USMNT great Landon Donovan among finalists to take over San Jose Earthquakes

Landon Donovan is among the finalists to be named manager of the San Jose Earthquakes, sources told ESPN.

A source said the Quakes are in the final stages of the interview process with five candidates plus the existing coaching staff. The source added that San Jose interviewed over 10 people during the process.

The Quakes parted ways with Matias Almeyda in April and have since been managed by Alex Covelo on an interim basis.

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Donovan, 40, is in his third season of leading the San Diego Loyal in the second-tier USL Championship, with the team sitting third in the 14-team Western Conference with 34 points from 19 games played. In addition to his managerial responsibilities, Donovan is also a co-owner and executive vice president of soccer operations.

In 2021, Donovan was among several names associated with the Real Salt Lake job, but he eventually withdrew his name from consideration, with the post ultimately going to his former United States teammate Pablo Mastroeni. Donovan has also held other MLS jobs in the past.

Donovan didn’t respond to a text message asking for comment. A Quakes spokesman also declined to comment.

Donovan’s all-time record with the Loyals is 30-23-15. He led San Diego to the playoffs last season, where they lost to San Antonio FC in the first round. Along the way he has built a reputation as a fierce defender for his players, including an incident in 2020 when he pulled his team off the field after midfielder Collin Martin was homophobically abused by Phoenix Rising forwards Junior Flemmings.

If Donovan got the job at San Jose, it would be a sensational return to the organization where he spent four seasons and led to the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cups. After returning to Bayer Leverkusen, the club that signed him as a teenager and later loaned him to the Quakes, he sensationally returned to MLS with San Jose’s arch-rivals LA Galaxy, much to the dismay of Quakes fans.

He won four more MLS Cups with the Galaxy. In addition to Leverkusen, the Quakes and Galaxy, Donovan also played at Club Leon, as well as loan spells at Bayern Munich and Everton. USMNT great Landon Donovan among finalists to take over San Jose Earthquakes

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