It's the story everyone is talking about: Landon Donovan is back.
The legendary player, who originally retired from playing after the 2014 season, re-signed with the LA Galaxy as a free agent on Thursday for the rest of the 2016 season. And for those wondering about the motivations behind the move, the player himself tells the full story on his Facebook page:
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. While this decision may come as a shock to many, I want to explain how and why it was made.
Two weeks ago, I was working as an analyst on the LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps match and during that game, the Galaxy suffered injuries to three players: Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes. Over the next few days, Nigel De Jong was transferred to Galatasaray and news broke that Gyasi would be out for the rest of the season. Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy. 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. I reminded them that I haven’t played a meaningful soccer game in almost two years and I certainly couldn’t fill the holes left by those players.
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 organization, and I believe I could help in a small way to aid the team in its quest for a 6th MLS championship. Further, the opportunity to have my son Talon on the field with me after a game was a feeling that I would never be able to replicate.
I then had a candid conversation with Bruce Arena and we began down the path of deciding whether this made sense. We both agreed that if this was going to happen, the expectations would be minimal and he would use me in situations that made sense for the team. 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.
I know this won’t be received well by everyone. That’s ok. 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 organization 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.
To my fans:
I thank you all for your unwavering support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of you. I’ve been fortunate to lead an incredible life, and I can’t wait to be on the field again and hear your cheers. Also, as all you parents know, having a child is truly a life-changing experience. Nothing would make me happier than standing on the field with Talon and the rest of my family celebrating the Galaxy’s 6th championship on December 10th. I will do everything in my power to make that happen, and I hope we are all there celebrating together!