What do you give an American soccer legend as one last parting gift when he's already got — or could probably afford — everything?
Surely that was the first question that came to mind for more than a half-dozen Major League Soccer front offices the day that LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 season.
The Crew — represented by two of Donovan's former Galaxy and US national team teammates Gregg Berhalter and Frankie Hejduk — honored Donovan with a pregame ceremony which featured a montage of his famous USMNT goals at Crew Stadium and a framed display featuring a piece of the net in which he scored his final US goal at Crew Stadium last September.
The Rapids, however, chose to go the spoiling and pampering route when they honored Donovan prior to Wednesday's match. Donovan was gifted "a slew of gifts including a ski pass, a Vail Resorts gift basket and even a bottle of wine from Colorado owner Stan Kroenke’s vineyard."
Not a bad haul for a trip Donovan would have made anyway, retirement looming or not.
The Galaxy's remaining away schedule reads as follows, starting with an "away" date against Chivas USA next weekend:
- Sun., Aug. 31 @ Chivas USA (8 pm ET, UDN)
- Wed., Sept. 10 @ Montreal Impact (7:30 pm ET, TSN/RDS)
- Sun., Sept. 14 @ San Jose Earthquakes (3 pm ET, UniMas)
- Sun., Oct. 12 @ FC Dallas (7 pm ET, ESPN2, TSN2)
- Sat., Oct. 25 @Seattle Sounders (2:30 pm ET, NBC/TSN2)
The question now is this: With the ante being upped by the Rapids, how can each team on the above list — Montreal excluded, perhaps — one-up the farewell bidders to precede them?