Thursday, November 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Landon Donovan says he’ll retire after season

Landon Donovan

In this Aug. 6, 2014, photo, Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan reacts on the pitch after he scored the winning goal of the MLS All-Star match against Bayern Munich in Portland, Ore. Donovan said Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 that he is retiring from professional soccer at the end of the MLS season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By
From page B8 | August 08, 2014 |

CARSON — A year after Landon Donovan returned to soccer, he realized he had lost his passion for the sport again. This time, the best player in American history decided to walk away for good.

The 32-year-old Donovan announced Thursday he will retire from professional soccer at the end of the MLS season, wrapping up the most prolific career in the league’s history with one last run at a championship with the LA Galaxy.

“I think for the last few years, I haven’t had the same passion that I had previously in my career,” Donovan said at the Galaxy’s stadium. “To some extent, I had felt obligated to keep playing. … It’s time to enjoy the rest of the season, and there would be no better way than to go out as a champion, so that’s what I want to do.”

Donovan is the top goal-scorer in MLS history and the top scorer in U.S. national team history, excelling as a forward and a midfielder. He was even named the most valuable player of his 14th MLS All-Star game on Wednesday night in Portland, scoring a goal in the All-Stars’ 2-1 win over Bayern Munich, only to make his stunning retirement announcement the next day.

“All I could think is that if everyone only knew,” Donovan said with a grin.

Donovan, a five-time MLS champion with the Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes, made his retirement announcement on the same stage where he agreed to a multiyear contract extension with the Galaxy just a year ago, pronouncing himself revitalized after an extended sabbatical.

He took several months off following the Galaxy’s second straight MLS Cup title alongside now-retired David Beckham in December 2012. Donovan traveled extensively during his time off, and he plans to see even more of the world after his career ends this fall.

“It gets me excited thinking about it,” Donovan said. “For 16 years, almost every decision I’ve made, every hour of every day, has revolved around, ‘How is this going to prepare me for tomorrow’s training session or tomorrow’s game?’ Just having the freedom to do whatever you want is exciting, and I’m looking forward to that.”

Donovan has been a key component of MLS’ impressive growth during his 14 years in the top North American league. After he struggled for playing time at Bayer Leverkusen as a teenager, he chose to pursue a pro career in his native California instead of Europe, adding a marquee attraction to the then-struggling league.

“There is no doubt that Major League Soccer would not be what it is today without Landon Donovan,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “His decision to join MLS in 2001 was a statement to the entire soccer community, at the most crucial time in our history, that MLS could be a league of choice for the best American players. Landon is to MLS what Michael Jordan was to the NBA, Wayne Gretzky was to the NHL and Tiger Woods was to the PGA Tour: a player whose sporting accomplishments and popularity transformed their respective leagues and set a new standard for how the game would be played.”

Donovan said his decision wasn’t spurred by his omission from his fourth U.S. World Cup team this summer. He was surprised and disappointed by coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision, feeling he had done enough in training camp to warrant inclusion.

“I certainly wasn’t going to allow one person’s poor choice this summer to affect a decision like this,” Donovan said.

Donovan is the career U.S. leader with 57 international goals over 156 appearances, and he has scored five World Cup goals, including his famed stoppage-time goal against Algeria four years ago to send the Americans to the second round. He watched the American team in Brazil from afar as a television commentator.

“Quite simply the best player ever to wear the USMNT jersey,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati posted on his Twitter account.

Donovan has no concrete plans for his long-term future in soccer, but he is eager to work with young players in the Galaxy’s academy training program.

“Landon’s legacy is secure with the Galaxy,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein, Donovan’s former teammate and roommate. “So to be able to celebrate that for the rest of the year in terms of how he goes out will be great. When he decides what it is that he wants to do and where he wants to put his heart and energy next, we’ll be there to talk about that.”

Donovan has played for the Galaxy since 2005, also going on loan to Everton and Bayern Munich during the Galaxy’s offseason. Donovan struggled early in his pro career in Europe, but was popular during his two stints with Everton.

“Congratulations on a great career to @landondonovan as he announces he’ll retire later this year. Part of EFC fabric,” Everton tweeted from its official account.

Donovan has four goals and seven assists in 17 games for the Galaxy this season as a midfielder and a forward. He passed Jeff Cunningham for the career MLS goals record shortly after Klinsmann excluded him from the World Cup team.

His absence creates another hole for the LA club, which couldn’t manage a third straight MLS title last season in its first year since Beckham’s departure. But Donovan’s retirement opens up a designated player spot for the Galaxy alongside leading scorer Robbie Keane and U.S. national team defender Omar Gonzalez.

After a lifetime spent in practices and games, Donovan sees his departure as another step in his personal evolution into whatever person he decides to be outside soccer. His decision to leave the Bundesliga for MLS as an unhappy teenager was unpopular, and Donovan knows many fans won’t understand his early retirement.

“Sometimes there’s a sense of obligation in people’s lives, the sense that you have to do something,” Donovan said. “I’ve never lived that way. I have to live the life I want to live, and that’s an important thing to go by.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Middle Green Valley plan moves forward

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

     
    Veterans ready to serve Thanksgiving dinner

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New focus on achievement gap of black males

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
    Vacaville art gallery schedules open house

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

    What’s the matter with Kansas Street?

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 10 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sandbags available in advance of storms

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Governments shut doors for holiday

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun police log: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Weather for Nov. 27, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

     
    .

    US / World

    Passengers in Russia’s Arctic give airliner a push

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Court: No warrant needed to draw parolees’ blood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Armored vehicle nixed by Davis ends up in Woodland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Snow makes Thanksgiving travel ‘a little hairy’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Union focuses on security guards at Apple

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Homeless man beaten to death in San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Obama administration sets stricter smog standard

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Obama gets the bill for White House Thanksgiving

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Heart stent for Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, 81

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    American among hostages targeted in Yemen raid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Sierra Leone official: Ebola may have reached peak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Hong Kong police arrest key protesters, clear site

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Canada police arrest ex-radio host in sex case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Spy balloons give police new view of Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Grand jury documents rife with inconsistencies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

    Small crowd protests in Oakland for third night

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

     
    Ferguson residents clean up, hope for calm night

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

    Prosecutor faces new criticism over Ferguson case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Nov. 27, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Community Calendar: Nov. 27, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscope for Nov. 27, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    Nursing homes full of opportunities for giving

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Hanks, wife to host Christmas tree lighting

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    With shake-ups, AC/DC perseveres with album, tour

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    875 hours of holiday programming on TV last year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    Missing model-restaurateur B. Smith found in NYC

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    Garth Brooks cites Ferguson for cancellation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    University in Tennessee cancels Cosby appearance

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Sports

    Seahawks, 49ers meet for 1st time this season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Panda heads put away with Sandoval’s departure

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    All City football: Vikings sweep top honors

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    San Francisco’s bid for 2024 Olympics taking shape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    NFL might not flex any Sunday night games in 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Curry, 3s too much for Magic; Warriors win 111-96

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Sharks sign emergency backup goalie

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Spurs’ Popovich undergoes medical procedure

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    AP source: Tomas in process of deal with D’backs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Harden leads Rockets past Kings 102-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Smith to start at QB for Jets vs. Dolphins on MNF

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Butler knocks off No. 5 North Carolina, 74-66

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    RG3 benched: Redskins to start Colt McCoy vs. Indy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Raiders’ Woodson expects to play in 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Atletico Madrid, Arsenal reach knockout phase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Business

    FBI data show thousands of gun sales beat checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    US new home sales up 0.7 percent in October

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Twitter now tracks other apps you’ve installed

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    Health insurance sign-ups coming to shopping malls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Esther Ringler

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Dora Maria Aranda

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Adrian Looy

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Holiday Gift Guide 2014

    Why millennials prefer electronic gift cards

    By The Washington Post | From Page: HGG2

    How to give holiday gift cards

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG2

    How to establish gift spending limits

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG3

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG3

    Novice crafter? There’s a project for that!

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG6

    Gift ideas for the special seniors in your life

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG6

    Time and money-saving holiday gift ideas

    By Statepoint Media | From Page: HGG7

    Oy vey, holidays! Does Hanukkah wannabe Christmas?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG7

    How to save on high-tech gifts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG10

    Shop top finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG11

    Sharing music: a personal gift made easy by tech

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG12

    Great gifts for music lovers

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG13

    Kitchen gift-giving made easy with personality profiles

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

    Great gifts for the family foodie

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

    Holiday shows abound in Solano County

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: HGG17

    Great gifts for people who love to read

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG19

    An oft-elusive yet gifty treat: coffee table books

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG19

    Steps to take before giving pets as gifts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    2014 holiday toy predictions

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Eco-friendly gift ideas for ‘green’ giving

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Things to consider before buying this holiday season

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Trend-setting gifts for the women on your holiday shopping list

    By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG23

    Gifts to keep kids engaged

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG25

    Gift wrap tricks to save time

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG26

    Save time and energy with a family gift this holiday season

    By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG27

    Gift exchange dos and don’ts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30

    Right at Home: gifts you can use – and use up

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG30

    How to send gifts to faraway friends and family

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30