Donovan: 'I feel incredibly blessed and lucky'

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Landon Donovan, the greatest American soccer player, revealed Thursday that he will retire from soccer at the end of the 2014 MLS season with the LA Galaxy. Donovan, 32, holds the MLS records for most goals in the regular season (138) and playoffs (22) and is the U.S. national team's all-time leader in both goals (57) and assists (58).

Donovan's announcement came via a statement he wrote on his Facebook page:

"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.

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. I will miss all of the teammates who helped me create so many incredible memories on-the-field, and who I have shared many wonderful experiences with off-the-field. I will miss my coaches, at both the club and national team levels, who have helped me develop throughout my career and helped make me the player I am today. However, after spending half my life as a professional soccer player, I also am excited to begin a new chapter and pursue other opportunities that will challenge me and allow me to grow as a person.

There are so many people I want to thank who have inspired me, guided me and helped me on this incredible journey. I simply could not have accomplished what I did during my playing career without an overwhelming amount of support from my family, my friends and many others. I plan to express my gratitude to everyone in a more detailed manner at a later date; however, for now, 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.

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.

As we enter a transformative time for the sport, I will do everything I can to help the continued growth of soccer in the United States. I look forward to making a difference, pursuing my passions and meeting all of you along the way in this next phase of my life."

The announcement came just hours after Donovan scored the winning goal in a dramatic 2-1 win for the MLS all-stars over Bayern Munich in an intense A&A MLS All-Star Game. The goal was his sixth in MLS All-Star Game play -- yet another record.

Watch Landon Donovan Press Conference at 2 pm PT (5 pm ET):

19 comments about "Donovan: 'I feel incredibly blessed and lucky'".
  1. cisco martinez, August 7, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

    LD is by far one of the best American products that we've ever produced. I am fortunate enough to say that I had 4-5 friends that were on the U-17 National Team with him in New Zealand and had the distinct honor of marking him while he was a youth once and in college when we played the Quakes yearly. Landon Donovan gave this country so much to be proud of and am still upset that Klinsmann didn't give him one last shot at the World Cup.

  2. Donald Barg, August 7, 2014 at 4:20 p.m.

    Me too cisco.I agree with you on all fronts. I'll wager LD would have done better than Wondo during the last few minutes of the Belgium game.
    Not to discredit the job that JK is doing and will do but I thought the exclusion was petty on JK's part and probably a little retribution for what happened at Bayen but that's soccer!

  3. Edgar Soudek, August 7, 2014 at 5:53 p.m.

    Just as many of us fans said after Klinsmann left Donovan out of his world-cup roster: 'what did that idiot Klinsmann do?" Without a doubt Donovan would have been a game-changer(as he has shown to be so many times before in pressure situations) against Germany, and assuredly Belgium! Too bad none of his long-time team-mates had the guts toi speak up, and say what they must have felt in their souls: "Stupid move Klinsmann!" And yet, Donovan showed great class during his summary dismissal, far greater than Klinsmann will ever be able to muster!

  4. Charles Stamos, August 7, 2014 at 6:35 p.m.

    I wish LD well in whatever endeaver he takes on next. I'm not sure it will be in the broadcast booth, possibly more likely a field coach. He deserves some accolades for the great career that he had. Good luck with the next one.

  5. cony konstin, August 7, 2014 at 7 p.m.

    LD I remember just yesterday asking your mom to see if she would let you go to Bolivia with me to play in the Tahuichi Mundialito. Good Luck in what ever you decide to do. Thank you for loving soccer and loving your country. USA One Day!

  6. Gus Keri, August 7, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.

    Thanks for the wonderful memories, Landon. You will be for ever remembered as the greatest American soccer player of his generation and one of the greatest this country has ever had.

  7. John Soares, August 7, 2014 at 8:49 p.m.

    The WC may have come and gone... but it doesn't change the bad and vindictive decision jk made. Donovan, "arguably" the very best American player yet. I hope his future is as successful as his playing career was. Sorry to see him leave.

  8. Allan Lindh, August 7, 2014 at 9:39 p.m.

    He was one of the five best to ever pull on a US jersey, and Lord knows we will all miss him. He never got to go to college, probably didn't really finish HS. He's a smart guy -- I hope he goes to college, gets to round out his life, and find something really productive to do with his life. Soccer after all is just a game,not a life.

  9. Kent James, August 7, 2014 at 9:39 p.m.

    The 2014 WC should have been Donovan's swan song, and I have no doubt he would have risen to the occasion, as he has so many times throughout his career. Donovan is a unique personality, and a great player. He has always gone his own way, but he has also helped soccer grow in the US more than almost any other person. He's always been honest, humble and a hard worker, in addition to showing the kind of soccer creativity that the US needs to replicate. While I will certainly miss him as a player, I'm glad to hear he'll remain part of the game, and only hope his positive influence will continue to grow. Maybe he can be JK's assistant...(sorry, had to throw that out there!).

  10. Gak Foodsource, August 7, 2014 at 10:11 p.m.

    Congrats, Landon. Best American player we've ever produced. Don't spend too much time in the booth though - we need you out here showing kids the joy of pickup!

  11. Daniel Clifton, August 7, 2014 at 11:38 p.m.

    I am surprised at how emotional I am about Donovan retiring. I am not sure I realized how much I have enjoyed watching him play over the years. I also appreciate that he did it in a way that was right for him. All those years of people criticizing him for not sticking it out in Europe. Who the hell cares. Look at all of these Americans who go to Europe to sit on the bench and get no real chance (Johnson, Shea). Donovan wouldn't stand for it. Why should he? MLS is getting stronger and stronger. Donovan has been a big part of that development. I am going to miss him more than I realized.

  12. Andres Yturralde, August 7, 2014 at 11:52 p.m.

    Landon Donovan. When you need him.

  13. Tim Gibson, August 8, 2014 at 7:53 a.m.

    Thx LD, that was great....totally agree Ric = NEXT!

  14. ROBERT BOND, August 8, 2014 at 8:19 a.m.

    Klinsman will always be remembered for his pettiness in the WC, putting all his eggs in Altidore's unpredictable basket.......was at the match Wednesday, much as I hated to see it, great goal, LD....

  15. Richard Groeneveld, August 8, 2014 at 11:53 a.m.

    The media should not drive player selection. That is an issue they have in many other countries (many of the countries that should have done better at the world cup). We need to leave player selection to the coaching staff. The only people who should comment are the ones who participated in the training camp from which the players were picked. We had a great World Cup and the players who went did well, we should be proud of our team.

  16. Santiago 1314, August 8, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

    @Richard... "Jane, !!! You Ignorant SLxT"... This is AMERICA, And we can comment on anything we want!!!.. Landon or Wondo,,??? Landon or Donovan,,??? Landon or Donovan infront of the Goal,,??? JUST SAYING!!! JK, Donovan just Showed you UP... And he got his Revenge on Bayern.. At Least have the Cajones to give him a Testimonial Game,,, Maybe you can bring Boyd, as Back-up this time... JK, You screwed up Years of Preparation by Leaving off Donovan and Substitute for Jozy... Man Up and Admit it... USA played Below Potential, because Bradley and Dempsey were forced to play out of Position...And that is Directly on Klinsmann ...Sorry Richard, I'll go sit in the Corner and be in "Time Out"

  17. John Soares, August 8, 2014 at 3:49 p.m.

    Richard; Of course player selection is, should be and obviously "was" up to the coaching staff. That does not mean they don't make mistakes. Problem here is this was not a mistake, but an "I'll show you"!
    REALLY: We should not comment!? What world do you live in? There thousands of people making a living off sports comments and soliciting comments from fans, EVERY sport. One more; the Donovan issue in no way takes away from cheering, supporting and being proud of the our team (that went/played). Although related DIFFERENT issues.

  18. Tim Gibson, August 9, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.

    I don't understand why this is still being debated? It's obvious now, even Landon knows he didn't have it anymore & he's done, JK simply saw it sooner. The world cup tournament, with the potential for many tough games in a short time is no place for any1 contemplating the end. It's a younger mans game and our team especially needs fresh legs now. It made no sense bringing a vet that could only be used as a sub in Brazil. Yea, LD might have been better than a few chosen ahead of him, but JK is looking ahead to 2014. Judge him after that. Thx LD for several good years of carrying our colors, please continue your career in Soccer sharing your leadership with the youth coming thru the system, your experience there is greatly needed. Good Luck!

  19. I w Nowozeniuk, August 9, 2014 at 11:33 a.m.

    LD's era is coming to an end, and IMHO, a very talented player who accomplished much, but could have done more. For me, he lacked that total passion and dedication on a consistent basis. His performances were either outstanding or good, yet lacking the consistency of great players.

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