We lose a star, a constant, a dream. His retirement came as swift as his movement through the pitch. Always faster than the rest, always looking for the goal.
We remember the many moments that made him a legend. We recall his goal in 2002 versus Mexico in the round of 16. It made the score 2-0, forever coining the "Dos a Cero." There was his hat trick versus Ecuador in 2007 and again versus Scotland in 2012. And of course, clinchers like the goal versus Algeria to win the group in South Africa 2010 and versus Mexico in 2013 for another "Dos a Cero," this time cementing the Americans' entrance into Brazil 2010 and leaving Mexico to hope for a playoff spot versus New Zealand.
There was the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy, of course. Two trophies for the Quakes, three for the Galaxians. 137 goals in MLS. His performances with Everton in 2010 and the sublime goals he scored will always be remembered. He was on top of the world in 2010 and it showed at the World Cup.
We could write interminable accolades for Mr Donovan, so I will leave this simple. When Donovan chose soccer as a little boy, he did so because he saw the great stars playing the game and he wanted to be like them. A true origin story for our best American player in history. So who's to say that the next great star is not out there, having watched Landon Donovan light up the league and the international stage. That is, perhaps, his greatest gift, for now a small American boy need not look abroad for soccer idols. He has Landon Donovan. Our American Soccer Legend.