LOS ANGELES – Landon Donovan, the USA’s all-time top scorer who was left out of the national squad for the World Cup in Brazil, announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the MLS season.
“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,” Donovan said.
Donovan is one of the U.S.’ most-decorated footballers. He is the U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer with 57 goals and has also provided a record 58 assists.
He has also won 156 caps, putting him second in the country’s all-time list.
This is the second time in as many years the 32-year-old Donovan has announced he is stepping away from the game after he took an extended break early last year, saying he was struggling to find the energy to compete.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann then surprisingly left Donovan out of his squad for the World Cup.
“It has been more than anything I could have dreamed of to represent the L.A. Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes, Everton, U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer throughout my career,” Donovan added.
“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.”
Donovan leaves the game as the all-time leading scorer in Major League Soccer regular season play. He has 138 goals in 320 career games entering Friday’s contest with the San Jose Earthquakes.
The Los Angeles native has won five MLS Cups, in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012, and two MLS Supporters’ Shields, in 2010 and 2011, which is awarded to the team with the best regular season record.
A veteran of three World Cups, Donovan’s five goals at the World Cup finals are the most by any U.S. player.
He was awarded FIFA’s Best Young Player of the World Cup award in 2002 as well as CONCACAF Gold Cup MVP honors in 2013.
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