NEW YORK -- Landon Donovan needed to push himself to stay motivated when he returned to the Los Angeles Galaxy after the World Cup.
The 28-year-old midfielder, coming off a loan earlier this year to Everton, was the best American player at the tournament in South Africa, where he scored against Slovenia and Algeria.
Because of Major League Soccer's schedule that runs from March to November, he returned to league play with virtually no break.
"Physically you have to get your body to a place where you're able to withstand the rest of the year. I had to be smart about it," he said Wednesday ahead of this weekend's Western Conference final. "That part of it was touch and go."
For Donovan, the mental part was more challenging.