Donovan says loan shows he can play at top level

Landon Donovan says his 10-week loan from Major League Soccer to

English Premier League club Everton has shown he can play at the

highest level.

Donovan has returned to the Los Angeles Galaxy after starting 11

matches for Everton, happy to have won over fans of the team in

northwest England.

“Those closest to me know how important this was to me

personally,” Donovan said. “I’ve proved to myself that I can play

against any player in the world and that’s a pretty cool thing to

think.

“Where I came from as a young boy, I didn’t have soccer on TV

and I didn’t know any teams in the world outside of Manchester

United or Real Madrid. To come to this point and do what I’m doing

is pretty special.”

Donovan struggled on loan at Bayern Munich last year, but says

he has now “proved to myself that I can play against any player in

the world.”

“It wasn’t easy in Germany, for a lot of different reasons,”

Donovan told Everton’s Web site. “It would be easier to say that

it was because they didn’t do something, but I came here this time

with a different mindset.

“Maybe if I had done that before then it may have turned out

differently.”

Some of that is due United States teammate Tim Howard, who has

been in the Everton goal since 2007 and told Donovan all about the

highly rated coach David Moyes.

“Before I came, I had a lengthy talk with Tim Howard about the

club and the manager in particular and Tim has nothing but great

things to say about him,” Donovan said.

Donovan scored two goals in 13 matches for Everton, helping the

club beat Chelsea and Manchester United, and draw against

Arsenal.

Everton rose from 12th place to ninth in the Premier League with

Donovan in its squad.

Everton fans voted Donovan their player of the month for

January, and the midfielder says he loved the rapport he

established with them.

“I’m 28 years old now and I’ve played over 100 times for my

country,” Donovan said. “I’ve also played a lot of league games

in different parts of the world. But I’ve never met a fan base like

this, either playing for them or as an away player.

“They’ve been absolutely incredible and it’s hard to imagine

that they can be that passionate every time you go out – but they

care.”