cap-tied last month in an Asian Cup qualifying match against Thailand, could earn his second and third caps in another match against Thailand on Friday and then a trip to Lebanon next Tuesday.
Toronto FC forward Bright Dike has earned a recall to the Nigerian National Team as an injury replacement for a World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia on Saturday and then a friendly match against Italy two days later in London. Sporting Kansas City’s Soony Saad has been recalled to the Lebanese National Team for their Asian Cup qualifying games against Kuwait on Friday and Iran next Tuesday, where he could face Beitashour.
Finally, Houston Dynamo rookie forward Jason Johnson is in the Jamaica squad for a home-and-home set of friendly matches against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday and Tuesday and New York Red Bulls left winger Johnny Steele is in the Northern Ireland National Team side for the first time for a friendly match against Turkey.
What do you think of these reports? Worried about Donovan’s injury? Do you agree with Kinnear’s worries? Happy to see so many MLS players represent their countries abroad?
Share your thoughts below.