Landon Donovan shocked the footballing world with his announcement to come out of retirement and return to the LA Galaxy in a time of need. As many foresaw, Donovan is seemingly not ready to hang up his boots for a second time.
But what does the possible return to the side mean for the LA Galaxy, going forward?
Landon Donovan hinted over the weekend at a prolonged stay in MLS and evading retirement for a second time. While discussing the possibility of return with the ginger bastard, Alexi Lalas, and the rest of the FoxSports cronies, he said:
I have enjoyed it a lot. It’s been challenging, its been harder than I thought. I dunno, as an athlete, you think you’re great and you think you can step right in, but it makes you realize how fit all these guys are, how much they practice, how good they are at what they do, so taking a few years off is tough, but I think if it keeps going well and keeps progressing, we can consider next year.
Say Captain America decides to keep playing, the LA Galaxy would not use a Designated Player slot meaning he would be making something around $457,500 for the season.
Donovan's rental fee, say folks familiar with the contract, is $457,500 — MLS max for a non-DP — pro-rated for rest of year. So $152,500
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) September 9, 2016
With that being said, the Galaxy are left with one open DP slot- depending on what Steven Gerrard decides to do with six months left on his initial 18-month contract. The more the injuries pile up for Stevie G, the more likely it is that LA will be left with a DP slot to fill.
Greatest moments of Donovan’s career:
Yes, the Galaxy is one of the wealthiest teams in the league, but a salary like Donovan’s has to cut into the amount that can be given to other Designated Players coming into the side. LA doesn’t settle for second and a big name signing will have to put into the side to keep the fans happy.
Donovan is a good player and seems to be finding his feet again after his brief hiatus, but is keeping him around for so much money worth it?
A restructured deal would see both parties find a happy medium allowing Donovan to keep playing and opening up salary cap space to bring in quality players that might not be of the Designated Player caliber. Plus, the ability to have the knowledge of Landon Donovan around younger players at the club will only be beneficial for all.