Landon Donovan is the most accomplished player in Major League Soccer and United States men's national team history, and at the end of the 2014 MLS season, he will walk away from professional soccer. The LA Galaxy star announced his decision on his Facebook page, where he explained why it's time for him to walk away from playing pro soccer.
I don't write these words lightly and this day carries mixed emotions for me. I am sad to leave a profession that has brought me so much joy ... 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.
We don't need to list all of Donovan's career accomplishments for you to get the picture, but we'll do it anyway: Three World Cups, five MLS Cups, four Gold Cups, an MLS MVP, six MLS best XI appearances and the all-time scoring records in MLS and for the USMNT.
Donovan came back from Europe to be the USMNT's biggest star in MLS a solid decade before that became cool, and he always had the same consistent message for all of his haters, especially those that referred to him as 'Landycakes'.
While it would have been very easy for Donovan to announce his retirement a few weeks ago and make the All-Star Game all about him, he decided to make his announcement the day after that contest, even though he's probably known he'll be walking away at the end of this season for quite some time. He was celebrated as the equal of his teammates, not as something above and beyond, and that happened because of a choice he made. That's pretty cool.
It wouldn't be a proper goodbye to Donovan without a video of his best moment as a professional. Here, in all its glory, is the best moment of his career. We'll miss you.