MLS thanks Landon Donovan as Galaxy unveils statue


Landon Donovan has done more than any player to save both the Galaxy and MLS, so on Sunday the club and the league came together to put those contributions in bronze, unveiling a statue of him outside the park sportsman Dignity Health.

“If Landon didn’t make the decision to return to Major League Soccer back when he did and came to Galaxy in 2005 [and] tell the world that MLS was his league, the Galaxy with his club, [that] he was going to help build football in his country, we wouldn’t be where we are today, ”said MLS commissioner Don Garber after a sunny 65-minute ceremony in which Garber and a half a dozen other football executives and former teammates praised Donovan’s impact. about the league and the team.

When Donovan left Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen to join MLS and the San Jose Earthquakes in 2001, the league was on the verge of bankruptcy. He had lost around $ 250 million in his first five seasons and was close to signing a contract with 10 teams. Before Donovan retired with the Galaxy in 2016, MLS had 20 teams in two countries and was one of the busiest premier league football leagues in the world.

Between the two, Donovan won a record six MLS titles while recording the most goals (145) and assists (136) in league history. (The record for goals scored has since been broken by Chris Wondolowski of San Jose). He also set national team records for goals and assists and is widely recognized as the greatest player in United States history.

In the larger-than-life likeness, Donovan is frozen, mouth open, both arms outstretched, in a post-goal celebration. The statue was placed approximately 30 feet from a similar statue of David Beckham that was unveiled at Legends Plaza, outside the stadium’s southwest entrance, in 2019. Together, the former teammates helped bring about the most dominant four-year-old race in MLS history, winning two Supporters’ Shields and three MLS Cup finals, winning two, between 2009-12.

Both statues were sculpted by Julie Rotblatt-Amrany and Omri Amrany, the husband and wife team who made one of Michael Jordan that sits outside the United Center in Chicago. Donovan also joined Beckham in the club’s Ring of Honor, alongside former players Cobi Jones and Mauricio Cienfuegos and the late Doug Hamilton, three-time MLS Executive of the Year, in a halftime ceremony on Sunday.

“I’m not really the type to get accolades and things like that because I’m always moving forward with my life,” Donovan said of the two accolades. “But it gave me some thought. And I really appreciate this honor.

“But I appreciate the 10 years I have been able to spend with the main stakeholders, everyone in the organization, the people around the stadium and certainly the fans.”

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