By Joe Prince-Wright, Pro Soccer Talk
The greatest soccer player America has ever produced is bringing down the curtain on his fairytale career.
Landon Donovan will retire from soccer at the age of 32 following the 2014 Major League Soccer season.
In a statement via his own Facebook page Donovan confirmed he will retire. Donovan’s club, LA Galaxy, have called a 5 p.m. ET press conference where they will announce the decision officially.
ESPN analyst and former New England Revolution and U.S national team player, Taylor Twellman, sent out this tweet and several other sources have apparently confirmed that Donovan will call it quits when the current season ends.
“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 said. “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”
Donovan then thanked the fans of U.S. soccer, as he hailed their influence and support of MLS and what it has become today.
“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,” Donovan said. “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.”
So, Donovan has brought his illustrious career to an end much earlier that many had expected. Was it being left out of the 2014 World Cup squad? Father time finally catching up with him? Or just a realization that there’s more to life than playing soccer? Whatever made his mind up, Donovan’s name will be etched into the history books of American soccer.
He has spent over 14 years in MLS as the face of the league, plus had stints overseas in Germany and England. He is the all-time leading scorer in MLS history, for the U.S. national team and will be remebered as the finest player of his generation.