So long, Landon Donovan. One of the greatest players in Major League Soccer history will call it a career following the 2014 Major League Soccer season. Today, at a press conference this afternoon, the legend announced that he will step down following the end of this year.
“After careful deliberation and many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last year as a professional soccer player,” said Donovan to the press. “It has been more than anything I could have dreamed of to represent the LA Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes, Everton, U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer throughout my career.
“There are so many people I want to thank who have inspired me, guided me and helped me on this incredible journey. I simply could not have accomplished what I did during my playing career without an overwhelming amount of support from my family, my friends and many others.
“I plan to express my gratitude to everyone in a more detailed manner at a later date; however, for now, I want to single out the fans. You are the lifeblood of this sport and, without you, none of us would be fortunate to call ourselves professional soccer players in MLS.”
“Landon Donovan is one of the most significant figures in the history of soccer in the United States,” said Los Angeles Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “His influence on MLS and soccer in this country will continue to be felt for many years to come.
“As both a player and a person, Landon has been an incredible representative of the LA Galaxy, MLS and the U.S. Men’s National Team and it has been my honor coaching him. We respect his decision to retire at the end of the season and look forward to competing for another MLS Cup and celebrating his outstanding career.”
With 57 goals and 57 assists, Donovan is the only U.S. Men’s National Team player to surpass 50 goals and assists in his career. He has 156 appearances for the Nats, and the fourth-fastest to earn 100 caps for the United States.
Donovan has been named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year a record four times (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010), FIFA’s Best Young Player of the World Cup (2002), the CONCACAF Gold Cup MVP (2013) and to the Gold Cup Best XI four times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2013). Finally, Donovan is the all-time leading scorer in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with 18 goals, helped the U.S. to four of its five ever Gold Cup titles (2002, 2005, 2007, 2013).
A proud member of the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy, Donovan is a winner of five MLS Cups (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012), a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2005) and two MLS Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011). Individually, Donovan has been named to an MLS record 14 consecutive MLS All-Star games (2001-2014), the MLS Best XI six times (2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), the MLS MVP (2009) and won the Golden Boot (2008) as well as being the only two-time MLS Cup MVP winner (2003, 2011).
Also, in addition to his record 138 MLS goals, Landon Donovan is also the leading scorer in MLS Playoff history with 22 goals, is also the leading scorer in MLS All-Star history (six goals) and has been named MLS All-Star MVP twice (2001, 2014).