LA Galaxy have confirmed the signing of Landon Donovan, with the former United States international coming out of retirement to rejoin the MLS club.
Donovan retired at the end of the 2014 season having lifted his fourth MLS Cup with Galaxy, while he also had two loan spells in the Premier League with Everton.
The forward, who won 157 caps for United States during a 14-year-international career, is the all-time leading scorer in MLS history.
The 34-year-old rejoins Galaxy for the last few weeks of the season, with the team joint-second in the Western Conference and Donovan said he believes it is a “win-win” situation although he expects a mixed reaction.
He’s back. pic.twitter.com/tOEduyVv7u
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 8, 2016
“I am very happy to announce that I have decided to rejoin my hometown team the LA Galaxy for the remainder of the MLS season,” Donovan posted on Facebook.
“I know this won’t be received well by everyone. That’s okay. I’ve always made decisions in life based on two guiding principles: my own happiness and the happiness of those I love and care about.
“Being on the field again, being able to help an organisation that has meant so much to me and having my son in my arms after a game will undoubtedly make me and all my loved ones happy. That’s all that matters.
“I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with my family and close friends over the past several days, and we all agreed that this would be a wonderful opportunity and a win-win situation for everyone.”
Donovan explained injuries to Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes, coupled with Nigel de Jong’s move to Galatasaray, opened up the opportunity for him to make his comeback.
“Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy,” he wrote.
“I spoke with some of them that week and they jokingly asked if I was ready to make a return to the field to help fill some of the void left by the injuries and departures.
“Over the ensuing days, I began to think about their inquiries and it struck me that perhaps this is something I should consider.
“I care so deeply about the Galaxy organisation and I believe I could help in a small way to aid the team in its quest for a sixth MLS championship.”