U.S. legend Donovan ends retirement, returns to LA Galaxy

Landon Donovan (pictured), shown in a 2013/14 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League game at Mexico's Club Tijuana, ended his retirement on September 8, 2016, announcing he'll play again for the LA Galaxy. (Photo: Mexsport)

CARSON, California -- The most accomplished men's player in United States soccer history has decided to come out of retirement for the rest of the Major League Soccer season.

Landon Donovan announced Thursday that he will return to the LA Galaxy and will be eligible for selection Sunday, when the five-time Major League Soccer champion hosts Orlando City SC at the StubHub Center.

The 34-year-old decided to return to the club after several players suffered injuries, including Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes (out for the season).

"An opportunity opened up and after discussing it with those close to me, it felt like the right decision to return to a club that has meant so much to me," Donovan said. "I am very excited to be back and I will do everything I can to help the Galaxy, both on and off the field.”

Donovan, who has personally won the MLS Cup six times (twice with the San Jose Earthquakes, four with the LA Galaxy), retired from soccer in 2014.

"Nothing would make me happier than standing on the field...celebrating the Galaxy’s 6th championship on December 10," he remarked. "I will do everything in my power to make that happen."

He is the USA’s all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (58).

In MLS, Donovan also holds MLS records for goals (144), assists (136) and playoff goals (25).

“I don’t think I need to tell anyone what Landon has accomplished in our sport,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena. “He’s truly been a great player. Now, Landon wishes to take on another challenge and I believe he has all the qualities necessary to be a player who can help the LA Galaxy in 2016.”

Donovan is also the all-time leading scorer in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with 18 goals, having been selected MVP in 2013 and to the competition's Best XI four times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2013). He was chosen as FIFA's Best Young Player of the 2002 World Cup.