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Donovan returns to soccer and joins Club Leon

Many thought it was a hoax but it turned out to be true. On Friday night Club Leon in Liga MX announced that it had signed for U.S. national team legend Landon Donovan who will come out of retirement to join the Liga MX Club. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
January 13, 2018
8:00 AM

On Wednesday afternoon, a weird rumor surfaced that Landon Donovan was going to come out of retirement to play for Club Leon in Liga MX. Many dismissed it as a hoax but on late Friday night the rumor was confirmed as true.

Since retiring from the sport in 2014 after winning MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy, Donovan has not stepped out of the spotlight. He came out of retirement in 2016 to help the Galaxy in a playoff push in the second half of the season. He has also been an announcer on Fox Sports, worked with U.S. youth national teams, and coached the MLS homegrown game in 2016.

Now 35, Donovan will be joining up with a Club Leon team that finished in seventh place in the 2017 Apertura but lost on away goals in the first round of the playoffs to eventual champions Tigres. Leon won its first game of the Clausura 2-1 away at Atlas.

Donovan is widely regarded as the best all-time player for the United States men’s national team with 57 goals and 56 assists. He played in three World Cups including the run to the quarterfinals in 2002 and winning its group in 2010. He also was one of the best players at the 2009 Confederations Cup which advanced to the final. He won four Gold Cups in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2013.

Most of the success in his career came in MLS where he won six MLS Cups (two with the San Jose Earthquakes and four with the LA Galaxy). His time abroad was mixed. His initial stint at Bayer Leverkusen and his loan to Bayern Munich ended on a sour note although his two loans to Everton in England were well received.

It is unclear what kind of physical shape Donovan is in to return to the field but certainly many American fans will be tuning in to watch.

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