Landon Donovan’s second comeback has been marred by an unforgettable experience with Mexican Liga MX side Club León.
In a meaningless game contested between two underperforming clubs already out of reach of the Playoffs, Club León defeated Guadalajara 2-0 on April 28. Landon Donovan was introduced into the game for Club León in the final 15 minutes of the contest against Guadalajara (Donovan has played 112 minutes collectively this season after six games).
Club León are believed to be paying Landon Donovan an estimated $185,000 per month ($46,250 a week). Since his high-profile arrival to Liga MX, Donovan has played six games and started just once this season for Club León.
Undisputedly, Landon Donovan’s biggest highlight for Club León was being at the forefront of a heated brawl with Chivas player, Isaac Brizuela.
After just six games with the seven time Liga MX champions, Landon Donovan arrived at Club León in January 2018 with much fan fare and expectations to improve a side which finished seventh place in the Liga MX last season.
The former Los Angeles Galaxy and United States Men’s National Team star, who is a California native, has in effect executed a futile comeback attempt.
If Donovan’s first comeback with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2016 was sincere and sentimental to assist the betterment of the Galaxy, Donovan’s second comeback with Club León has been underscored by temptation and adventure, particularly given Donovan’s so-so contributions since his arrival in Mexico.
Donovan was absent from the game for one year before coming out of retirement to announce his second comeback.
Donovan’s initial retirement in late 2014 as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy was the ultimate swansong for one of United States soccer’s finest ambassadors and talents.
Thereafter, Donovan come out of retirement nearly two years later with a return to the Los Angeles Galaxy. Donovan’s 2016 comeback was of vast necessity for the Galaxy, whereas the return was relatively fair for a then 34-year-old who had already lost a step.
Two years prior to Donovan’s 2016 comeback with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Jurgen Klinsmann controversially omitted Landon Donovan from the United States Men’s National Team squad for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014.
Donovan’s 2016 Major League Soccer season witnessed nine appearance and one goal, whereas the Los Angeles Galaxy finished third in the Major League Soccer Western Conference; the Los Angeles Galaxy were later eliminated in the 2016 MLS Cup Semi-Finals by the Colorado Rapids.
Los Angeles Galaxy announced on September 8, 2016 that forward Landon Donovan had come out of retirement to sign with the California-based 5-time MLS Cup Champions.
Donovan is highly regarded as the Los Angeles Galaxy’s all-time greatest player and one of the greatest United States players in history.
Major League Soccer officially renamed its prestigious Most Valuable Player award after the legendary Landon Donovan, who initially retired aged 32 in December 2014. Donovan remains as Major League Soccer’s all-time leading goal scorer with 144 goals; Donovan also registered 136 assists collectively throughout his career in Major League Soccer.
During the inspirational Californian’s accomplished Major League Soccer journey, the former Los Angeles Galaxy superstar won six MLS Cup’s, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup alongside two Supporters’ Shield’s.
Donovan’s personal accolades remain endless, boasting feats of being the MLS’s all-time leading goalscorer, a four-time United States Soccer Athlete of the Year, a seven-time Honda Player of the Year, as well as being a one-time MLS MVP to name a few personal accolades.
Landon Donovan’s resume also includes 14 consecutive Major League Soccer All-Star selections, two MLS Cup MVP awards, seven MLS Best XI honors, two Major League Soccer All-Star Game MVP trophies whilst proudly representing the United States in three FIFA World Cup tournaments (2002, 2006, 2010).
Donovan also unanimously leads the United States Men’s National Team in caps (157) and is currently the joint leading United States Men’s National Team goalscorer (57) with Clint Dempsey.
During the monumental Major League Soccer Super Draft 2015 in Philadelphia, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber showcased the unique design for the brand new Landon Donovan MVP Award, conceived by Tiffany & Co.
Throughout his successful career, Landon Donovan has also played for English Premier League club Everton during two successful loan spells (2010 and 2012) and Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in his glittering career. Donovan is a lifelong Evertonian after his successful loan tenures at Everton; Tim Howard and “Creed” Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone are also lifelong Evertonian’s.
Donovan has additionally netted the most goals in Los Angeles Galaxy franchise history with an unprecedented 140 goals; Donovan is also a five-time MLS Cup Champion (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012) and was a perennial MLS All-Star throughout his career in the United States.
Throughout the Major League Soccer 2013 season, Landon Donovan’s Los Angeles Galaxy finished third place in the MLS Western Conference at the closure of the regular season, before the Galaxy fell short to an impressive Real Salt Lake in a 2-1 aggregate loss; Los Angeles Galaxy failed to seal a historic three-peat MLS Cup triumph.
Donovan – who initially retired from professional soccer at the end of the MLS 2014 season – witnessed a fairytale swansong before capping off an illustrious 15-year career.
Arguably the greatest United States soccer player in history, Donovan has forged an indelible legacy with 57 goals and 58 assists in 157 appearances for the United States Men’s National Team.
In hindsight, Donovan has never been remotely afraid to take a major risk either his life or professional career. In an often recurring tradition where many insular American teenagers subconsciously fail to travel outside the comfort of their own state, Landon Donovan valiantly packed his bags, warmly hugged family members and proceeded to leave his parents home in Ontario, California at age sixteen in 1999.
Upon leaving home and arriving in Germany, Donovan lived out a once consuming pipe dream of attaining greener pastures in signing a professional soccer contract in soccer-obsessed Germany for Bayer Leverkusen; Donovan was scouted by international talent coaches from the German Bundesliga outfit.
However, Donovan’s climatic hopes of European soccer stardom turned into a relatively sour and anticlimatic affair in Germany.
In hindsight of Donovan’s so-so Bundesliga experience, the adaptation of the German lifestyle and uber-technicality on the field was an efficient learning curve that seemingly moulded the then wide-eyed Californian, despite expressing frustration with Bayer Leverkusen management.
Donovan’s frustration was courtesy of limited playing time due to then superior competition on the Bayer Leverkusen roster, and mild mannered German weather conditions in contrast to the beaming sunshine in southern California.
Donovan was essentially viewed in Germany as diminutive and inexperienced, whose untimely arrival to create a niche in Europe saw the contract ink on his Bayer Leverkusen deal dry shortly thereafter signing.
However, Donovan positively saw opportunity in the midst of a relative European disaster and returned home with a mission to change the landscape of professional soccer in the United States.
When Landon Donovan’s jubilant homecoming to the United States inevitably transpired after a German nightmare, the talismanic forward penned a lucrative deal with California-based MLS franchise San Jose Earthquakes in order to make a huge impact in North America opposed to chasing waterfalls and monetary gain overseas.
Landon Donovan has played in three FIFA World Cup tournaments (Japan-Korea 2002, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010) and is currently an advisor for English Premier League side Swansea City FC.
Moreover, with Landon Donovan’s well-documented return to soccer, the legendary Californian aims to seize the opportunity in helping the Club León and seemingly has nothing to prove or lose.
Moreover, Donovan’s lofty expectations and immaculate legacy has become a benchmark which critics have often summoned the Californian with when underperforming.
Through it all, Landon Donovan is a natural born leader with an astute wealth of big game experience, whilst possesing savvy playmaking, goalscoring instincts and astranomical respect levels from his peers – both in the United States and around the world.
Unmistakably, Landon Donovan loves the game so much that he has often found trouble letting go of the very sport which has brought him so much along the way.
However, the question remains: Should Landon Donovan have come out of retirement to play for Club León?