Back in September when the surprising news of Landon Donovan’s return to professional soccer dropped we wrote a speculative piece wondering what it would take for us to see a Landon Donovan USMNT comeback.
The post was more of a dream scenario and not one we ever expected to come true. However, recent events have us wondering if that scenario might be coming to fruition soon.
When Landon first announced he was coming out of retirement, most assumed it would be a short-term thing just to help out the Galaxy who were hit hard with injuries at the time. Now it appears Landon could be serious about his comeback and may turn it into a longer term thing.
Reports emerged on Thursday that Real Salt Lake have offered him a two-year designated player contract. Then there’s also apparently an Eastern conference club vying for his services. If Landon decides he’s ready to commit himself to a long term contract, then the idea of him returning to the USMNT seems really feasible all of a sudden.
Assuming that he does decide to sign a deal with an MLS team soon, his close ties with Bruce Arena make it a very likely possibility that we see the USMNT’s all-time leading scorer back in the fold, and even as soon as January camp to allow the 34-year-old to get into shape for the upcoming season.
This is all purely educated speculation at this point. But when you look at the players Arena has already committed to calling into camp, players such as DaMarcus Beasley, Donovan’s inclusion into the camp seems almost guaranteed if he’s willing.
It’s too early to examine what type of role Landon Donovan could play with the USMNT if that comeback does indeed happen. But with him seriously thinking about committing to being a professional soccer player again, the likelihood of seeing him represent U.S. Soccer on the international stage again seems very good.
tl;dr - Nothing’s guaranteed yet, but prepare yourselves for some Landon Donovan in 2017.