US Soccer icon Landon Donovan retiring from play - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

US Soccer icon Landon Donovan retiring from play

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Landon Donovan, who is the top goal scorer in Major League Soccer, is retiring. (Source: Facebook/Landon Donovan) Landon Donovan, who is the top goal scorer in Major League Soccer, is retiring. (Source: Facebook/Landon Donovan)

(RNN) - U.S. soccer luminary Landon Donovan announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 Major League Soccer season via social media Thursday.

Many soccer enthusiasts consider the 32-year-old forward the greatest player in U.S. soccer history.

"I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have played a role in the remarkable growth of MLS and US Soccer during my playing career. And while my career as a player will soon be over, rest assured I will stay connected on many levels to the beautiful game," Donovan wrote on his Facebook page.

A five-time MLS champion, Donovan played with the L.A. Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes. He is the top goal-scorer in MLS history, and was named the most valuable player in the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night.

In December 2012, Donovan took some time off to recharge after the Galaxy's second straight MLS championship. He had agreed to a multiyear contract with the Galaxy when he returned a year ago.

Although he played in the World Cup in 2002, 2006, and 2010, coach Jurgen Klinsmann did not select him to play on the U.S. World Cup team earlier this summer, a sign that his career was near its end. He did join ESPN as a commentator throughout the games.

Donovan has scored five World Cup goals, including his most famous against Algeria in 2010 in stoppage time to win the game, and 57 international goals and 58 assists over 156 appearances - national team records.

Long a booster of U.S. soccer, Donovan has not announced plans for his his post-playing career, but said he will continue to support the sport as it gains popularity in America.

"As we enter a transformative time for the sport, I will do everything I can to help the continued growth of soccer in the United States. I look forward to making a difference, pursuing my passions and meeting all of you along the way in this next phase of my life," he wrote.

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