Landon Donovan Biography

Mon 23 August 2021 | 7:30

Landon Donovan is an American former footballer with an exciting background. Find out all the details about Landon Donovan biography in this article.

Landon Donovan nationality

is American, and he is a former retired player who pursued his career as a manager. The former player is well known for several records, awards, and titles. Donovan is highly regarded as one of the best American football players. Football pundits praised the US hero multiple times for his outstanding ability to score goals.

He started his career back in 1999 with the Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen and established himself as a professional player. Back in his playing days Donovan was a versatile player and was capable of playing in different positions. Aside from his professional career and his achievements we will also fill you in with details about Landon Donovan life story and his personal life. So stay tuned and don’t miss it.

Details About Landon Donovan Biography You Probably Didn’t Know 

In addition to being a manager, he also is the vice president of soccer operations for USL Championship side San Diego Loyal SC, and also Strategic Advisor for Lincoln City. He started his coaching career in 2015 when he was appointed as the head coach for a team consisting of young MLS players for the 2015 MLS Homegrown Game. Find out all the details about Landon Donovan biography in the following.

Landon Donovan Information

Before we get into the details of

Landon Donovan childhood

and early life we will fill you in with the details of his bio and other information. 

Landon Donovan Bio

  • Full name: Landon Timothy Donovan

  • Nickname: Landycakes

Personal information

  • Landon Donovan date of birth: March 4, 1982

  • Zodiac sign: Pisces

  • Place of birth: Ontario, California, United States

  • Landon Donovan religion: Christian

  • Father’s name: Tim Donovan

  • Mother’s name: Donna Kenney-Cash

  • Landon Donovan Nationality: American

  • Marital status: married

  • Marriage date: 2015

  • Wife’s name: Hannah Bartell

  • Children: Slate Bartell Donovan, Talon Bartell Donovan

Body Measurements

  • Hair color: dark brown

  • Eye Color: dark brown

  • Height: 173 cm

  • Weight: 68 kg

Football Information

  • Position: Winger, Forward

  • Debut in profession: Bayer Leverkusen (1999)               

  • Clubs served: Bayer Leverkusen, San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy, Bayern Munich, Everton, Leon, San Diego Sockers                   

  • Teams coached: MLS Homegrown Game, San Diego Loyal SC

Landon Donovan Early Life

The footballer was born on March 4, 1982 in Ontario, California. According to

Landon Donovan date of birth

his zodiac sign is Pisces. His mother Donna Kenney-Cash worked as a teacher and his father Tim Donovan was a professional ice hockey player who grew up in Canada. His parents both are originally from Irish roots and Landon has a Canadian citizenship thanks to his father. The footballer grew up with his twin sister Tristan in Redlands, California, and he attended Redlands East Valley High School while he wasn’t busy with soccer activities elsewhere.

Ever since Donovan was a child he dreamed of one day becoming a professional footballer. He had an older brother and he used to play football with him. At such a young age Donovan showed remarkable talent in football. He joined an organized league and he managed to score seven goals in his first game. He was a member of a club in Rancho Cucamonga, California named Cal Heat. Back in 1997 he was accepted into U.S. Youth Soccer's Olympic Development Program.

 Two years later he joined the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, with other members of the U-17 national team as part of U.S. Soccer's youth development program. His outstanding performance made him the Player of the Tournament for his role in the United States under-17 squad. Find out more details about Landon Donovan biography in the following.

Landon Donovan Profile 

Now it’s time to take a look at the footballer’s club career. Over the years Donovan came a long way and established himself as a key role player. According to

Landon Donovan bio

he is a versatile player and plays as a forward. He gained recognition for his achievements in football and became an idol to all. Join us in this journey and find out all the details about his club career.

Bayer Leverkusen and San Jose Earthquakes

While Donovan was at a youth tournament in Europe, his performance caught the attention of

Bayer Leverkusen

sporting director, Michael Reschke. Later he signed a six-year contract with the club. At the time he had training periods with the United States youth national teams simultaneously but he had a tough time adapting to his new position at Leverkusen. As a result, he was loaned to the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2001. The footballer found his place quickly and established himself well.

Until 2003 he became one of the only recognizable faces of soccer in America. He scored several goals for the side and made a lot of assists. In January 2005, he came back to Bayer Leverkusen and made seven appearances before leaving the club. Donovan was eager to re-join


and get back to America however Alexi Lalas manager of Earthquakes rejected his request due to the fact that he traded away his rights.

LA Galaxy

In 2005 Donovan reached an agreement with

LA Galaxy

and became the highest-paid American footballer in the league. During his first season, he aimed the net for goals multiple times and provided assists for his teammates as well. He went on and scored three goals in the Open Cup however despite his efforts to assist the side LA Galaxy was defeated by Chicago Fire SC. The footballer’s playoff goals made him the MLS' second all-time leading scorer with 14 goals behind Carlos Ruiz who scored 15 goals.

2007 wasn’t such a pleasant year for the player as the English superstar

David Beckham

arrived at LA Galaxy and Donovan had to hand over the captain’s armband to him. He went on and scored numerous goals for the side. At a certain point, he scored 84 goals in the season and secured seventh place on the league's all-time scoring list for himself. The 2008 season was a disaster for LA Galaxy, but it was a great one for Donovan as he scored 20 goals in 25 games and formed a powerful offensive partnership with David Beckham and Edson Buddle. Find out more details about Landon Donovan in the following.

Landon Donovan, The League’s Most Valuable Player

At the beginning of 2009, Beckham joined,


on a loan, and Donovan was given the chance to be the captain of the team once again. In July 2009, the footballer criticized Beckham in an interview with Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Wahl. He called the English superstar a poor captain and teammate. Later Donovan apologized to Beckham for saying that to a reporter and not telling himself. The duo forgot the issue and Beckham got back in the mid-season to the club.

Donovan had a great season and managed to win the league's Most Valuable Player and MLS Goal of the Year 2009 prize and led LA Galaxy to MLS Cup 2009. However, they were defeated in the penalties. Later he extended his contract for four years with the side and LA Galaxy gave him the option to go for loans with other clubs during the club’s offseason. Learn more details about

Landon Donovan biography

in the following.

Donovan Took a Break Due to Physical and Mental Exhaustion 

In October 2012, Donovan declared that he was exhausted both physically and mentally and was planning to have a break from football. He came back on March 25, 2013, and debuted five days later in a game over

Toronto FC

while coming in as a 61st-minute substitute. But he had to hand over the armband of captaincy to Robbie Keane for the 2013 season upon his arrival. Later in a game over Chivas, USA, he grabbed a brace and became the top MLS goal scorer with 134 goals along with Jeff Cunningham.

On May 25, 2014, he grabbed another brace in a game over Philadelphia Union and broke Cunningham's record for 134 goals, and became the all-time top goal scorer. In August 2014, he declared he was planning to retire from football at the end of the 2014 Major League Soccer season. The season ended while the side won their fourth Major League Soccer season.

Spells at Different Clubs and Return to LA Galaxy 

In 2008, the footballer went to train with

Bayern Munich

. He showed good performance there, played in five friendly games and scored four goals. In January 2010 he joined Everton and was named the player of the month. The club was eager to extend his loan. In December 2011, Everton reached an agreement with the American club to get Donovan back. He debuted for the side in January 2012 in a game over Bolton Wanderers which was a 2–1 defeat.

Donovan made effective assists for the side and managed to score Everton only goal in a 1-1 draw with

Aston Villa

. In September 2016, the footballer declared he was coming back from his retirement and signed a contract with LA Galaxy. Overall he featured in six games of the 2016 season. At the end of the playoff run he retired for the second time. Although he announced his retirement, he had brief spells at other clubs like Club León and San Diego Sockers.

International Career 

Donovan made a lot of wonders on international level as well. In the 2002 World Cup, although U.S. was defeated, 1-0 by Germany Donovan was named best young player of the tournament. After his retirement from football The Guardian named him the U.S. team's greatest ever player. More details about

Landon Donovan biography

awaits you in the following.

Style of play

In his playing days Donovan was a versatile player and capable of playing in different positions. He was praised for his intelligence and extraordinary skills. Manager Bruce Arena described him: “the problem with Landon is that he's your best player at so many positions that you never know where to put him.” Aside from all of these features his goal scoring abilities is beyond compare. He was also a first choice penalty taker both in different clubs and on international level. 


Landon Donovan received numerous awards and titles during his career. In the early days of his career at

San Jose Earthquakes

he earned a Man of the Match award for his outstanding performance and in 2003 he was named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year. The following year he became the first footballer to be named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year for three consecutive years.

 He was also named the MLS All-Time Best XI in his second season at LA Galaxy. In 2010 he scored the 100th goal of his MLS career and became the all-time leading scorer for LA Galaxy. During the 2011 MLS Cup the footballer scored a goal in a game against Houston Dynamo and won his fourth MLS Cup title. Landon Donovan was named the MLS Cup MVP. Learn more details about Landon Donovan biography in the following.

Goal Celebration 

Landon Donovan scored numerous goals and all of his goal celebrations have one thing in common. He runs in joy and makes a fist as a sign of victory.

Landon Donovan Life Outside Football 

Now let’s find out details about

Landon Donovan life story

off the football pitch. In June 2019, the former footballer along with Warren Smith founded a USL Championship expansion team. The team made its debut in the USL Championship in 2020. Warren Smith will be the president and Donovan will be the executive vice president of soccer operations and head coach of the new club.

They were planning on naming the club USL San Diego but later on November 2019, they officially declared their brand as San Diego Loyal SC. On 17 June 2021, it was an official news that Donovan would join

Lincoln City

as a strategic Advisor in order to enhance the clubs’ network and relationships, especially in the North America.

Landon Donovan Personal Life 

Landon Donovan religion

is Christian and he is a family man who enjoys outdoor activities. On December 31, 2006 he and the actress Bianca Kajlich tied the knot however they parted ways in July 2009. In May 2015, he got married to Hannah Bartell. She gave birth to their first child in January 2016, a son named Talon. The former footballer publicly expressed that he was dealing with depression in his career and he blamed the professional sports world for its approach to mental health issues. Since the time he has joined Galaxy the Donovan is based in Manhattan Beach, California. Following his brief spell at Everton he declared himself as an “Evertonian for life.”

Family Children and Relationships 

Landon Donovan is more of a family guy and just with a quick look at the former footballer’s Instagram account you will realize that he always puts his family first. He enjoys quality time along with his family now that he is retired. At the end of 2018, Donovan posted a photo along with his second child and captioned: “A perfect ending of 2018. Welcome to the world Raven Bartell Donovan.” Stay tuned for more details about Landon Donovan biography.


As far as we know Landon Donovan hasn’t been part of any charity however he does use his fame and popularity to put some light on issues. Recently he posted a video on his Instagram of a disabled child and captioned: “I met Hudson recently at @radychildrens hospital here in San Diego. He is a true inspiration to all of us and brought some much needed joy to our lives. Please help support children like Hudson by texting "LandonSD" to 51555 if you'd like to help save lives. I can't tell you how much this means to these families, thank you.”

Legal Issues

Landon Donovan hasn’t faced any legal issues in his career. 

Landon Donovan Career Statistics 

Donovan came a long way in his career and made a great impact. He established himself as a skilled footballer in different clubs. In this section we will walk you through the footballer’s career statistics both in club and national team.


First he started his professional career back in 1999 with Bayer Leverkusen. Overall for the reserve team and the first team he made 35 appearances and scored 9 goals. However, he scored all the goals while he was at the reserve team. In the 2001-02 season he was loaned to the American club San Jose Earthquakes and featured in 87 games while scoring 32 goals. Looks like the former footballer was more successful while he was at America. Following his contract with LA Galaxy which made him the highest paid American player in the league he debuted for the side in the 2005 season.

Donovan remained at the club for 11 years and made a lot of wonders there. His contract with LA Galaxy had an option which entitled him to join other clubs on loan. He had a season long spell at Bayern Munch in 2008. Later he was loaned to Everton and made 22 appearances for the side while scoring 2 goals. In 2017, he joined Leon on a loan and featured in 8 games. His last club was San Diego Sockers and played in 10 games while scoring 5 goals for the side. Stay tuned for more details for

Landon Donovan biography



Donovan was a key role player for United States national team and overall he made 58 appearances and scored 57 goals for his country.


Following Landon Donovan’s retirement from football he pursued his career as a coach. In July 2015 he was assigned as the head coach for a team of MLS young footballers for the 2015 MLS Homegrown Game. On November 14, 2019, Donovan was elected to be the manager of the San Diego Loyal. As we mentioned before he helped founding San Diego and he was the vice president of the club’s soccer operations. Donovan warned the club that he had never coached before and considered his coaching a risk for the future. He tried to get help from experienced people in coaching. 

San Diego Loyal Controversial Incident 

In his first season as a manager he led the team to 6-5-5 record. During the last two games of the season the team faced controversial problems as there were racial and homophobic abuse from Los Angeles Galaxy II and

Phoenix Rising

players which went without punishment. Following the second accident Junior Flemmings footballer of Phoenix Rising directed a homophobic slur against openly gay San Diego player Collin Martin. Donovan remarked: “We went through a really hard incident in the LA match and we made a vow to ourselves, our community, our players, the club and the USL that we would not stand for bigotry, homophobic slurs and things that don't belong in our game.”

He added: “Our players in the heart and passion of the moment still wanted to play, but if we wanted to be true to who we are as a club, we have to speak and we have to act. After half-time we all decided if the player who used the homophobic slur was not removed from the game – either by the officials or by his coach – we would not play. If they are not willing to act, we have to act.”


Landon Donovan Honors

Landon Donovan is a player who can’t be praised enough. His tremendous achievements and great goal-scoring ability are beyond compare. We have listed all his achievements both in clubs he served and on the international level below.


  • San Jose Earthquakes

  • MLS Cup: 2001, 2003

LA Galaxy

  • MLS Cup: 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014

  • Supporters' Shield: 2010, 2011

  • Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: 2005


United States

  • FIFA Confederations Cup: Runner-up 2009

  • CONCACAF Gold Cup: 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013


  • U.S. Soccer Young Athlete of the Year: 2000

  • U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year: 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010

  • Best Male Soccer Player ESPY Award: 2002

  • Best MLS Player ESPY Award: 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011

  • Honda Player of the Year: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

  • FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball: 1999

  • FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award: 2002

  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002 (Reserve)

  • CONCACAF Gold Cup Best XI: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2013; Honorable Mention: 2007

  • CONCACAF Gold Cup MVP: 2013

  • CONCACAF Gold Cup Top Goal scorer: 2003, 2005, 2013

  • CONCACAF Gold Cup Best Goal: 2011 (second place)

  • LA Galaxy Player of the Year: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011

  • LA Galaxy Golden Boot: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011

  • LA Galaxy Humanitarian of the Year: 2007, 2008

  • Everton Player of the Month: January 2010, January 2012

  • MLS All-Time Best XI: Midfielder

  • Major League Soccer MVP: 2009

  • MLS Player of the Month: September 2003, April 2003, April 2008, July 2009, May 2011, August 2014

  • MLS Best XI: 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

  • MLS Cup MVP: 2003, 2011

  • MLS All-Star: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

  • MLS All-Star Game MVP: 2001, 2014

  • MLS Golden Boot: 2008

  • MLS Silver Boot: 2010

  • MLS Goal of the Year: 2009

  • Premios Univision Deportes Lifetime Achievement Award: 2014

  • Walt Chyzowych Fund Distinguished Playing Career Award: 2017 

  • IFFHS Legends

  • MLS Greatest Player of All Time

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