Los Angeles Soccer: Hernan Pertuz
January, 3, 2012
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Landon Donovan is hopeful his second loan stint with Everton can begin in earnest Wednesday, when the Toffees take on Bolton at Goodison Park (Fox Soccer Plus, 11:55 a.m.).
The Galaxy's captain, who enjoyed a memorable stint two years ago with the Liverpool-based club, is with Everton until Feb. 25, when he'll join L.A.'s preparations for the 2012 Major League Soccer season.
He began training Friday with the Toffees' first team and was eligible to play in Sunday's victory at West Bromwich Albion, although he did not dress for the match.
“I was a little disappointed that I couldn't play on New Year's Day, but that's just the way it goes,” Donovan said in a interview video posted on Everton's website. “But it's nice to be here and start training, and my hope is that I'll feet fit enough and ready and the manager wants to use me against Bolton. It would be nice to start back at Goodison and get going.”
Donovan was revelatory his first tenure with the Toffees, quickly emerging as a fan favorite with a player-of-the-month performance right after arriving on a 10-week loan in January 2010. He scored twice and assisted three more goals in eight league appearances, winning acclaim throughout the English Premier League.
He said arriving at Everton last week was “a little bit like Christmas morning” and that social media, especially Twitter, had enabled him to continue a dialogue with many among the club's fans.
“I follow [Everton] kind of like a die-hard fan now,” Donovan said. “I can't always watch every game, but as many games as I can, I watch, and keeping in touch with some of the guys is nice. I feel like it's a part of me now, and I don't think that's ever going to go away.”
Donovan's first stint wrapped up with a superb goal in a victory over Hull City, with Jack Rodwell carrying him to the corner so he could be saluted by supporters -- captain Phil Neville leading the charge -- who chanted, “USA! USA!”
Donovan called it a “fantastic memory.”