Aug 26, 2014, 4:27 PM EST
Landon Donovan’s walking away from the game at the end of the regular season, but before he hangs up his boots, U.S. Soccer is going to do right by him. As announced today by the federation, Landon Donovan will be called up for the men’s national team’s Oct. 10 friendly in East Hartford, Conn., against Ecuador.
Donovan announced his impending retirement earlier this month, with a spring cut from the U.S.’s World Cup roster leaving it unclear whether the men’s national team’s all-time leading scorer would have another change to wear his nation’s colors. With today’s announcement, the 32-year-old will get an opportunity to build on the 57 goals and 58 assists he’s collected in 156 appearances for his country.
“Playing for the U.S. National Team has been a huge part of my career and I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to play for my country one last time,” Donovan said, in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “I’m so grateful to all the fans that have supported me and this game will give me the chance to say thank you to all of them.”
Though the U.S. is scheduled to play in Europe next month, the Oct. 10 date will be its first game on home soil since leaving for this summer’s World Cup.
“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home National Team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”
Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) August 26, 2014
All of a sudden those 40,000 tickets at Rentschler Field become a much hotter commodity, but even for those who can’t get to East Hartford, the call up gives an entire nation a chance to celebrate its biggest soccer icon. From Tim Howard to Mia Hamm, from Abby Wambach to Clint Dempsey, the program has had other celebrities. None of them have occupied the same spotlight as Donovan.
“He consistently raised the bar for himself these last 15 years, and he set a fantastic example for so many other American players to follow,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “As one of the best players in U.S. Soccer history, Landon should be proud of everything he has accomplished.”
Via television, print, and social media, the outpouring of appreciation will be huge, with October’s focal point allowing all to focus its attentions on one, final, national team farewell. With six weeks to go until that send off, U.S. fans have plenty of time to figure out how they’ll honor the program’s defining figure.
Dec 26, 2014, 4:31 PM EST
Many high-flying striker arrivals in MLS can be met by a fair bit of caution, but Vancouver should be quite dangerous if Rivero can make it work.
Dec 26, 2014, 4:26 PM EST
Ronald Koeman is happy to be back in a Champions League place, but sees long road ahead for Southampton.
Dec 26, 2014, 3:45 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers feels Liverpool’s Old Trafford defeat may have been a turning point in the Reds’ season.
Dec 26, 2014, 3:19 PM EST
The Red Devils scored three but could’ve netted quite a few more in an easy win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.
Dec 26, 2014, 2:30 PM EST
Recaps, reaction, analysis and more from all 10 games in the PL on Boxing Day.
Dec 26, 2014, 2:23 PM EST
The Gunners climbed to within two points of fourth-place Southampton.
Dec 26, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Citizens not thinking about Chelsea, as their rampage continues.
Dec 26, 2014, 1:50 PM EST
The loss allowed Stoke to climb above the Toffees, who sit in 12th place.
Dec 26, 2014, 1:40 PM EST
New injury for Argentine ace, who suffers another setback.
Dec 26, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
Chelsea skipper, manager delighted with spirit.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:42 PM EST
Plenty of Premier League and Major League Soccer names are at play in today’s rumor mill.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:20 PM EST
Potters seal vital win, as Toffees lose two-straight for the first-time this season.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
Citizens stroll to victory in snowy conditions.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
Goals from Gaston Ramirez and James Chester allowed Hull City to make up for an ugly first-minute embarrassment and pull them out of the relegation zone.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:03 PM EST
Another set-piece beauty from Gylfi Sigurdsson put Swansea through for their first back-to-back wins since August.
Dec 26, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
Lloris was called upon several times late, and even bloodied by a late charge, but preserved the win.
Dec 26, 2014, 11:58 AM EST
Raheem Sterling continues to score in Brendan Rodgers’ new system and it was enough to put Liverpool through despite not their best showing.
Dec 26, 2014, 11:54 AM EST
Saints climb into the Champions League spots after second-straight win.
Dec 26, 2014, 11:51 AM EST
Wayne Rooney scored a pair of goals and set up Robin van Persie for another as Manchester United cruised past undermanned Newcastle by a 3-1 margin.
Dec 26, 2014, 11:37 AM EST
Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker are part of QPR’s 3-man back line for the match.
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