President Barack Obama welcomed Landon Donovan as the U.S. national team soccer star returned from a four-month sabbatical Tuesday, reuniting with the Los Angeles Galaxy in a ceremony at the White House.
The Galaxy of MLS and the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL had simultaneous celebrations of their titles in the East Room.
Donovan, a veteran of three World Cups with the United States, spent the winter considering whether he wanted to continue playing. He is rejoining the Galaxy in training this week ahead of their game Saturday at Toronto.
Donovan presented Obama with a soccer ball that the president bounced on his head. Obama was also presented with a jersey emblazoned with his name. The Galaxy have won the last two MLS titles.
Obama said both Los Angeles teams have remarkable comeback stories, but he said he wished his hometown of Chicago were winning championships instead.
The teams also hosted an exercise clinic for children on the South Lawn supporting first lady Michelle Obama’s anti-childhood obesity effort and including children from across the country.