The rumors are true. Landon Donovan has officially come out of retirement to help a slumping LA Galaxy take a crack at a record sixth MLS Cup.
He’s back. pic.twitter.com/tOEduyVv7u
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 8, 2016
While this is objectively bad news for my Seattle Sounders, it’s good news for the league. Its most famous player not named David Beckham returns to its most storied franchise to make a final run at the championship. Yeah, this fucking guy is back:
It’s a storyline straight out of a movie. But the casting director would never cast Landon Donovan as Landon Donovan because he has about as much charisma as a wet bag of carrots. I dare you to listen to Landon Donovan talk about coming out of retirement for more than 15 seconds:
Hearing Landon Donovan talk is one of the more underwhelming things you can do. It’s up there with parasailing. The only thing you can do up there is spit. You can spit down at the water. That’s it.
But that’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter than I’d rather listen to Elizabeth Holmes talk than Landon Donovan.
His skills as an orator are irrelevant. He can let his play do the talking.
And he’s still got some magic left in those boots. Jurgen Klinsmann forced him into retirement because he had badmind, not because he was no longer valuable on the field.
He retired from MLS at the end of 2014, took 2015 to collect his thoughts, and now the stars have aligned to bring him out of retirement in 2016. If the LA Galaxy weren’t dealing with a litany of injuries, and hadn’t sent midfielder Nigel de Jong to Galatasary, Landon Donovan would probably be laid up on a couch somewhere, watching his hair continue to recede like a glacier.
But the soccer gods work in mysterious ways, and they have determined that the last chapter of Landon Donovan’s career is yet to be written.
His status as a legend is cemented. He is the most important soccer player in American history. Without Landon Donovan, U.S. Soccer wouldn’t be where it is. MLS wouldn’t be where it is. There’s a reason he’s the all-time leader in goals and assists for the USMNT.
Sure, he’s getting a little long in the tooth. He’s 34. Young for a judge, old for a soccer player. But you know who else is 34? Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who’s been good for a goal a game in the Premier League this season.
Landon Donovan has nothing left to prove, but he’s going to remind everyone he still got the juice.