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Landon Donovan says he'll retire after season

Landon Donovan Announces Plans to Retire


CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- Landon Donovan says he is retiring from professional soccer at the end of the MLS season.

The LA Galaxy forward is widely considered the best player in American history. The 32-year-old Donovan is the top goal-scorer in MLS history and the top scorer in U.S. national team history.

"I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have played a role in the remarkable growth of MLS and US Soccer during my playing career," Donovan said Thursday in a statement on his Facebook page. "And while my career as a player will soon be over, rest assured I will stay connected on many levels to the beautiful game."

Donovan was named the most valuable player of his 14th MLS All-Star game on Wednesday night in Portland, scoring a goal in the All-Stars' 2-1 win over Bayern Munich. He has been a key component of MLS' impressive growth during his 14 years in the top North American league, choosing to pursue a pro career in his native California instead of Europe.

Donovan, a five-time MLS champion with the Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes, agreed to a multiyear contract extension with the Galaxy just a year ago, pronouncing himself revitalized after an extended sabbatical. He took several months off following the Galaxy's second straight MLS Cup title alongside now-retired David Beckham in December 2012.

"After spending half my life as a professional soccer player, I also am excited to begin a new chapter and pursue other opportunities that will challenge me and allow me to grow as a person," Donovan said.

Donovan was not included on his fourth U.S. World Cup team this summer. He was surprised and disappointed by coach Jurgen Klinsmann's decision, feeling he had done enough in training camp to warrant inclusion.

"Quite simply the best player ever to wear the USMNT jersey," U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati posted on his Twitter account.

Donovan is the career U.S. leader with 57 international goals over 156 appearances, and he has scored five World Cup goals, including his famed stoppage-time goal against Algeria four years ago to send the Americans to the second round. He watched the American team in Brazil from afar as a television commentator.

"As we enter a transformative time for the sport, I will do everything I can to help the continued growth of soccer in the United States," Donovan said. "I look forward to making a difference, pursuing my passions and meeting all of you along the way in this next phase of my life."

Donovan has played for the Galaxy since 2005, also going on loan to Everton and Bayern Munich during the Galaxy's offseason. Donovan struggled early in his pro career with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, but was popular during his two stints with Everton.

"Congratulations on a great career to (at)landondonovan as he announces he'll retire later this year. Part of EFC fabric," Everton tweeted from its official account.

Donovan has four goals and seven assists in 17 games for the Galaxy this season as a midfielder and a forward. He passed Jeff Cunningham for the career MLS goals record shortly after Klinsmann excluded him from the World Cup team.

His absence creates another hole for the LA club, which couldn't manage a third straight MLS title last season in its first year since Beckham's departure. But Donovan's retirement opens up a designated player spot for the Galaxy alongside leading scorer Robbie Keane and U.S. national team defender Omar Gonzalez.

Join the discussion

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Rob August 07 2014 at 8:09 PM

It's his version of "I'm taking the ball and going home" response to his snub from the world cup team.

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2 replies
ganderrrr Rob August 07 2014 at 8:17 PM

No..he'd have quit sooner if that was so. He's been very well treated by the Galaxy and by the USA's soccer fans, most of whom booed the World Cup coach for dropping him from the team.

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darkcloudstonite Rob August 07 2014 at 9:33 PM

when did you last speak with him ?

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1 reply
Rob darkcloudstonite August 08 2014 at 8:26 AM

Tuesday

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dejunokaitlyn August 07 2014 at 8:13 PM

Actually, Landon Donovan is NOT the top scorer in U.S. National Team history. Landon is the top MEN'S scorer for the U.S.
Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm are the top two leading goal scorers in U.S. history AND IN THE WORLD INCLUDING MEN AND WOMEN'S RECORDS. Please stop making such a sexist typo and give credit where it is due.

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2 replies
jechandle dejunokaitlyn August 08 2014 at 9:19 AM

Okay, I have daughters that play soccer at a high level, so you can curb the "sexist" allegations with me,
but there is no comparison between the women's and men's game. I've watched a lot of WMSL games this season, and to tell you the truth, the level of play is a disappointment.
Apples and oranges my friend.
And please, will Wambach retire? Her big galoot brute force bullying style of play just because she's bigger than most of the other women is holding back the women's game.

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timber1647 dejunokaitlyn August 08 2014 at 1:25 PM

I would concur, as a male and a father, that Mia Hamm is probably the best soccer player the US ever produced. I saw her play in Giants Stadium many years ago. It was like watching a "guy". She did things on the field that women aren't suppose to be able to do. Ya gotta give credit when credit is due.

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steel_nuts August 08 2014 at 8:37 AM

NOBODY CARES. GO PLAY A REAL SPORT

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1 reply
jechandle steel_nuts August 08 2014 at 9:24 AM

Stated like someone completely ignorant of the fact that nearly every sport that uses a ball has been derived from the original game of football (soccer).
The first game of basketball contrived by James Naismith was played with an Association football (soccer ball).
One word for you.
DUH!!

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jacks_sam August 07 2014 at 10:20 PM

Awesome to be the best at something no one cares about. I'm the best at making nose hair clippings into spoons but you don't see me giving press conferences about it.

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2 replies
steel_nuts jacks_sam August 08 2014 at 8:39 AM

No thats funny

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caminante4 jacks_sam August 08 2014 at 3:29 PM

Jacks, clip hair from your ass and all the world will be watching.

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cbstinc August 08 2014 at 11:21 AM

Just another example as how uneducated americans are with the outside world..

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2 replies
Pope John cbstinc August 08 2014 at 1:18 PM

Your statement reveals your ignorance about Americans. We know about the rest of the world.....we're usually busy pulling your butt out of some fire....we just don't care.

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caminante4 cbstinc August 08 2014 at 3:32 PM

Absolutly. Example: Basball World Series, and only American play. In the qualifiers for the World Soccer Cup more than 200 countries participated. That's WORLD.

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timber1647 August 08 2014 at 1:22 PM

With all due respect to Mr. Donovan, as he is of my gender, I suspect many soccer fans consider Mia Hamm to be the greatest American soccer player. Even if you discount the records she set, what she did to elevate the game in the US certainly puts her in the conversation.

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MERLIN August 08 2014 at 12:05 PM

try somthing American next time

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tahoeroby1 August 08 2014 at 11:55 AM

Really who cares, how many americans even know who this guy is??? Beside it is the real football season!!!

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1 reply
timber1647 tahoeroby1 August 08 2014 at 1:27 PM

Great point. Ms. Hamm vs Mr. Donovan.....can't imagine who would come out ahead. (LOL)

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Thomas August 08 2014 at 10:59 AM

Should have retired long ago

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Pope John August 08 2014 at 9:32 AM

The "Face of U. S. Soccer"......that's like being the world's tallest midget!

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1 reply
jechandle Pope John August 08 2014 at 10:42 AM

That's real similar to being a Mets fan, and claiming to like baseball.

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1 reply
Thomas jechandle August 08 2014 at 11:14 AM

At least the Mets have won 2 World Series, How many World Cups has Donovan won?

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