When Landon Donovan was not included on the U.S. World Cup roster earlier this summer, it was widely believed we would never see Donovan in a U.S. national team uniform again.
But we will see Donovan wear the Red, White and Blue one final time, with U.S. Soccer announcing Tuesday that Donovan will be included in the U.S. squad that will face Ecuador in a friendly on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.
The U.S. national team's all-time leading scorer (57 goals) and assist man (58 assists) will make his 157th appearance his final one, and will be playing for the U.S. for the first time since the April 1 friendly against Mexico.
"Playing for the U.S. National Team has been a huge part of my career and I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to play for my country one last time,” Donovan said. “I'm so grateful to all the fans that have supported me and this game will give me the chance to say thank you to all of them. I look forward to a great evening and I'm thankful to U.S. Soccer for making this happen."
News of Donovan's national team swan song comes less than a month after he announced his plan to retire from soccer at the end of the current MLS season. That announcement has been followed by an excellent run of form for the 32-year-old legend, who recently earned MVP honors in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game after scoring the winning goal to beat Bayern Munich.
Donovan was controversially left off the U.S. World Cup team in May, with head coach Jurgen Klinsmann passing on bringing the three-time World Cup veteran and scorer of five World Cup goals. Donovan was critical of Klinsmann's decision to leave him off the World Cup team and also criticized Klinsmann's handling of the U.S. team in Brazil.
— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) August 26, 2014
The midfielder's farewell will come in first match on home soil for the U.S. team since the World Cup, which saw the Stars and Stripes advance out of a very difficult group before losing to Belgium in the round of 16.
Donovan's finale will come almost 14 years after making his national team debut on Oct. 25, 2000, in a 2-0 win against Mexico.
“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home National Team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”