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Report: USMNT Legend Landon Donovan Finalist To Take Over Earthquake

The American soccer star played his first four MLS seasons with San Jose and guided the club to its only two MLS Cups.

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To date, there have been only two MLS Cups won by an American player in his four years in Major League Soccer.

Landon Donovan, who made his MLS debut over two decades ago, is a finalist for the job of managing the San Jose Earthquakes, where he spent his first four seasons in the United States.

According to a report from ESPN, Donovan, 40, is one of five candidates remaining in the Quakes’ interview process. Additionally, San Jose has reportedly interviewed over a dozen candidates so far in its search for a new head coach.

Since the departure of Matias Almeyda on April 18, the Earthquakes have been searching for a new manager. Currently, the team has Alex Covelo as interim head coach, with 19 points after 18 games in the Western Conference.

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San Diego Loyal co-owner and executive VP Donovan’s time in the USL Championship may be coming to an end following Monday’s announcement. Following a first-year playoff exit in 2021 due to lack of postseason eligibility, the Loyal, an expansion team that debuted in 2020, are currently sitting third in the league’s Western Conference with 34 points after 19 games played.

Donovan, a native of Ontario, Calif., made his final appearance for the Sharks 18 years ago, and a return to San Jose would be a triumphant homecoming. At the beginning of the 2001 season, he was on loan from Bayer Leverkusen of the German Bundesliga. That four-year period resulted in the Quakes winning both their 2001 and 2003 MLS Cups. During his time with the team, Donovan was selected to three All-Star games and was named the 2001 All-Star MVP.

Donovan was widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time both domestically and internationally when he left San Jose to join the Galaxy in 2005. The six-time MLS Cup winner announced his retirement from the sport in 2018 after setting records for regular-season goals (144), assists (136), and playoff goals (137) in the league. Chris Wondolowski has since broken his own record of 144 regular-season goals and 136 assists (25).

From 2002 to 2010, Donovan’s 16-year tenure with the United States men’s national team was widely regarded as one of the greatest in U.S. football history. All-time tops for the USMNT in both goals and assists, he is the only American to have more than 50 in both categories during his career.

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Aside from helping the United States win four of its first five Gold Cups (in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013), Donovan has been named four times as the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year.

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