Landon Donovan to appear in USA farewell match in October
AUG 26, 2014 4:30p ET
Landon Donovan is expected to make his final appearance for the U.S. national team in a friendly against Ecuador on Oct. 10.
Donovan, 32, announced his intention to retire from professional soccer earlier this month. He missed out on a chance to appear in his fourth consecutive World Cup earlier this year, but U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday afternoon he will have the opportunity win his 157th and presumably final cap against the Ecuadorians in East Hartford, Conn.
"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," Donovan said in a statement. "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."
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said the federation wanted to honor Donovan for his contributions to the national team program. Donovan holds the national team record for both goals (57) and assists (58) after playing an integral role in the side since his full debut in 2000.
"For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field," Gulati said in a statement. "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.”
The match provides Donovan with one last chance to appear in an national team shirt and reunites him with U.S. national team manager Jürgen Klinsmann just months after Klinsmann omitted him from his roster for this summer’s trip to Brazil.
Donovan offered critical remarks in the wake of Klinsmann’s choice to leave him out of the 23-man squad, but the duo will need to find common ground long enough to navigate through this curtain call at Rentschler Field.
This match is the second affair in an expected four-match schedule for the U.S. national team this fall. The slate kicks off with a game against Czech Republic in Prague next Wednesday.