Landon Donovan accomplished much during his MLS and USMNT careers. He saddened many when he announced his retirement, which started after the 2014 MLS season. He went out on top with the LA Galaxy in 2014 and was there on Friday for their 2015 season opener. He spoke with his former squad after the match about his offseason, enjoying retirement, and the 2014 MLS Cup.
No one has accomplished more in MLS than Donovan. There’s a reason why the league honored him before the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and named the MLS MVP trophy in his honor. Likewise, he had a storied USMNT tenure than ended in controversial fashion as he wasn’t called up for the 2014 World Cup roster.
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Nonetheless, he went out a champion and one of, if not, the best players to grace both MLS and USMNT. Both organizations would be different if not for Donovan’s contributions over the years. In the video above, Donovan mentioned it was “the first time he genuinely missed it (StubHub Center and soccer in general).” It’s been almost three months since his retirement and he’s done much. Donovan got engaged, went on vacation and spent a lot of time with family. The latter two don’t happen much as a professional athlete.
For his sake, it’s good he’s able to enjoy the other side of things in life, while still missing soccer. This is not to say he will pull a Brett Farve and come back, but it would have been shocking for him to say retirement has been an easy adjustment. He won’t be too far from soccer as he will be a Fox Sports analyst this season. His role will see him as a studio analyst and most likely he will see tv time during pre-game, halftime, and post-game coverage.
On Friday during Unimas’ first MLS game of the season, Donovan also provided sound words about the game in Spanish. It wouldn’t be shocking if Donovan could see more air time with Unimas as he speaks Spanish well, but it would depend on his contract with Fox. Unimas probably had Donovan on Friday due to his attendance for the Galaxy’s season opener. Donovan probably won’t be at every Galaxy home game this season, but it was worthwhile seeing Donovan on Unimas pre-game.
For now, soccer fans must move on as it’s sinking in that Donovan is no longer playing in MLS. At the same time, Donovan enters a new era as a full-time soccer analyst.