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Landon Donovan headlines L.A. Galaxy clinic at Glendale Sports Complex

Soccer: MLS superstar stops by Glendale to offer words of wisdom to youngsters at clinic.

August 29, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • United States National Team striker Landon Donovan gives high fives to children who participated in a Los Angeles Galaxy-sponsored soccer clinic at the Glendale Sports Complex on Thursday. About 150 AYSO players participated. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
United States National Team striker Landon Donovan gives…

GLENDALE — It’s been a busy week for international soccer superstar Landon Donovan, but that didn’t keep him from taking time out for the little things Thursday.

One day removed from a press conference where he announced his decision to extend his stay with Major League Soccer and the Los Angeles Galaxy and about six hours after news hit that the 31-year-old attacker had been summoned to join the U.S. national team for World Cup qualifying competition, Donovan put his career aside to assist his fans.

PHOTOS: L.A. Galaxy soccer clinic in Glendale

“It’s nice to come out and sort of do something different and see kids that don’t really care about what’s been going on the last two days,” said Donovan, whose new contract is for three years and an undisclosed amount, although it’s been reported to possibly make him the highest paid player in MLS history. “I enjoy it and I think it’s good for us to do and it’s good for us to be in the community and do things like this.”

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Donovan, who’s been with the Galaxy since 2005, and former Galaxy standout Clint Mathis headlined an L.A. Galaxy soccer clinic put on for an estimated 150 youth soccer players from Glendale AYSO Region 88 Thursday evening at the Glendale Sports Complex.

“He's the face of U.S. soccer,” said AYSO Region 88 Commissioner Aldo Mascheroni, whose chapter caters to Glendale, La Crescenta and offers open registration. “Landon Donovan is the idol of every kid who plays soccer in the U.S., he's their star.”

For an hour and a half, Donovan took part in a question-and-answer segment with the kids put on by Mathis, signed autographs, took pictures and watched as the youngsters drilled in a clinic run by Galaxy coaches. His main message to the kids was to have fun in whatever you do now and your career later in life, whether it’s soccer, baking or teaching.

Rob Duryee’s young son, Cameron, was sporting a Donovan jersey T-shirt that was eventually signed, leaving his mouth and eyes wide open.

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