When Michael Phelps' name was mentioned at a Galaxy practice on Wednesday, Landon Donovan cracked a smile.
"He's a stud," Donovan said. "He's a champion. He's the greatest ever."
Phelps recently won his 19th Olympic medal, making him the most decorated Olympian.
Donovan said he watches each of the Olympic events and, in addition to admiring Phelps' feats, he acknowledged feeling a tinge of disappointment that he's not in London representing American soccer.
"I wish I was there," he said. "I wish our team was there."
Donovan may not be in London but he soon will be on a field with some of the world's best athletes.
His comments came a day before the Galaxy will host Real Madrid in an exhibition at Home Depot Center. Real Madrid has won nine European championships and 32 Spanish La Liga titles.
"At the end of the day who doesn't want to play against Real Madrid at your own stadium," Donovan said. "So we're really lucky we get to do that."
This will mark the third consectuive season that the teams will play an exhibition in Southern California.
"I think what I'm most impressed by is that they come into these games that really realistically mean nothing and they play really hard and they play like it's a game that means something," Donovan said.
"It would be really easy for a team of that caliber that just won La Liga to come here and say, you know what, we're just going to mess around and take it casual. But I promise you, they'll come here tomorrow and play it like its a real game."