United States soccer great Landon Donovan will reportedly be the head coach of the new United Soccer League team he co-owns, the San Diego Loyal.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, Donovan will serve as the second-division club’s manager and executive vice president of soccer operations when its inaugural season kicks off next year. The team will reportedly make the appointment official on Thursday at a news conference.
Additionally, Donovan’s staff will include former professional player Carrie Taylor, who is believed to be the first female coach of an American men’s professional soccer team, according to Wahl.
Donovan, 37, is part of a group that is bringing professional soccer to San Diego for the first time since 2001.
“San Diego is my new home,” Donovan told SI when the team was announced in June. “I don’t anticipate ever leaving, and I want to do something in this community around soccer that’s special. So why wouldn’t I want to do something with someone who clearly knows what they’re doing, who has a track record of success, of doing things with quality, and who’s as passionate as I am? Once I sat and thought about it and was able to let go of the disappointment of the previous two years, this was an absolute no-brainer.”
Warren Smith, a co-owner, said over the summer that Donovan was going to be “in charge of the product on the field” — but he was yet to be named manager.
“Landon's in charge of the product on the field, from everything to the player identification to the coaching staff, to ultimately player selection and contracting,” Smith said. “We see just an unbelievable opportunity to acquire talent and compete right off the back and couldn’t be more excited about Landon’s involvement there and ultimately leading the management.”
The future Hall of Famer Donovan has been in and out of retirement for a few years.
He initially retired after the 2014 season, then went back to the LA Galaxy at the end of 2016, then retired again, and then returned to the game with Club Leon in Liga MX in 2018. As recently as April of this year, he was associated with the San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League as a player.
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