Landon Donovan To Retire From Pro Soccer At Season’s End

Landon Donovan has thought it over again. This time, he means it.

USA Today’s For The Win website reports that Donovan posted a message to his Facebook page:

“After careful deliberation and after many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last season as a professional soccer player… I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have played a role in the remarkable growth of MLS and US Soccer during my playing career. 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’s decision gives him one last chance to win an MLS championship with his current team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Donovan has had success here, both with the Galaxy and with the San Jose Earthquake, winning championships in both cities. Donovan’s MLS career is most impressive. Donovan is America’s all-time leading goalscorer in World Cups and MLS’ all-time leading goalscorer, a feat he accomplished despite playing much of his career as a wide player and not a pure striker. Donovan won the MLS Cup five times with two different teams, won the Supporters’ Shield (best regular season record) twice, and was twice named MLS All-Star Game MVP, including winning the award after scoring the game-winning goal against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Donovan has stated his dismissal from the United States National Men’s soccer team was not a factor in his decision to retire. He was surprised and disappointed by coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision, feeling he had done enough in training camp to warrant inclusion.

“I certainly wasn’t going to allow one person’s poor choice this summer to affect a decision like this,” Donovan said.

“Landon’s legacy is secure with the Galaxy,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein, Donovan’s former teammate and roommate. “So to be able to celebrate that for the rest of the year in terms of how he goes out will be great. When he decides what it is that he wants to do and where he wants to put his heart and energy next, we’ll be there to talk about that.”

As for future plans, ABC News is reporting Donovan has no concrete plans for his future, but he is eager to work with young players in the Galaxy’s academy training program. “I think in some capacity I want to coach. I’ll certainly want to take some time to relax and get away from this world a little bit. Broadcasting has always seemed interesting to me, and enjoyable. I’m not exactly sure,” he said. “But I’ll try a lot of things.”