Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan announced Thursday he will retire at the end of the Major League Soccer 2014 season. After appearances at three World Cups and five MLS Cups, Donovan hands down is the best American player who has ever played the game. Below are his top 5 moments of his illustrious career:
1. Goal against Algeria in 2010 South Africa World Cup (June 23, 2010)
This goal still gives the whole country the chills. Because of Donovan’s 91st minute goal that beat Algeria 1-0, the national team clinched a spot to the quarterfinals. Not only is it the most memorable goal of Donovan’s career, but it also was for the national team. This moment helped boost popularity of soccer in the United States. The whole country went nuts.
2. Goal against Mexico in 2002 South Korea World Cup (June 17, 2002)
In Donovan’s World Cup debut, he lead the national team to its first-ever quarterfinals appearance. At 20, Donovan sealed the deal for the U.S. in a Round of 16 match against rival Mexico by scoring the second goal in the 65th minute. He was also awarded as the Best Young Player for his role in South Korea.
3. Donovan wins MLS MVP (Nov. 11, 2009)
The Galaxy’s all-time leading scorer had the one of his best seasons of his career in 2009, where he won his first-career MLS MVP. The Galaxy were unbeaten when Donovan scored at least one goal in a game. He led the team in goals (12)and assists (6). He also led the Galaxy to the 2009 MLS Cup, where they lost to Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks. His goal Aug. 8, 2009, against New England was MLS goal of the year.
4. Donovan becomes national team all-time leading scorer (Jan. 19, 2008)
He began his career with the national team in 1998, where he began to shine at an international level with the U-17 team. After a year with his first national team, Donovan was awarded the Golden Ball at the 1999 U-17 World Championships as the tournament’s best player. He made his debut in the World Cup in South Korea in 2002, where one of his goals ranked second on CBSLA’s Top 5 List. In 2009, Donovan surpassed Eric Wynalda as the national team all-time leading scorer with 33 goals after striking a penalty kick against Sweden.
5. Donovan wins 1st MLS Cup with Galaxy (Nov. 13, 2005)
After a frustrating 2005 season in Bundesliga, the Los Angeles Galaxy were able to pull off a trade to bring in the most decorated player in the history of U.S. soccer. Upon arrival, Donovan made a great impact to the team. Donovan lead the Galaxy to its first ever MLS Cup after scoring four goals with one assist in the 2005 playoffs. The 2005 MLS Cup was his third of five titles he has under his belt.