Obama welcomes LA Galaxy, Donovan

March 26, 2013

President Barack Obama welcomed Landon Donovan and his Los Angeles Galaxy teammates to the White House on Tuesday honoring the MLS Cup champions’ second consecutive league championship.

Obama honored the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, whose Stanley Cup was on display in the East Room. He also welcomed the LA Galaxy, the championship Major League Soccer team.

Galaxy player Landon Donovan gave Obama a soccer ball that the president bounced on his head. Obama was also presented with a jersey emblazoned with his name.

Obama says both Los Angeles teams have remarkable comeback stories, but said he wishes his hometown of Chicago were winning championships, instead.

"There are couple of Galaxy players who couldnt be here because of World Cup qualifying, so I'll wish Team USA the very best of luck as they take on Mexico tonight," Obama said.

The Galaxy finished the 2012 regular season with 54 points, with 16 victories and twelve losses in 34 games. The club marched through the playoffs and defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-1 in large part due to Donovan and fellow star David Beckham, who currently plays for Ligue 1 giant Paris Saint-Germain.

"When it comes to to the Galaxy, a team with Landon Donovan on it is rarely the underdog, but when the Galaxy was here last year, their chances of repeating as champion weren't all that good," Obama said of the team. "The injury bug plagued the team, it seemed like it might be a rebuilding year, but right after that visit they turned things around."

The teams were planning to host an exercise clinic for children on the South Lawn. The clinic supports first lady Michelle Obama's anti-childhood obesity effort and includes children from across the country.