Landon Donovan receives a lot of abuse for his playing career, and if you forget World Cups, the fact that he signed for Bayer Leverkusen as a teenager, the well-deserved accolade of having the MLS MVP award named after him, his successful loan moves with Everton, his hugely influential 14-year spell with the national team and his joyfully direct play, then he totally deserves all the criticism that comes his way.
The 36-year-old just recently returned to professional soccer after signing with Mexico’s Club Leon, and now we’d like to reminisce over the life and times of America’s golden boy.
Here’s a photographic journey through Donovan’s professional career.
A wild Landon Donovan appears with some spicy flow.
@Cnyari | Twitter
At the 1999 U17 World Cup, Donovan showed the world that he now owned the sport.
@fifacom_de | Twitter
Being from Southern California, LD was always down with the cool stuff.
@msinger | Twitter
Landon Donovan on his USMNT debut in 2000.
@05rowa | Twitter
How did this get in here?
@thesportsrabbi | Twitter
Donovan wins his first MLS Cup in 2001, celebrates in an oversized t-shirt.
@TurkiyeMLS | Twitter
@dahackne | Twitter
In 2003, Landon Donovan got trapped inside a game, like TRON.
I took this photo.
Donovan does a DISGRACEFUL thing in 2004.
@ladiablarom | Twitter
LD signs with LA in 2005.
@allyoop_25 | Twitter
Donovan's biggest contribution at the 2006 World Cup (sorry, Landon)
@SuperSportCardT | Twitter
Landon Donovan with the ugliest trophy in all of sports.
@footballscrolls | Twitter
@robert261610 | Twitter
Back to LA to kick more soccer butt.
@fanly_galaxy | Twitter
@EvertonBlueArmy | Twitter
Landon Donovan unites the planet with love for Landon Donovan.
@ASAP_SportsNews | Twitter
Dos a Cero
@Goldsmith_man | Twitter
Donovan returned to Everton like he left his keys, wallet and cell phone.
@Boris531 | Twitter
@diarioelheraldo | Twitter
Donovan then won the 2014 MLS Cup. Why would you take Chris Wondolowski over Donovan? Why??
@SuporterFC | Twitter
In 2015, a retired Landon Donovan coached the Chipotle Boys.
@SBISoccer | Twitter
In 2016, Donovan came out of retirement and played in nine matches for the Galaxy.
@FOXSoccer | Twitter
In 2017, Donovan brought his quiet voice to the booth.
@wsoccertalk | Twitter
Retirement allowed Donovan to do the things he’d always wanted, like jump off a truck.
@malooracks | Twitter
It's the year 2018 and LD is now Liga MX's GOAT
@PeriodistaU | Twitter