Sources: Donovan out from RSL job contention


Landon Donovan has withdrawn his name for consideration for the vacant managerial post at Real Salt Lake, sources have told ESPN.

Donovan, 39, is in his second season managing the San Diego Loyal in the second-tier USL Championship, with the team lying in second place in the eight-team Pacific Division of the Western Conference. In addition to his managerial duties, Donovan is also the co-owner and executive VP of soccer operations.

He had been among several names linked with the RSL job, a list that includes former San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear, current Philadelphia Union assistant coach Pat Noonan, former FC Dallas manager Luchi Gonzalez and current interim manager Pablo Mastroeni.

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The sources didn’t indicate a specific reason for Donovan’s withdrawal beyond him not feeling RSL was the right fit, but stressed that it is not due to a desire to remain in San Diego, and that the six-time MLS Cup winner has been pursued for other MLS jobs in the past. RSL are also for sale after owner Dell Loy Hanson reportedly made racist and misogynistic comments last year. MLS has been managing the sale process.

In addition to RSL, there are five other teams with managerial vacancies, including the Chicago Fire, FC Cincinnati, FC Dallas, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Donovan’s all-time record with the Loyal is 20-15-10. Along the way, he has forged a reputation as a fierce defender of his players, including an incident in 2020 when he pulled his team off the field after San Diego midfielder Collin Martin was subjected to a anti-gay slur by then-Phoenix Rising forward Junior Flemmings.

Donovan remains one of the most decorated players in U.S. history. At international level, he is the joint-top goal scorer in U.S. men’s national team history alongside Clint Dempsey, with 57 goals, with five of those taking place at the World Cup. He also recorded 58 assists over the course of his 157 appearances for the U.S.

In MLS, Donovan won two MLS Cups with San Jose and another four with the LA Galaxy. He was named to the league’s Best XI seven times and was twice named the MLS Cup final MVP.

In addition to the Quakes and the Galaxy, Donovan also played with Bayer Leverkusen and Club Leon, as well as loan stints with Bayern Munich and Everton.

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