HOW ACQUIRED: Signed by the Galaxy on March 31, 2005. Retired after 2014 season. Re-signed on September 8, 2016.
The Galaxy's all-time leading scorer and perhaps the best player in MLS history, Donovan is back after a two-year retirement. He is the MLS leader in regular-season goals (144) and assists (136), playoff goals (25) and co-leads MLS in playoff assists (14). He is also the all-time US national team leader in goals (57) and assists (58).
Donovan returns to MLS with six MLS Cups (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014), a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2005) and two MLS Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011). Individually, he was named to an MLS record 14-consecutive MLS All-Star games (2001-2014), the MLS Best XI six times (2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), the Landon Donovan MVP Award (2009) and won the Golden Boot (2008) as well as being one of just two players to be named MLS Cup MVP twice (2003, 2011). Donovan is also the leading scorer in MLS All-Star history (six goals) and has been named MLS All-Star MVP twice (2001, 2014).
Born in Ontario, California, Donovan’s professional career began in 1999 in Germany when he signed with Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen. While overseas, Donovan made 28 appearances and scored nine goals before being loaned in 2001 to the San Jose Earthquakes. That year, Donovan recorded seven goals and 10 assists for the Earthquakes while leading San Jose to their first-ever MLS Cup. In 2003, his 12 goals and seven assists led the Earthquakes to its second MLS Cup victory, where Donovan earned his first MLS Cup MVP honors.
In 2005, Donovan joined his hometown club LA Galaxy and went on to score 12 goals and add 10 assists, leading the club to an MLS Cup victory that year, his third MLS Cup championship in five years. He remained with the Galaxy and became the club’s all-time leader in goals (112) and assists (107) before retiring at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Donovan led the Galaxy to some of its highest achievements, including four MLS Cups, two Supporters’ Shields and a U.S. Lamar Hunt Open Cup. He spent time on loan with Bayern Munich (2009) and Everton (2010, 2012).
In addition to his success with the LA Galaxy and in MLS, Donovan leads the U.S. Men’s National Team in goals (57) and assists (58) and is the only American player to surpass both 50 goals and assists in his career. His 157 appearances are second-most all time in U.S. history. In June of 2008, he became the fastest American to ever earn 100 caps for the United States and the fourth fastest player in history to play in 100 matches for his country. A veteran of three FIFA World Cups, his five goals in World Cup matches are the most by any American player and he is the only American to win the Golden Ball Award at a FIFA tournament, earning that honor at the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in 1999. Donovan has been named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year a record four times (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010), FIFA’s Best Young Player of the World Cup (2002), the CONCACAF Gold Cup MVP (2013) and to the Gold Cup Best XI four times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2013). Additionally, he remains the all-time leading scorer in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with 18 goals and helped the U.S. to four of its five ever Gold Cup titles (2002, 2005, 2007, 2013).