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Landon Donovan May Be Retired, After All

February 5th, 2017 · No Comments · Football, Galaxy, Landon Donovan, soccer

Is Landon Donovan’s playing career over?

It may be, and not necessarily because he prefers it that way.

First, the LA Galaxy in December said Donovan had retired — after the club could not come to terms with him.

Donovan remained quiet, however, and then came a reported offer from Real Salt Lake. That alleged deal was on the verge of happening, or so we heard, for weeks … until it broke down late last month, according to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated.

The lack of followup on that cryptic bit of news (not sourced but from a reliable journalist), from Utah publications to the wider internet, seems to suggest a lack of interest among journalists on how the deal broke down — as well as what might be next for the greatest scorer in Major League Soccer and U.S. National Team history.

Which is a bit alarming, too, for those who hoped to see Donovan continue his career into his age 35 season.

The silence is deafening.

Wahl’s one-sentence “it ain’t happening” declaration was picked up by Utah news outlets — which as far as I can tell went no further in pursuing the story.

There had been reported suggestions that RSL’s attempt to sign Donovan to a “lucrative” contract collapsed because of the difficulty of overcoming MLS’s byzantine rules about what clubs can and cannot do with various descriptions of players.

If that is so, would it be any easier for another club to sign him?

And how much interest might there be with MLS preseason camps already in swing around the league? Declining, we would have to say.

Would Donovan consider playing in another country or at a lower level domestically? The answers would be “unlikely, for a guy who always preferred to play in the U.S.” and “never”.

So, did he just retire without the “R” word being used? Did soccer decide for him?

A month ago, it was reported that an “unnamed Eastern Conference” MLS club also was interested in Donovan, but the longer he goes without regular training, the less likely it seems that his 2016 comeback to the game will continue in 2017.

And what does the player say?

Here are the only Donovan quotes pertaining to the topic that I can find, and they come from January 15, at an awards ceremony.

This bit of a larger Q&A was posted by

On whether he has made a decision yet about playing in 2017, or if he’s close to making one:

I would say close, but still up in the air at this point.

On the pros and cons of coming back:

Yeah … I can get into that more after I make a decision.

On whether he has given himself a deadline:

Well, if I was going to play in MLS this season, the preseason starts in a few weeks, so it would have to happen pretty quickly.

On what impact his wife and soon-to-be-one-year-old son will have on the decision:

As any married man knows, at best you have 49 percent say in any decision. Obviously, your family plays into these things a lot, and that’s certainly a factor.

On whether he has kept himself in good shape during the offseason:

Clearly not [he said pointing at himself]. No, I’m just kidding. I’m always active, I always work out and try to stay fit, as a general statement. But that versus “soccer fit” is very different, as you know.

On how he thinks he played after coming out of retirement in 2016:

I think given the circumstances, probably a little better than I would have expected. But not at the level that I had been accustomed to. Obviously, there’s a lot of factors in that. But I enjoyed it, and it was good to spend some time back in that environment. It was invigorating in that way, and enjoyable, and kind of without the pressure of before. So I enjoyed it.

On whether there are specific teams he wants to play for, and whether that might impact his decision to return to the field this year:

There’s a lot of things that go into every possible scenario, right? If a team in China called and said, “We want you to play,” then some of the factors change, including financial and how to take care of your family, security, etc. Every interest that has been shown has different challenges and different factors involved.


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