Landon Donovan is coming out of retirement to re-join the LA Galaxy for the remainder of the MLS season. The 34-year-old forward posted a message on social media explaining the reasons for making a comeback.
Donovan is held as one of the best US soccer players in history, and is the MLS all-time leading scorer with 169 league and playoffs goals. He retired in 2014 at age 32 after winning his record sixth MLS Cup (his fourth with the Galaxy). Donovan explained his reasons for coming out of retirement with a post on his Facebook page.
“Two weeks ago, I was working as an analyst on the LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps match and during that game, the Galaxy suffered injuries to three players: Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes. Over the next few days, Nigel De Jong was transferred to Galatasaray and news broke that Gyasi would be out for the rest of the season.
“Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy. I spoke with some of them that week and they jokingly asked if I was ready to make a return to the field to help fill some of the void left by the injuries and departures. I reminded them that I haven’t played a meaningful soccer game in almost two years and I certainly couldn’t fill the holes left by those players.
“Over the ensuing days, I began to think about their inquiries and it struck me that perhaps this is something I should consider. I care so deeply about the Galaxy organization, and I believe I could help in a small way to aid the team in its quest for a 6th MLS championship. Further, the opportunity to have my son Talon on the field with me after a game was a feeling that I would never be able to replicate.
“I then had a candid conversation with Bruce Arena and we began down the path of deciding whether this made sense. We both agreed that if this was going to happen, the expectations would be minimal and he would use me in situations that made sense for the team. I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with my family and close friends over the past several days, and we all agreed that this would be a wonderful opportunity and a win-win situation for everyone.”
Donovan could make his return on Sunday when the Galaxy takes on Orlando City SC at the StubHub Center.