Landon Donovan: 'The hope is that Swansea can become America's club'

Landon Donovan wants to help make Premier League side Swansea City "America's club."

Donovan, 35, was named an adviser by Swansea owners Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien after they acquired the club last summer. The former U.S. international recently made his first visit to Swansea, and said he wants to help expand the club's profile around the globe.

"I think a lot of clubs are trying to reach out into the American market, or the Chinese market, the Indian market or the South American market," Donovan told the club's official website. "And I think Swansea City are certainly becoming more known in America. We have an advantage if we do things right because we have people involved who are American and people who genuinely care about the club.

"I think the Swansea name will get bigger and bigger in America and elsewhere. I think most likely every preseason should be in America. That makes sense for a lot of reasons. You have to keep building the profile and promoting it. Eventually the hope is that this becomes America's club one day."

But first the Swans need to maintain their Premier League status. The current campaign has been hugely difficult, with Swansea currently two points deep in the relegation zone behind Hull City with four games to play.

Donovan indicated that in terms of the day-to-day operations, he has full confidence in chairman Huw Jenkins and manager Paul Clement. But he also feels that the contacts he's made over the course of his career, including two stints with Premier League side Everton, enable him to offer some advice when asked.

"They know what they are doing and they are much smarter than I am," Donovan said of Jenkins and Clement. "They are in this world all the time. But once in a while I might be asked about certain players they are trying to bring in or certain circumstances, and I do have some experience I think will be valuable.

"A lot of times when you bring a player in, you can see what they do on the pitch but you want to know what that player is like. If you are in a situation, for example, like we are currently, fighting against relegation, you want to know you have men who can handle that. You often hear stories about players or you know players who have played with other players and through that you can get to understand what the man is like behind the player."

Donovan feels that if Swansea does avoid the drop, it can then improve and challenge for Europe, which the club achieved in 2012-13 when it qualified for the Europa League. Donovan is aware of how difficult the current environment is, however.

"The way the Premier League is going, I think the haves are moving further ahead and have-nots are fighting to keep pace," he said. "Maybe at some point the club can push a little higher because if you get a great manager like Paul and get the right players, you can make some strides. You can perhaps push for eighth or seventh or sixth."