[USA MEN]Landon Donovan will make one last appearance for the U.S. national team before he retires at the end of the 2014 MLS season. He will play in the USA's match against Ecuador on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut, its first home game since the 2014 World Cup from which Coach Jurgen Klinsmanncontroversially excluded him.
The game will not be a testimonial match per se, but U.S. Soccer's announcement six weeks ahead of time that Donovan will play in the match is unusual. And, of course, it comes after Klinsmann dropped him from the World Cup team and Donovan was vocal with his disappointment in the decision.
Curiously, the U.S. Soccer release included statements from U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who has been close with Donovan through the years, and Donovan but not from Klinsmann.
"For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field. We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home national team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he's provided over the years."
"Playing for the U.S. National Team has been a huge part of my career and I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to play for my country one last time. I'm so grateful to all the fans that have supported me and this game will give me the chance to say thank you to all of them. I look forward to a great evening and I'm thankful to U.S. Soccer for making this happen."
Klinsmann did tweet how "awesome" it would be for fans to show their appreciation for Donovan at the Ecuador match. It was Klinsmann's first acknowledgment of Donovan's retirement via Twitter.
Donovan will go into the match with 156 caps for the USA. He holds the U.S. records for the most goals (57) and assists (58).
The only other games the USA has scheduled so far are at the Czech Republic next Wednesday and against Ireland in Dublin in November. Klinsmann's lineup is expected to consist of mostly European-based players for those two matches.