Former U.S. men’s national team captain Landon Donovan’s career in soccer will soon come to an end. The 32-year-old player announced Thursday that he plans to retire from professional competition at the end of this Major League Soccer season.
After careful deliberation, I have decided that this will be my last season as a professional soccer player https://t.co/UuxXkXlYi1
— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) August 7, 2014
Donovan, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, posted a statement explaining his decision on Facebook. The Galaxy will formally announce his retirement at a Thursday afternoon press conference.
“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,” Donovan wrote. “I don't write these words lightly and this day carries mixed emotions for me. I am sad to leave a profession that has brought me so much joy.”
“I will miss all of the teammates who helped me create so many incredible memories on-the-field, and who I have shared many wonderful experiences with off-the-field,” he added. “I will miss my coaches, at both the club and national team levels, who have helped me develop throughout my career and helped make me the player I am today. However, 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 was a fixture as a forward on the United States men’s national team for more than a decade, competing in three World Cups. He will retire as America’s all-time leading scorer in international play, as well as the MLS’ all-time leading scorer. Donovan also played professionally for Bayer Leverkusen II, Bayern Munich and Everton.
United States men’s national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann shocked soccer fans in May when he announced that he had cut Donovan from the squad ahead of the 2014 World Cup. Instead, Donovan spent the event as an analyst for ESPN.