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Landon Donovan expected to debut for León vs. Puebla

The pressure is on the American to perform

FBL-MEX-LEON-DONOVAN Photo credit should read GUSTAVO BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images

Multiple news outlets have revealed the long anticipated debut of Landon Donovan in Mexico could happen in tonight’s Liga MX matchup: León face Puebla at home in desperate need of a result.

As ESPN’s Tom Marshall explains, León’s bright start to the season has completely evaporated and suddenly there is considerable pressure for the LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team legend to put in a good showing, even if Landon has to play a role off the bench.

Donovan, 35, has been undergoing a mini preseason ever since to get his retired body into the shape required for a league considered to be a better standard than Major League Soccer. But the team, through no fault of his own, has imploded since Donovan’s arrival. There was a respectable 0-0 away draw to Cruz Azul on Jan. 20 but then a shocking 4-0 loss to Necaxa and a 5-1 capitulation against Monterrey last weekend.

In other words, the club’s situation has changed radically since Donovan was unveiled, and that’s the context in which he is likely to step onto the pitch against Puebla in Estadio Leon on Saturday -- his first official match in 461 days since his return from retirement with the Galaxy ended.

Donovan has declared himself fit to play a part in the match even if he is expected to start on the bench. There is a certain pressure on both him and the team against Puebla. At least one rumor is circulating about other Leon players not being happy with the wages Donovan is earning, and coach Gustavo Diaz needs to see a reaction from a side whose confidence has taken a beating over recent games.

If you’re not traveling to the StubHub Center tonight to watch the Galaxy play NYCFC in pre-season action, the match will be aired live on Galavision.

How to Watch:

Date/Time: Feb 10, 5 p.m. PST

Venue: Estadio León

TV: Galavision