Landon Donovan: American Star Pondering Retirement From International Play

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Landon Donovan: American Star Pondering Retirement From International Play
Gary Bogdon/Getty Images

American soccer star Landon Donovan is pondering retirement from international play with Team USA, according to his recent interview with ESPN FC's Roger Bennett.

The 30-year-old L.A. Galaxy forward has been suiting up for the Stars and Stripes since 1999, when he was a member of the U-17 World Cup team. He won the Golden Ball that year as the tournament's best player and hasn't looked back since.

More than a decade later, however, it seems Donovan isn't so sure whether he still has the motivation to compete in the sport he helped elevate in America.

"I've struggled with motivation at many points in my career," he said (via Bennett). "I've had times where it all came easily but there have been stretches where I have questioned it."

Certainly injuries and criticism have played large roles in Donovan's frustration. The United States has fallen short of high expectations more than once during the Donovan era. 

Still, the California native has made 144 appearances with the United States senior club since 2000, and he is the nation's all-time leader in goals (49) and assists (48). Surprisingly, his experience and ability to get forward and score goals hasn't been called upon by national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann that often.

Donovan has seen action in just eight of 20 competitive matches since Klinsmann took over in 2011.

Donovan has yet to say whether he will play for the United States men's national team at World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Instead, he offered up this response to Bennett:

There are a lot of moving pieces: Will I be playing, period? Will I be part of the team? Will I be good enough to be wanted? If I had to guess I would say it is 50-50. I will have more clarity after I take a break.

No one but Donovan knows what the future holds. But American soccer fans can only hope that he sticks around for a couple more years.

 

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