Donovan happy with Everton experience
LIVERPOOL, England (AP)
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 north-west England side.
"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 is now confident, in a World Cup year, no matter which team he is facing.
Player of the month
"It wasn't easy in Germany for a lot of different reasons," Donovan told Everton's website. "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."
Donovan played a total of 13 matches and scored two goals 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 their 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."