Landon Donovan is tired.
While his Galaxy teammates had a three-week break, Donovan was scoring three goals for the U.S. national team at the World Cup. Then, while the rest of that team returned home, Donovan stopped in New York City to make five television appearances in two days.
Now, the Galaxy's star forward has little time to prepare for Sunday's home game against Seattle, in which he hopes to play despite a strained hamstring and barely any practice after returning to Los Angeles on Thursday.
But he isn't complaining.
"For me, this is now another opportunity to grow and to become better," Donovan said. "Because the easy way out would be to say, 'I'm tired, I'm not ready, I'm drained emotionally, I'm worn out.' But I'm going to use this as an opportunity to perform really well on Sunday."
Donovan reentered America as a hero after his play in the World Cup — and said it didn't take long for him to realize it.
"It was immediate for me, coming out of the baggage claim area when we got off the plane in D.C., having photographers and cameras there," he said. "Over the ensuing 30 hours or so in New York it was very evident."
But he said he was glad that other players from the U.S. national team have been receiving praise as well.
"I understand that when you score a goal like the Algeria goal that a lot of that is going to be directed to me, but the reality is we don't play an individual sport," he said.
Along with the attention have come suggestions that Donovan could turn his World Cup success into a position with a European club down the road.
"Right now I want to be in America," he said. "And I absolutely love being here and I love getting back to my teammates today. As you know I never say never to anything, and right now, rumors are rumors. If there's something serious to look at, then I will, but right now I'm very excited to be home."