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Redlands Native 'Best Player on Pitch' Against Aston Villa: Everton Manager

Landon Donovan, 29, is on a 10-week loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy with Everton FC in the English Premier League.

A soccer player from Redlands, starting his fourth match in England in 11 days, set up the tying goal for Everton on Saturday in a 1-1 draw in Birmingham against Aston Villa.

Everton manager David Moyes praised 29-year-old Landon Donovan as the "best player on the pitch" in a post-match interview.

Donovan, who is on a from the Los Angeles Galaxy, made a perfectly-timed pass to split Aston Villa's defense in the second half, allowing Victor Anachebe of Nigeria to score the equalizer.

"It was a really good goal, but I thought it was created by the best player on the pitch in Landon Donovan," Moyes told Everton TV.

"You know, Thierry Henry's come in for Arsenal and Robbie Keane's come in for Aston Villa, but Landon's come in here and played three or four games already, 90 minutes on the bounce, which is really tough because obviously they've had a bit of a break.

"And he's come in and his professionalism has been great. I thought he played great today. He put the cross in which I thought could have been a penalty kick, and he puts the pass through for Victor to score the equalizer . . .

"That tells you the level of the professional he is," Moyes said. "He's come in here, it's his second stint for us and he's played really well. He's given us something a little bit extra. We just need to try and finish off a lot of the good play he's given us."

Donovan and Keane are expected to return to the Galaxy in March for the start of the 2012 Major League Soccer season.

Liverpool-based Everton currently stand 11th in the 20-team Premiership, just ahead of Sunderland and Aston Villa.

Donovan is the U.S. men's all-time leading scorer with 46 goals.

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