U.S. and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan by now must have removed the doubts about his ability to succeed in Europe.
Twice a failure in Germany, Donovan turned his attention to England and had a short spell with Everton in 2010-2011; after modest success at in his first spell at Everton FC of the English Premier League, he returned for his second short-term spell this season and this time made a big impact at Everton. After this second spell, Donovan last week was named Everton’s player of the month for January.
‘’It feels good,’’ Donovan told Everton TV. “I think there was a point in January where no one was too happy with the way things were going, but the last few weeks have been a welcome change and a lot better, and it’s been a lot more fun to be a part of, for sure.’’
Donovan assisted on eight goals for Everton in January and had nine assists in his two-month loan spell. He made a big contribution to Everton, including an assist in a 1-0 win over Premiership leaders Manchester City.
“Any time you can beat the leaders it’s a pretty special night,’’ Donovan said, “and my dad was there that night, so it made it a little extra special for me.’’
U.S. national team forward Eddie Johnson returned to MLS when he was traded to the Seattle Sounders last week. Johnson, who failed a physical at Mexico’s Pueblo club in December, was selected by the Montreal Impact on Friday in the MLS allocation draft; he was then traded to Seattle for forward Mike Fucito and midfielder Lamar Neagle.
The 28-year-old Johnson was much travelled and just prior to Pueblo, the forward played Cardiff City in Wales, Preston North End in England and Aris in Greece. Johnson started his career in MLS with FC Dallas (2001-06) and Kansas City (2007-08) before signing for Fulham F.C. of the English Premier League. He was a member of the 2006 U.S. World Cup team and scored 12 goals in 42 internationals.
Ching Back To Houston
Former U.S. national team forward and longtime Houston Dynamo mainstay, Brian Ching, was returned to the Dynamo in a recent trade with Montreal Impact. Left unprotected after last season in the MLS expansion draft and selected by Montreal. Ching, 33, was unhappy out of Houston and threatened to retire at the time. Houston on Thursday give up a conditional first-round pick in the 2013 SuperDraft to re-acquire Ching, who is the team’s all-time scoring leader with 64 goals.
“We have made this decision based on reasons that we felt were beneficial for both the desires and needs of our club and the wishes of Brian Ching,’’ said Impact head coach Jesse Marsh.
Robson To Whitecaps
Another Englishman is heading to MLS. Vancouver Whitecaps announced that Barry Robson of Middlesbrough in the English League Championship will join the second-year MLS club in middle of the upcoming season. The Scottish international midfielder, who moved to England from Celtic FC in Scotland, will finish the season with Middlesbrough before moving to the Whitecaps in July.
“I’m very excited to be joining Whitecaps and to continue my career in Major League Soccer. My family and I are also looking forward to our move to the beautiful city of Vancouver. But I’ll be keeping a very close eye on Boro’s fortunes from Canada and they will always have a special place in my heart.”
Solo, Leroux Sign
U.S. national team women’s players Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux will stay busy during a fairly dead period from international competition before heading to London for the summer Olympics. The pair will play for the Seattle Sounders women’s W-League team this summer soccer club announced Tuesday it has signed Solo and forward Sydney Leroux for the 2012 season.
The Sounders play in the Western Conference of the 27-team league. Solo, the U.S. goalkeeper who won the Golden Glove award for the best player at her position in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, is from the area and played at her college soccer at the University of Washington. Leroux, a Canadian-born forward who played for UCLA, scored five goals against Guatemala in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia, which the U.S. won. Canada was second and also qualified for the Olympics.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines defeated Guyana, 1-0, Sunday night in an international friendly at the Victoria Park in Kingstown, St. Vincent. Three days earlier, Guyana fell to the Trinidad and Tobago Under-23 men’s Olympic team in another friendly. Guyana is preparing for CONCACAF semifinal round play for World Cup qualifying which starts in June; the Jaguars will kick off Group B play at Mexico on June 8, and later play Costa Rica and El Salvador.