USMNT great Landon Donovan among finalists to take over San Jose Earthquakes

Landon Donovan could become the new manager of San Jose Earthquakes. Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Landon Donovan is among the finalists to take over as manager of the San Jose Earthquakes, sources have told ESPN.

One source said that the Quakes are in the final phase of the interview process with five candidates plus the existing coaching staff in consideration. The source added that San Jose has interviewed over 10 people in the process.

The Quakes parted ways with Matias Almeyda back in April, and since then have been managed on an interim basis by Alex Covelo.

– Soccer on ESPN+: FC Daily | Futbol Americas
– Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access

Donovan, 40, is in his third season managing the San Diego Loyal in the second-tier USL Championship, with the team lying in third place in the 14-team Western Conference with 34 points from 19 matches played. In addition to his managerial duties, Donovan is also the co-owner and executive VP of soccer operations.

In 2021, Donovan was among several names linked with the Real Salt Lake job, but he ultimately withdrew his name from consideration, with the post eventually going to his former U.S. international teammate, Pablo Mastroeni. Donovan has also pursued other MLS jobs in the past.

Donovan didn’t respond to a text message seeking comment. A Quakes spokesperson also declined to comment.

Donovan’s all-time record with the Loyal is 30-23-15. He led San Diego to the playoffs last season, where they lost in the first round to San Antonio FC. Along the way, he has forged a reputation as a fierce defender of his players, including an incident in 2020 when he pulled his team off the field after midfielder Collin Martin was subjected to a homophobic slur by then Phoenix Rising forward Junior Flemmings.

If Donovan were to get the San Jose job, it would mark a sensational return to the organization where he spent four seasons and led to the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cups. After returning to Bayer Leverkusen, the club that signed him as a teenager, and later loaned him to the Quakes, he sensationally returned to MLS with San Jose’s arch-rivals, the LA Galaxy, much to the dismay of Quakes fans.

He went on to win four more MLS Cups with the Galaxy. In addition to Leverkusen, the Quakes and the Galaxy, Donovan also played with Club Leon, as well as loan stints with Bayern Munich and Everton.