Donovan to end international career Friday

Landon Donovan (pictured) will close his international career on October 10, 2014, when the United States hosts Ecuador in a friendly in East Hartford. Connecticut. (Photo: Mexsport)

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut – United States midfielder/forward Landon Donovan will culminate a 14-year international career against Ecuador on Friday night at Rentschler Field.

The 32-year-old, who announced his retirement from professional football on August 7, is expected to play the opening 30 minutes and wear the captain’s armband.  He was left off the U.S. roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but will leave the game as the national team’s all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (58).

“This summer, obviously, was tough, not only for me, but for my family,” said Donovan.  “And you don't want your last memory to be getting cut from the team, and my family didn't either, so this will be a nice way to hopefully put a ribbon on my career.  And I'm excited to have a chance to say goodbye to a lot of people who have been supportive of me.”

Being the consummate team player, Donovan reminded the media that the game was more than just him.

"The reality is that it's a Class A international game that means a lot to a lot of people,” he noted.  “So this week, I've turned my focus to making sure that I don't just go and soak up everything, that I go and help the team the way I can.  That's important to me, too.  I owe that to everybody that's playing in the game, and I want to make sure that I have that attitude.”

During Donovan's tenure, the Americans forged some of their greatest achievements on the international stage, including a quarterfinal appearance in the 2002 World Cup and winning four CONCACAF Gold Cups.

His most memorable goal was scored in the waning minutes of a group-stage game against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup, a tally that gave the Americans a 1-0 victory, the Group C title and a spot in the Round of 16.

With 18 goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Donovan is the competition’s all-time leading scorer.

From his first cap against Mexico on October 25, 2000, to his last on October 10, 2014, CONCACAF congratulates Landon Donovan on an extraordinary international career.