U.S. men’s national team and Major League Soccer legend Landon Donovan looks to be coming out of retirement for a second time. On Saturday, Mexican club Leon announced that Donovan had joined the team, but the club didn’t announce the length of any contract or if just terms were agreed.
The 35-year-old hasn’t played since coming out of a four-year retirement in 2016 to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. He didn’t play last year at all on any professional level, and it’s hard to expect much from this move. It’s quite surprising, but on the optimistic side, leagues in the Americas are ones where players can comfortably play into their mid 30’s and beyond. After all, Pachuca goalkeeper Oscar Perez turns 45 in February.
Donovan was engaging with the club and its president on Twitter before the announcement in what was surely a tactic to raise interest, and it worked with Donovan starting to trend in Mexico shortly after.
Donovan wrote this on Twitter to Leon’s president just before Leon announced the move:
“President, I love the city. They are the best fans. Club Leon is a historic and successful team. I don’t believe in walls, I want to go to Mexico, dress myself in green and win trophies with Leon. See you soon!”
Club Leon probably just gained a whole bunch of American fans.
The 2018 Mexican league season just started, and Leon is 1-0. As for when we might see him play, it’s hard to tell. He probably isn’t quite match fit at the moment but likely won’t take long to get there. He does already have his eyes on facing USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez and Pachuca at the end of February, writing to Gonzalez on Twitter, “We’ll see you on February 24.”