Despite some low-frequency signals recently that his future may lie elsewhere, LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan will apparently finish his career in the United States with Major League Soccer after all.
SI.com’s Grant Wahl says the 31-year-old Galaxy star has reached agreement on a new, multi-year deal with the two-time defending league champs.
Here’s why this is significant, even beyond competitive implications for the ongoing season, as this eliminates any chance (small as it was) of Donovan moving in the current transfer window and keeps his head focused squarely on driving Galaxy attempts to become the first MLS club with three consecutive MLS titles.
- While this does not ensure Donovan will remain in MLS through the duration of his playing days, it certainly becomes the obvious likelihood. At 31, this could be Donovan’s final contract. Considering that he contemplated retirement just a few months ago, Donovan seems unlikely to be the guy who keeps pushing through the sprains and strains and taxing plane trips into his late-30s.
- Donovan could still move overseas at some point, although his 14-year professional history tells how unlikely that is. Still, as with the recent Omar Gonzalez deal, this secures the Galaxy’s ability to make a buck off any move. Otherwise, Donovan could have moved in the winter on a free transfer.
- This means Donovan will almost certainly become Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer.
- Don’t forget, Donovan is currently 20 assists short of that all-time league record, as well. If he holds both, he could be the only player ever to do so … and would likely hold that distinction for a very long time.
There is one more reason why this will be an important moment for Major League Soccer, once it becomes official. We’ll get into that one a bit later at ProSoccerTalk.