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By ESPN Staff
Jan 5, 2010

Donovan hopes Everton will keep him sharp

LIVERPOOL, England -- Landon Donovan began his 10-week loan at Everton hoping to prepare for the Americans' World Cup opener against England on June 12.

The 27-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, voted Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Player last year, joined U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard on the Toffees, his fourth stint with a European club but his first in England.

"I am ready to enjoy it and I want to personally get myself sharp while I am here," Donovan said Tuesday. "Tim Howard has had nothing but great things to say about this team, so I am excited. Going into a World Cup year, this experience will keep me sharp."

Manager David Moyes hopes Donovan can assist Everton's attack, with the team 11th in the standings at 5-7-7.

"In the Bundesliga it was a little different in style so I will have to get used to the style here," said Donovan, who was on loan at Bayern Munich last year.

"I think the Premier League will suit my style of play. I like a fast-paced game. I like to take changes quickly and I think that will suit me here."

The heaviest snowfall in northern England in decades caused Donovan's news conference to be canceled Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Donovan warned that American preparations for the World Cup could be damaged by a looming MLS work stoppage. The league's labor contact expires Jan. 31 and the international union, FIFPro, claimed that 80 percent of MLS players don't have guaranteed contracts.

"The league shutting down MLS in February would do real damage to the development of the game in the United States and to our efforts to prepare for South Africa," Donovan said in a FIFPro statement. "It is difficult to understand why the owners would take this course, when all we are asking for are the same rights enjoyed by other players around the world, not just in the biggest leagues, but in leagues of all sizes."

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