Landon Donovan trains for first time with Leon, debut date unknown
U.S. legend Landon Donovan trained for the first time with Club Leon on Monday, after coming out of retirement to join the Liga MX club in a shock move.
Donovan had returned to the United States following his presentation in Estadio Leon one week ago and traveled back to Mexico on Sunday.
Donovan's Liga MX debut will depend on how quickly the forward can get match fit after 14 months out of the game, with the 35-year-old admitting in his presentation that he didn't have plans to come out of retirement before Leon showed interest in bringing him to Mexico.
Leon sporting director Rodrigo Fernandez said after Leon's 1-1 draw on Saturday against Cruz Azul that it'd be "impossible" for Donovan to be involved next Saturday, when Leon hosts Necaxa.
"We can't rush him," said Fernandez, in quotes carried by Medio Tiempo. "It's impossible that you'll see Landon play next week, he's coming out of retirement, he needs to be in rhythm and undergo an adequate physical preparation so that he can help us."
Fernandez also denied that the club would pressurize coach Gustavo Diaz into playing Donovan regularly, with Leon currently undefeated after three round of matches of the 2018 Clausura and in second place in the Liga MX table.
"We are not imposing anything on the coach," continued Fernandez. "He has a team that is working."
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.