Landon Donovan can claim to be the best footballer in the United States, both with his club and with the national team, because of his many outstanding performances. The legendary USMNT player, who played primarily for the Los Angeles Galaxy, is the second-highest-paid American player of all time and a four-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award.
Donovan was born on March 4th, 1982 in Ontario, California as one of five children of Donna Kenney-Cash and Tim Donovan as Landon Timothy Donovan. He and his siblings were raised by his mother who worked as a special education teacher.
As a young child, Donovan’s interest in playing soccer grew after watching his older brother play. When he was six years old, his mother allowed him to join a youth league where he scored a remarkable seven goals in his first game. Donovan later spent several years at Rancho Cucamonga with a California club called Cal Heat. His achievements there earned him a place in the US Youth Football Olympic Development Program in 1997. Two years later, at the age of 17, Landon Donovan enrolled at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Landon Donovan’s stay at the IMG Academy was cut short when he landed a six-year contract with the German team Bayer Leverkusen a few months after joining the school. The up-and-coming soccer talent quickly moved to Germany and joined the Leverkusen reserve team, where he scored 6 goals in 20 appearances in the 1999-00 season. The following year Donovan suffered from homesickness as he found it difficult to adapt to life in Germany. In the 2000/01 season, he scored 3 goals in 9 games before it was decided that he would be loaned to a Major League Soccer team, the San Jose Earthquakes.
Donovan was immediately successful in the United States, scoring 12 goals in 30 games to help his team win the 2001 MLS Cup. Donovan spent a total of four years with the Earthquakes before returning to Germany in 2005. After only a few games with the team, however, he asked to leave the club to return to the USA where he joined his home side, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Landon Donovan, who was named U.S. Soccer Player of the Year three times in a row during his time as a borrower with the Earthquakes, put a contract to paper that made him the highest-paid American player in the MLS. He didn’t miss expectations as he became the best scorer in the Galaxy and MLS of all time. While at Galaxy, Donovan had two loans in England with Everton and one in Germany with Bayern Munich.
In 2014 Donovan interrupted his career but made a comeback two years later in 2016. He joined the Galaxy that season before retiring at the end of it. In January 2018, Donovan made another U-turn in his decision to retire when he signed a contract for Mexican team Club Leon, but in June of the same year, the club decided to cancel his contract and send him back into retirement.
Landon Donovan Family – Wife
Landon Donovan is currently in his second marriage. His first marriage was to actress Bianca Kajlich, best known for her role as Jennifer Morgan in the CBS comedy series Rules of Engagement (2007 – 2013). The couple was on everyone’s lips in Los Angeles when they got married on December 31, 2006. Everything seemed rosy until the couple announced their separation just two and a half years later, in July 2009. There were talks that Donovan and Kajlich could make things right, but in December 2010, the star of LA Galaxy filed for divorce from his wife.
It took a few years but Donovan finally found happiness again when he married his longtime girlfriend, Hannah Bartell. Bartell is a graduate of the School of Hospitality at Boston University. After graduating, she worked at the Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles before enrolling at the University of Southern California where she received her MBA. Since then she has found work at the JW Marriott Los Angeles, where she holds the position of Senior Sales Manager.
Donovan and Bartell reportedly began working together in 2013 but were not discovered together until 2014. Donovan went to Facebook to announce his engagement to the public before exchanging vows in May 2015. Together, the couple has two children, a son named Talon Bartell Donovan and a daughter named Slate Bartell Donovan.
Height, Weight, and Other Facts
Landon Donovan is 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall and weighs 154 pounds (70 kg).
The 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball winner has a twin sister named Tristan Donovan.
Donovan won a record six MLS Cups as a part of both the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy. He is also the league’s all-time top scorer and has the most assists with 145 goals and 136 assists. For his achievements, the Major League Soccer MVP Award was renamed to the Landon Donovan MVP Award.