Donovan can join foreign club on loan

Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy signed a new four-year

contract on Wednesday that will allow him to pursue opportunities

to join a foreign club on a short-term loan agreement.

Donovan has been in talks about a loan move to Everton that

would give him experience in the English Premier League in the run

up to the World Cup. The Los Angeles Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, Major

League Soccer’s most valuable player, signed a four-year contract

with a provision for an offseason loan overseas, the club announced

on Wednesday.

The loan period would last from Jan. 1 to March 15 and would

ensure Donovan’s return for the Galaxy’s opening MLS game on March


Financial terms were not disclosed for the contract, which

runs through 2013.

“I’m fortunate,” Donovan said. “This opportunity … is


In being named MLS most valuable player, Donovan scored 12

goals and led the Galaxy to the final.

David Moyes, manager of Everton in England, expressed public

interest in acquiring Donovan, who also is the all-time leading

scorer for the United States.

“A loan deal has not been finalized but it’ll likely be done

with Everton,” said Bruce Arena, the Galaxy coach and general

manager. “I think it’s pretty much narrowed down to Everton.”

Everton is tied for 15th place in England’s Premier League.

“For Landon, Everton’s a great situation,” Arena said.

“They’re a club with a small roster. They have a number of

injuries. They have a congested fixture schedule over the next

couple of months. It’s a great fit for Landon.”

A loan overseas would be the second for Donovan in 12 months.

Donovan went to Bayern Munich from January to March.

Donovan also said the Galaxy’s improvement this year played a

pivotal role in signing the contract. In 2008, the Galaxy tied for

the league’s worst record amid internal turmoil.

“Candidly, a year ago, I wouldn’t have made this decision,”

Donovan said. “But Bruce has completely turned this team around and

made it some place where players want to be. I want to be a part of


“I love L.A. I grew up my whole life here. At the end of the

day – after a lot of thinking, after a lot of soul searching – this

is the place I want to be.”

Donovan previously had stints with Bayer Leverkusen in 1999

and 2004.

The loan would put the U.S. forward on the same team as U.S.

goalkeeper Tim Howard and allow him to play against many of the

England players he will face in South Africa next June.

“Everton football club have been in ongoing discussions with

the MLS and we remain hopeful that Landon Donovan will join Everton

in January,” Everton spokesman Mark Rowan said.

Donovan would return to the Galaxy before the start of the

2010 Major League Soccer season in late March.

Donovan’s new contract runs through the 2013 MLS season.