Landon Donovan's return from retirement is over. The LA Galaxy announced that Donovan will not play in 2017 and will step away from the game for good.
Donovan retired after the 2014 season, going out as one of MLS's best players and with an MLS Cup in hand. He said he was burned out and didn't have the passion to play anymore. He wanted to move on and do other things with his life. Not long after he got married and in January of 2016 he became a father.
There were no indications that Donovan would end his retirement, but that's exactly what he did on September 8. Donovan said that after the Galaxy suffered a slew of injuries, a friend at the club joked that he should return to help them out. As he thought about it, he said he decided it would be fun to play again and that he really wanted to be able to hold his newborn son on the field after a match. That was an experience he'd never had before and it led him to rejoin the Galaxy.
Article continues below ...
Donovan played his first match back on September 11, making a short appearance off the bench. He scored in his next match, again as a sub, helping the Galaxy earn a draw. He'd go on to make two more appearances off the bench then start the team's final match of the regular season. Donovan then got the start in all three of the Galaxy's playoff games.
When Donovan first announced his comeback, he said he had made no decision regarding 2017 and beyond. He simply wanted to play and enjoy the moment. He'd worry about the future later on. Well, now he's thought about the future and decided it won't include being a professional soccer player anymore. He's back into retirement, still MLS and the USMNT's all-time leader in goals and assists.