The 32-year-old Donovan has had a glittering carer, playing in three World Cups and he leaves as the United States all time leading goalscorer 57 goals and four Gold Cup winners medals.
Closer to home Donovan has won the MLS Cup five times with two different teams, won the Supporters’ Shield (best regular season record) twice, and was twice named MLS All-Star Game MVP, including winning the award after scoring the game-winning goal against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Explaining his decision via his Facebook page, Donovan said:
“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 am also excited to begin a new chapter and pursue other opportunities that will challenge me and allow me to grow as a person.”
Hinting he will remain in football in some capacity, Donovan added:
“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.”
Despite his accomplishments, heading into the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a significant portion of Sam’s Army was not sold on Donovan. The knock on him was that he went missing in the big games. That talk ended against Algeria in the final seconds of the game when Donovan scored to win the match and help the Americans’s top their World Cup group for the first time since 1930.
The World Cup is the biggest stage in the World and Donovan has performed under the brightest lights. He has five World Cup goals to his name, more than Rooney and Ronaldo combined.
To me he is the best American born player ever. He won everything he could domestically, many times, and was the star on the national team for most of the last decade.