USA

Donovan arrives with Everton

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United States attacking midfielder Landon Donovan has begun his 10-week loan spell at Everton to stay in shape for the World Cup.

The 27-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy player will stay at the Premier League club during the Major League SOCCER offseason, and U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard is helping him settle in to English football.

The Americans play England on June 12 in their group opener.

"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.

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

Also Tuesday, Donovan warned that American preparations for the World Cup could be damaged by an enduring standoff between MLS and the league's players' union over contracts.

The international union, FIFPro, claimed that 80 percent of players don't have guaranteed contracts and the players can be transferred to another MLS club without their consent.

"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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