[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
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):