American Donovan to retire after 2014 MLS season

Thu Aug 7, 2014 7:08pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Simon Evans

(Reuters) - Landon Donovan, the United States' all-time top scorer, will retire from the game at the end of the current Major League Soccer season, the player said on Thursday.

"The time is right for me," Donovan, 32, told a news conference at his LA Galaxy team's headquarters after issuing a retirement statement on the club's website earlier in the day. "My gut just told me it was right, that it was the right time."

Donovan, who played primarily for the Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes of MLS during a 16-year career that saw him become the face of the national team, said he had felt his desire for playing abate and that it was time to move on.

"The last few years I haven't had the same passion I had previously in my career," he said. "There's not that same passion, that same energy."

Donovan became the first American soccer player to be well-known internationally despite playing almost all of his career in North America.

The forward scored 57 goals in 156 games for the U.S national team but was controversially left off the 2014 World Cup squad earlier this year.

Donovan took a break from the game in early 2013 saying he was struggling to find motivation and needed some time away.

He said on Thursday he felt rejuvenated for a time, but came to realise he wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend, family and friends.   Continued...

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan (10) reacts after scoring his 136th MLS goal in the second half of the game against the Philadelphia Union at StubHub Center on May 25, 2014. USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea