Fatigued following a very busy year that included the World Cup, a long season with the Los Angeles Galaxy and his successful loan to Everton, Landon Donovan announced Tuesday afternoon that he won't be heading over to Europe during the current MLS offseason and that he'll focus on resting and preparing for the 2011 campaign.
Recent reports had linked the U.S. national team star to Newcastle United, Fulham and, of course, the Toffees (plus Manchester City over the summer).
"While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I feel that it is important to continue to rest and recover this offseason as opposed to going on loan," Donovan said.
"I never considered being loaned to a club other than Everton, but I have been playing nearly non-stop for the past two years and I believe that this decision will allow me to perform at my best for the Galaxy and the national team throughout the upcoming year."
Donovan, 28, signed a new four-year contract with L.A. last December that pays him $2.1 million per year.
This year he played 10 games at Everton, eight with the national team and at least 29 with the Galaxy (not counting U.S. Open Cup and exhibitions). He spent January 2009 at Bayern Munich.
He was named U.S. Soccer athlete of the year on Monday.
"We think in the best interest of the club and the player that Landon continues his postseason break and begins preparations for what will be a challenging year in 2011 at both the domestic and international levels," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said.
L.A. qualified for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, scheduled to take place next fall, by virtue of winning the MLS Supporters Shield last season.
The Galaxy are committed to keeping David Beckham around for the entire MLS season as well.
Following the English midfielder's comments over the weekend that he was interested in a stint in Europe that might keep him on Fabio Capello's national team radar, L.A. issued this statement to the Associated Press:
"We are not aware that David is looking to be loaned to any other team and we are fully expecting he reports with the rest of his Galaxy teammates in late January for the upcoming season."