CHICAGO (Aug. 7, 2014) – U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan announced today he will retire from professional soccer at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
Donovan, 32, is the Men’s National Team all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (58) among a host of other records. A veteran of three FIFA World Cups, his five goals in World Cup matches are the most by any American player and he is the only American male to win the Golden Ball Award at a FIFA tournament, earning that honor at the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in 1999.
“When the story of the growth of U.S. Soccer is told, Landon Donovan will be one of the central figures,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “As a player, and as an ambassador, he is incredibly committed to the growth of the sport in this country. Landon achieved unprecedented success as he emerged as the face of U.S. Soccer, and helped bring the game to another level. His extraordinary accomplishments on the field are admired and respected both here and abroad. We look forward to celebrating his legacy.”
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Donovan has been named U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year a record four times (2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010), FIFA’s Best Young Player of the World Cup (2002), the CONCACAF Gold Cup MVP (2013) and to the Gold Cup Best XI four times (2002, 2003, 2005 and 2013).
Additionally, he is the all-time leading scorer in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with 18 goals, and he helped the U.S. to four of its five ever Gold Cup titles (2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013).
“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 told lagalaxy.com. “It has been more than anything I could have dreamed of to represent the LA Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes, Everton, U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer throughout my career. 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.”