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Landon Donovan comes out of retirement to return to LA Galaxy

Landon Donovan has come out of retirement to play for LA Galaxy for the remainder of the MLS season, citing an injury to Steven Gerrard as a factor in his decision. The former USA captain, who revealed he was working in an advisory role at Premier League side Swansea in August, will return to his former club two years after ending his career there.

Donovan has previously played for Everton and Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, and believes it was the right time to come back into playing.

“I have decided to come out of retirement to play the rest of the 2016 MLS season with the LA Galaxy,” said Donovan.

“An opportunity opened up and after discussing it with those close to me, it felt like the right decision to return to a club that has meant so much to me. I am very excited to be back and I will do everything I can to help the Galaxy, both on and off the field.”

Donovan is MLS’ all-time leading goalscorer and has made more than 150 appearances for the USA national team. The 34-year-old says it was a number of extenuating circumstances that convinced him to return to Galaxy.

“Two weeks ago, I was working as an analyst on the LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps match and during that game, the Galaxy suffered injuries to three players: Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes,” Donovan wrote on social media.

“Over the next few days, Nigel De Jong was transferred to Galatasaray and news broke that Gyasi would be out for the rest of the season.

“Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy. I spoke with some of them that week and they jokingly asked if I was ready to make a return to the field to help fill some of the void left by the injuries and departures.

“I reminded them that I haven’t played a meaningful soccer game in almost two years and I certainly couldn’t fill the holes left by those players.

“Over the ensuing days, I began to think about their inquiries and it struck me that perhaps this is something I should consider. I care so deeply about the Galaxy organization, and I believe I could help in a small way to aid the team in its quest for a sixth MLS championship.”

Donovan will begin training with the LA Galaxy on Friday and be available for selection when the Galaxy host Orlando City on Sunday.

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