At 32, LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan announced that he is officially retiring after the season is done. On Aug. 7, the all-time leading scorer for US Men’s National Team held a press conference at the StubHub Center in Carson, Cali. to announce the news, before writing an emotional message on Facebook.
On Aug. 6, Landon Donovan was named MVP of his 14th MLS All-Star game in Portland. Then, the next day, the soccer star, who is known as one of the best in the business, announced that he was officially retiring after this season. Read his statement below.
Landon Donovan Retiring
Following the Galaxy’s MLS Cup title in Dec. 2012, Landon had announced he was taking a four-month sabbatical. Then last year, he announced he would return to the game, but on the very stage he made that announcement, he revealed he was leaving — for goosd.
“I think for the last few years, I haven’t had the same passion that I had previously in my career. To some extent, I had felt obligated to keep playing,” he said at the press conference. “It’s time to enjoy the rest of the season, and there would be no better way than to go out as a champion, so that’s what I want to do. All I could think is that if everyone only knew. It gets me excited thinking about it. For 16 years, almost every decision I’ve made, every hour of every day, has revolved around, ‘How is this going to prepare me for tomorrow’s training session or tomorrow’s game?’ Just having the freedom to do whatever you want is exciting, and I’m looking forward to that.”
It sounds like he may be able to go out as a champ. Coincidentally, the LA Galaxy’s next game is on Aug.8 against San Jose — the team he played for prior — and if starting, it will be his 300th MLS start.
As for what’s next, he simply said, “I absolutely want to work with kids.”
Landon’s Emotional Message
Landon took to Facebook to release an official statement to all of his fans:
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 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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Are you shocked that Landon’s retiring, HollywoodLifers? Do you think he’ll be back? Should he be done for good? Let us know!
— Emily Longeretta