Landon Donovan officially embarked on his latest post-playing-career adventure on Thursday, as new USL Championship club San Diego Loyal SC named the retired MLS legend manager and executive VP of soccer operations ahead of their 2020 inaugural season.
“I am truly honored to be named the first manager in San Diego Loyal history,” said Donovan in a club release. “This is the right place, at the right time, with the right people for me to begin my managerial career. I am extremely grateful to The Locals [supporters group] and all of our amazing fans for putting their faith in me to help build a club that is authentically San Diegan. Together, we will put forward a product that all of San Diego can be proud of and that will bring smiles to countless faces.”
Donovan, 37, is also a member of the club’s ownership group and has been involved in past efforts to bring an MLS expansion franchise to San Diego, where he has made his home in recent years. He is still in the process of attaining his coaching licenses from U.S. Soccer and is expected to complete that by the end of the 2020 season.
A standout attacker for the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy and US men’s national team for two decades, Donovan held the all-time MLS scoring record until Chris Wondolowski broke his mark of 145 career regular-season goals earlier this year.
Notably, one of Donovan’s assistants in San Diego will be veteran youth coach Carrie Taylor, believed to be the first woman to work on the coaching staff of a US professional men’s club. Loyal SC will begin play in March and will play home matches at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium.