If Landon Donovan decides to come back for an 18th season as a professional, he won’t be doing so in the Claret and Cobalt of Real Salt Lake, according to a report on SI.com.
Per the report, Donovan, who is the all-time leading goal-scorer and assist man in MLS and U.S. national team history, and RSL, who offered the 34-year-old a two-year Designated Player contract last month, were unable to come to terms on a deal that would bring the man for whom the league’s MVP trophy is now named to Rio Tinto Stadium.
Donovan remains available as a free agent after the LA Galaxy, for whom Donovan came out of retirement in the fall, declined to offer him a DP contract this offseason. The previous report which stated RSL’s pursuit of Donovan also mentioned a second, mystery team from the Eastern Conference that had been in contact.
It’s entirely possible — perhaps even likely — that Donovan doesn’t want to play another season, that he only briefly emerged from retirement to help the Galaxy while they endured a rash of injuries to key attacking players, and that any attempts to coerce another season out of him are futile.
It’s also possible — perhaps likely, again — that the 2017 season will start before definitive word comes down from Donovan, so let’s all kick back, relax and see how this one plays out.