Landon Timothy Donovan is popularly known as the King of the soccer field and is considered to be one of the best players in United States; he is an American professional player presently playing for Major Arena Soccer League side, San Diego Sockers. He is in fact, the leading goal scorer and the star player of the MLS history. When we take a close look at Donovan’s career, the one thing that he deserves applauds for, apart from the brilliance of performance, is his versatility and commitment as a player and the capability of adapting himself to any environment. It took people by surprise when they saw his debut in playing the 6-on-6 indoor version of the soccer game after his retirement from mainstream outdoor soccer of USA and MLS for the third time. Donovan’s presence and contribution to his team has been duly acknowledged by all its members and is considered as the most awaited “fuel” that was required to give them the pace and energy.
Although when he joined San Diego Sockers, Donovan was initially unassertive about his capabilities and what added to his dilemma was the newness of the format of the game; most of the proceedings were different from the ones that he was used to and to some extent, he also lost the amount of influence that he previously exercised. In the early stages, he faced some injuries and fatigues and therefore decided to play on the cover providing defense. As he did not score many goals for the team, Donovan seemed quite disappointed and wanted to give himself a break so that he could come back stronger. According to the coach of the team, Phil Salvagio, “indoor, it takes a normal player about 40games to get used to it and really know what is going on.” He also added that, “…it’s fast. If you make a mistake, the other team has a shot on goal.” Although one thing that remains true in this case is that the team hasn’t been victorious too many times with among them, but his knowledge and experience of the game has helped everybody around by uplifting their energy and confidence.
Donovan’s morale has never been down and what better could have proven that than his multiple returns after retirement. What makes this comeback different is the fact that he is constantly trying towards growing the game and this intention of his was clear when he said that “Now, with the rise of soccer, there are USL 2 teams, there are PDL teams, NPSL teams, teams that matter in communities. For fans, that’s their pro team. It’s awesome to be able to give that to this community.” He answers with a lot of hope when questioned about him playing for the team the coming year with, “If I keep feeling good about it, and they want me around, we’ll see.” Not all journeys are easy and swift; some might appear effortless from the outside, but when one starts taking the course, it can take years of hard-work to reach the destination. With Donovan, we are sure this is the case in indoor soccer and will see him shining bright within a few years. Hopefully this retirement party goes on for 5 more years…
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