MLS: Landon Donovan will retire at the end of the 2014 season

Landon Donovan will never be forgotten.

Landon Donovan will never be forgotten.

The greatest MLS and US soccer player is ready to walk away from the game.

Hours after scoring the game-winner against Bayern Munich, Landon Donovan announced that he will retire at the end of the season.

The 32-year-old forward released a statement on his Facebook page announcing that the 2014 will be his last as a professional soccer player.

In his statement, Donovan said, “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.”

Even though he is only 32 years old, his decision to retire shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Before the 2013, Donovan walked away from the game for a while. He made his way to Cambodia to enjoy his sabbatical from soccer.

“I didn’t have a specific explanation as to why I needed to get away. But I did have a gut feeling that said ‘You need some time,'” he said. “I was very aware that when I left it could have been the end of my career. But at the end of the day it was important for me to do that.”

Donovan decided that he wasn’t ready to hang up his boots, and he returned to LA Galaxy, but the damage was already done. After his furlough, Donovan and Jurgen Klinsmann were never really on the same page.

The German manager gave Donovan a chance to prove himself at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. And Donovan did not disappoint. He helped the US win the tournament by being the top scorer with five goals and seven assists.

However, his Gold Cup performance meant nothing because Klinsmann left him off the World Cup roster.

Nonetheless, the Ontario, California, native will go down in history as the greatest soccer player America ever produced. Since 2000, Dovovan has put on his country’s colors 156 times. He is also USMNT’s all-time leading scorer, 57 goals, and all-time assists leader with 58 helpers.

He represented the US in three World Cups, scoring five goals. He also scored two goals in eight Confederations Cup games.

Donovan has been the face of MLS since he made his debut in 2001 with the San Jose Earthquakes, and he’ll go down as the league’s most dignified player. He is the league’s all-time leading scorer, 138 goals, and he’s 11 assists away from being the all-time assists leader.

He is also the leading scorer in playoffs with 22 goals and has lifted the MLS Cup five times. On Wednesday, he became the leading scorer in MLS All-Star game history.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

Now that he has made his intentions known, we have to wait and see if Klinsmann will give him the proper sendoff. USMNT will play Czech Republic in Prague on Sept. 3, and there are rumors that San Antonio could host USA versus Colombia on Sept.9.

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