Landon Donovan, long considered one of the country’s most dominant soccer players, announced Thursday he is coming out of retirement and will rejoin the Los Angeles Galaxy for the remainder of the Major League Soccer season.
Donovan, 34, retired after the 2014 season.
In an announcement posted on his Facebook page, Donovan said he decided to return after watching the Galaxy fall victim to a series of injures to key players, including Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes.
“Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy,” he wrote. “I spoke with some of them that week and they jokingly asked if I was ready to make a return to the field to help fill some of the void left by the injuries and departures.”
He noted that he has not played for nearly two years and likely could no longer fill the shoes of the injured players, but he believes “I could help in a small way to aid the team in its quest for a 6th MLS championship.”
Donovan said he spoke to head coach Bruce Arena and “we both agreed that if this was going to happen, the expectations would be minimal and he would use me in situations that made sense for the team.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with my family and close friends over the past several days, and we all agreed that this would be a wonderful opportunity and a win-win situation for everyone,” he wrote.
Donovan has scored an MLS record 144 goals and has 136 assists. He is the U.S. Men’s National Team’s all-time leading scorer with 57 goals and 58 assists, making him the only American player to have both 50 goals and assists. He played in three FIFA World Cups, and his five goals in those tournaments are the most by any American player.
His omission from the U.S. roster for the 2014 World Cup made headlines across the soccer world.
The Ontario native began his MLS career in 2001 with the San Jose Earthquakes. He joined the Galaxy in 2005. He has also played on loan with Bayern Munich and Everton.
Last year, the MLS renamed its most valuable player award the Landon Donovan MVP Award.
–City News Service
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