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Landon Donovan: no signs of fatigue

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 Landon Donovan ... still going strong after a very busy couple of years.
Landon Donovan ... still going strong after a very busy couple of years.

I keep waiting to see Landon Donovan fade.

For the last two weeks, as I prep for marathon MLS match watching, I think about particular elements to watch for. (Here's the end result, the weekly "Five Things ... " at SI.com, if you're up for it.)

One of the bullet points on my little OneNote screen of items to observe is Donovan’s performance. After all, who could blame the guy if he started fading at this point? He’s been busier, as I like to say, than a dog with three peckers.

The year started with Donovan pouring himself into Project Everton. And he was quite successful, as we all know.

Going back a little further, in fact, Donovan really didn’t have much of a break before heading over to play at Goodison Park for David Moyes. Donovan played in the MLS Cup final in late November. He took about a month off and then jumped right across the Atlantic just after Christmas.

So, he was at Everton until mid-March. From there it was back to the Galaxy, where the regular season started a couple of weeks later. By early May, he was in the U.S. training camp, going through intense prep for World Cup 2010.

Donovan jumped right back into MLS afterward, never mind the mental and physical drain of the South African experience.

Not long after, he flew a red-eye to Houston to play in the MLS All-Star game, less than 24 hours after playing inSouthern California for the Galaxy. Two weeks ago, he flew across country to play in the U.S.-Brazil contest.

Now, of course, he remains smack in the middle of the travel and training summer drag. It’s hitting some players, for sure.

But Donovan was lively over the weekend. It wasn’t his fault that L.A. got beat in San Jose. Yes, he blew a couple of chances to score. But that has nothing to do with saggy, heavy legs. His passing and vision and general level of alertness looks fine.

Same for the week before as L.A. played at New York. Just another reason this guy is the best soccer player ever developed in the United States.

By the way, anybody remember the last extended injury absence for Donovan, who is 28 now?

That’s right. It’s a trick question. It’s never happened.