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Earthquakes Forward Landon Donovan Conference Call Quote Sheet

Landon Donovan on the Next Two MLS matches against the Dallas Burn:

“If we are not careful with these games coming up in Dallas, it could be dangerous. These are very important games against the second place team in the league. If we get some wins it will help put some distance between us and the rest of the league.”

On Earthquakes Head Coach Frank Yallop:

“Congratulations to my coach Frank Yallop on being named the coach for the All-Star game, he is very deserving as you all know. ”

“Frank is a fantastic coach. He is absolutely a players coach. It wasn’t too long ago he was playing and he realizes when players need a break, when we need to go harder. Oftentimes he asks us what we want to do; it is always an open conversation with him. It is no surprise why we’ve succeeded.”

On Attitude Upon Returning From the World Cup:

“For the rest of the year, it might be simple to take it easy and say that the World Cup is over, I can rest a little, but I am looking forward to competing for the championship again and the rest of the team has done a great job in playing while Jeff [Agoos] and I have been away.”

“I kind of feared coming back because when you are at an event that is so huge and so important you could come back and take [MLS] for granted but there is something about this team and playing at Spartan Stadium that I think if we were playing a Under-14 team I would be pumped up to play. I look forward to giving my all for this team and they have made it easy for me to come back from the World Cup”

On the Post-World Cup Publicity Tour:

“I almost forgot I was a soccer player for awhile, I had so many media commitments. As hectic as you can imagine it would be, it has been ten times more. I haven’t had much time to rest.

The neatest thing for me was probably The ESPY’s last night. (Donovan won the ESPY for Best Male Soccer Player) That is my domain, for me to see so many of my heroes and idols were amazing for me.

A few people made nice gestures. I was on stage and looked down and saw (Los Angeles Laker star) Kobe Bryant and he looked up and just shook his head and said nice job. That was rewarding. I saw Chris Berman backstage and he made some nice comments. To hear it from people like that, who don’t need to be up watching soccer, it is very exciting.”

On His Future with the Earthquakes and German club Bayer Leverkusen:

“We have spoken with them [Bayer Leverkusen], I have made it very clear that I would like to stay here, not just from a soccer standpoint, but there are a lot of reasons. I love the coaches here, the organization; it has become a second home to me. Also, there is something to be said for waking up every morning and seeing the sun. I had a bitter experience there, and I’m a loyal person and it is hard for me to feel that now that I’ve done so well for [Bayer Leverkusen] to get all the benefits. Bayer took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity and I appreciate that, but I feel loyal to San Jose, they had me play every week, and I didn’t score for a long time and they still stuck with me. There are a lot of factors that make me want to stay here. Obviously they [Bayer Leverkusen] have a big say in it, and they have said that if you don’t want to be here then we probably don’t want you either. My agent and Bayer Leverkusen have spoken briefly and they have said that if Landon wants to develop soccer in America and if he doesn’t want to be here then we are going to try our best to get him out of here.”

“Right now I don’t want to be in Europe. I feel like I need to be here right now for a variety of reasons. I’m just going on what I feel now. In a year, two years from now who knows? I’m not that concerned about how far I develop as a player. I think I’ve proven to myself and everybody else that I can compete at the highest level. I would rather be here and play here and maybe not make as much money but be closer to my family and friends. Especially, in light of 9/11, you never know what can happen.”

“Before the World Cup I told my agent I didn’t care what happens [in the World Cup] I’m not going back [to Europe]. He said to wait until after the World Cup because it would have an effect on me. He was right. It was such a good experience that now there is a big drive to get American soccer out there to the public and it is a good time to push it. That makes me want to stay and push it more and be a pioneer like [former National Team players] Alexi [Lalas] and Paul Caliguri and Cobi [Jones]. I want to bring it to the next level.”

On Playing For Another European Team Other Than Bayer Leverkusen:

“I would possibly, maybe consider something else. It would have to be the perfect situation. A place where I know that I’m going to play or get a chance. Everything would have to be worked out. I might consider something like that. I don’t doubt that I can work my way into the lineup [at Bayer Leverkusen] but if the coach doesn’t like me then I’m stuck there. That’s a chance I don’t think I want to take right now.”

On Playing With Former Dallas Burn Forward Ariel Graziani:

“Ariel is a dangerous player. He is a key for our team now that the defense doesn’t have just one person to shut down. Ariel has been in the league a long time and if teams try to shut him down, I feel that I can take advantage of that. He has been crucial for our team.”

On the Improvement of the Dallas Burn:

“[Burn Head Coach ] Mike [Jefferies] has done a good job of bringing in new players. From what I’ve seen they have been playing very well. It is a confidence thing for them. They are shutting down good players and they don’t care who they are playing every week.”

On Playing in the All-Star Game:

“It’s fun, it’s all about entertainment. They need to find the best way to entertain people and it is a great way to celebrate what happened this summer. I think MLS is thriving and with the opening of the Home Depot National Training Center there is a lot going on in soccer right now and this is the best way to do that.”

On What He Needs To Improve On:

“I learned that no matter how good a finisher you are, you can get better. Also, no matter how many things you’ve seen in a game there will always be something you haven’t seen before. Physically, I lifted a little before the World Cup and I can feel that helping me. I feel that being a little stronger really helped me in the World Cup and will continue to help me.”

On The Future of the US National Team:

“I think we are a confident team now and that every player that is there next time will be ready and expect to do well. From the way I’ve grown up in the soccer world, as well as DaMarcus Beasley and Bobby Convey, we’ve always succeeded and we expect nothing less. Hopefully that will catch on.”

On Promoting the Sport of Soccer In the US:

“I think we are taking all the right steps right now, especially with the new training center going up. I think that will translate in other cities building stadiums. I think the way the media has been handled post World Cup has been great; we’ve gotten our face out there. I think that now everyone knows at least something about the World Cup and that is important.”

On Becoming the ‘Poster Boy’ For US Soccer: “I’m fully welcoming and able to take that responsibility. I think anyone on that team would want to do the same thing to help soccer. I’m learning that it is very demanding. You see a Kobe [Bryant] or a Shaq on TV all the time and you think that would be so awesome, but it really is demanding. I’m just a 20-year-old kid who is going crazy right now because I don’t know much about how the media works or the talk show circuit. I’m just out there having fun and trying to be myself.”

On Playing at the Bradenton Soccer Academy: “That was crucial. That is why we have done so well. The youth coach John Ellinger is the best youth coach in the world for sure, we have benefited so much because of that. The guy is a genius. He gives you the freedom to go out there and do what you want on the field.”

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