The all-time leading scorer for the U.S. national team and in MLS is wrapping a career that saw him win five MLS Cups and go to three World Cups.
The most prolific scorer in MLS and U.S. national team history is calling it a career.
LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan will retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season, the club announced Thursday. With five MLS Cups and three World Cup appearances, the 32-year-old will wrap up what arguably is the greatest career in the history of American soccer.
"I am sad to leave a profession that has brought me so much joy," Donovan wrote in an open letter. "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. I will miss my coaches, at both the club and national team levels, who have helped me develop throughout my career and helped make me the player I am today.
"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."
Donovan is the U.S. national team's all-time leader with 57 goals and 58 assists, and he is second with 156 caps. He represented the USA at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, scoring five goals — including the stoppage-time winner against Algeria four years ago that sent the Americans to the round of 16.
The midfielder-forward also has won four Gold Cup titles with the USA, and helped lead the squad to second place at the 2009 Confederations Cup.
Donovan has compiled 138 goals in the MLS regular season, and his 22 playoff tallies also are first in league history. The 2008 MLS MVP and Golden Boot winner's 124 assists rank second all time.
After playing four seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes on loan from Bayer Leverkusen from 2001 to 2004, Donovan transferred to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the 2005 campaign. During the past decade with the Galaxy, the California native went on loan to Bayern Munich and had two temporary spells with Everton.
Donovan appeared in his 14th All-Star game Wednesday, scoring the winner against Bayern Munich en route to match MVP honors.
His bid for a fourth World Cup appearance came to an unceremonious end in May, when he was controversially left off Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man roster. He later served as an ESPN analyst for the tournament.
"I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have played a role in the remarkable growth of MLS and US Soccer during my playing career," Donovan wrote. "And while my career as a player will soon be over, rest assured I will stay connected on many levels to the beautiful game.
"As we enter a transformative time for the sport, I will do everything I can to help the continued growth of soccer in the United States. I look forward to making a difference, pursuing my passions and meeting all of you along the way in this next phase of my life."