US soccer grateful to Everton for improving Donovan

LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena says Landon Donovan's spell at Everton has improved him.

LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena says Landon Donovan's spell at Everton has improved him.

Arena met up with Phil Neville during the Everton skipper’s five week stay in the States this summer. Neville was utilising LA Galaxy’s training facilities while recovering from minor knee surgery and was delighted with the feedback Arena provided on Landon – who became a hero for the USA with his dramatic late goal against Algeria on Wednesday.

"As soon as I got to the Athletes Performance Centre the LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena took me round for a tour and the first thing he said was thanks for what you did for Landon because he came back from Everton a different player," Neville told evertontv. "I think that was probably the biggest step in Landon's career and we have played a massive part in that.

"I know Landon was really pleased with his time at Everton and he knew he'd made the right decision to come over but to hear from the staff at LA Galaxy that we helped Landon and to hear that it wasn't just the stuff we did with him on the pitch, they mentioned how we treated him and the way he was accepted into the Club. That is something Landon's not had at any other club he's been to."

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