End is nigh for Donovan
© Getty Images

United States international Landon Donovan is to hang up his boots at the end of the current campaign in Major League Soccer.

During a distinguished 15-season career, Donovan made 156 appearances for his country - many as captain - scoring a record 57 goals.

At club level, Donovan has primarily spent most of his career in the US with San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy, despite signing an initial six-year contract with Bayer Leverkusen at the age of 17.

The 32-year-old also enjoyed two loan spells with Everton, initially for the second half of the 2009/10 season, and again for two months early in 2012, scoring two goals in a total of 22 appearances.

Explaining his decision via his Facebook page, Donovan said: "This day carries mixed emotions for me. I am sad to leave a profession that has brought me so much joy.

"However, after spending half my life as a professional soccer player I am also excited to begin a new chapter and pursue other opportunities that will challenge me and allow me to grow as a person."

Hinting he will remain in football in some capacity, Donovan added: "While my career as a player will soon be over, rest assured I will stay connected on many levels to the beautiful game.

"As we enter a transformative time for the sport, I will do everything I can to help the continued growth of soccer in the United States.

"I look forward to making a difference."