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leave it all on the field

MLS star Landon Donovan announces his retirement from soccer

Fresh off a game-winning goal in last night's Major League Soccer All-Star Game, soccer superstar Landon Donovan has announced on his Facebook page that he will retire from professional soccer at the end of this season, his 14th in the MLS.

From Donovan's announcement:

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. 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 began his American professional career with the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS in 2001 when he arrived there on loan from German club Bayer Leverkusen. The San Jose Earthquakes went to the MLS Cup Championships that season (and again in 2003). Donovan then made his way to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2005, where he's stayed for nine years (spending a stint on loan with German club Bayern Munich and two with English Premiere League side Everton).

Donovan also represented the United States in international competition, joining the U17, U20, and U23 teams in addition to his time on the U.S men's national soccer team.