The 22-year-old joined Leverkusen in February 1999, becoming one of the youngest players in US football history to sign professional terms overseas. Donovan left Germany after suffering from homesickness, but has matured as a person and player during a stint which has seen him lead San Jose to two MLS Championships in three seasons. He also scored two goals in the 2003 MLS Cup final victory against Chicago Fire.
Donovan, who is under contract at the BayArena until 2008, will be in attendance when Leverkusen take on SC Freiburg at the weekend. He will return on a full-time basis on 1 January and will be available for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League should Klaus Augenthaler's side progress and the club register him.
Despite having a talented midfield including Bernd Schneider, Robson Ponte, Jacek Krzynówek, Marko Babic and Paul Freier, Augenthaler will be happy to see Donovan back at the club. "You can never have enough good players," the coach said. Leverkusen are level on seven points with FC Dynamo Kyiv and Real Madrid CF with two rounds of Champions League matches to play in Group B.
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