What Will Landon Donovan's Legacy Be?

Given Donovan's plans to retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season, ASN would love to see your take on the California native's contributions to the U.S. game. Graph your position below, and share a few thoughts. To read what others have to say, hover over any shaded cell.

August 07, 2014 3:44 PM
Best U.S. International Ever
Solid American Contributor
Best MLS Player Ever A Quality MLS Guy
Love it. — Offensive Loons Fan
When we win the world cup, he will still be talked about. As the face of the league through good and bad times, he shouldered the burden of American Soccer. It wore down on him, but he is still here today, and will always be one hell of an American. — Eric Muller
No question about him being the best US national team player... thus far. — Dan
No Question — Kyle S
No brainer — JT
Easily one of the best MLS players; his international career was even more spectacular. To measure Donovan's legacy, considering his entire club career would be far more interesting--a very good career, but a feature of his legacy that is far more controversial. — Paul
I really doubt we'll see better in our lifetime. — Xose
Thanks for showing the people in the "old world" that we can play their game as well as they can.You really made a difference, the best of all time for the USA. — vern jackson
A USMNT legend. Most successful MLS career over a long period of time. — BRS
GOAT. That's it. — Charlie Fiction
As clutch as Jordan, as legendary as Ruth. Took USSoccer & MLS upon his shoulders and made it legit. — myownbobblehead
THE best — Mark
don't know what exactly this spot means but no question he is one of if not best American, and clearly best MLS. — Zeke
Our best yet, but we'll need to do better — Eric Brewster
Greatest USMNT player of all time. The numbers don't lie. Over the last 15 years, you always wanted Landon on your team. — JxAx
Best US player from 2002-2010. Best MLS player from 2005-2012. 18 more goals than any other player in national team history. More than 2.5x more assists than any other player in national team history. Leading goalscorer in MLS regular season play, and most goals in postseason play as well. I feel sorry for those who don't appreciate how great of a player LD has been, because chances are there won't be a better US player for a long, long time. — NewYorkCiteh4
He is the best field player in USMNT history, period. I will always wonder a bit, "what if?" about his club career. Had he been in a better situation, say joined Everton instead of Leverkusen, might he have stayed in Europe and become even better? But he is clearly a member of the MLS pantheon. — Pwyll
Best MLS player without any question. You could make an argument for a few others as best US international. It would be a lousy argument to make but you could make it. — Brian
'nuff said — Adam
Transformational. — Mike S
Landon da Gawd. — USP
More assists for the USMNT than the next three players combined. Forget all the goal records (he holds them all), the fact that he created 3x more goals than anybody else in USMNT history speaks volumes. Greatest of all time. — Jx
The most talented player this country has ever produced. — Wiggins
Best yet, but missed potential. — Jink
My favorite — Mark
I'm not just the best MLS player ever... I'm the BEST player ever. — LD
Yup. — Landon Donovan
legend — aslt
Landon rules. Such a great player. Vision, speed of thought, goal scorer, great teammate, versatile, & a winner. American Soccer Lefend. And, he has been absolutely underrated by far too many people who claim to know the game. — Fredo
He's at the top of the best US international and best MLS player lists for now but baring a catastrophic reversal in soccer's growth in this country he will slip down both lists quickly. That said some of his records may stand for a long time given that the talent pool on the USMNT and in MLS are both growing deeper rapidly. Players will find it more difficult to be head and shoulders better than everyone else for a decade in the future. — wandmdave
There will be better players, but there will never be a more important player — Andy
The best US player at this time. He'll be that for generations to come with his impressive records. Best MLS player is tough to say with others that were around for not as long. Domestically, he is best MLS player. I don't think he is better than Henry and other foreign players. — Adrian
I think Donovan is by far the best MLS player given the length of his career; and he has been an incredible player for the National Team, I think players like Brian McBride, Dempsey, Brad Friedel, and Tim Howard have had better careers as Internationals playing around the world. If we are taking solely National Team play into account, then he is "The American Soccer Legend". If we are looking at everything including international club performance, then I think he falls short of some others. But honestly, that goal against Algeria was the best sports moment of my life. — Alex
You ask the average American to name a US soccer player and I'll bet you any amount that Donovan is the first name they say. Some day there will be better players, but there might not ever be a more important player. For 12+ years he was the face and driving force of American soccer. — Tom
His legacy will not be personal- it will be that he showed American players how to win. In the mid-term future other players will surpass his excellence on the field, but they will do so in part because he showed them how to win. Thanks, Landon. — David Bloom
One of the very best US internationalists so far, and the best career MLSer - which isn't the same as the best player to play in the league, of course. But it's his metacontribution that will be his enduring legacy. And he's probably not finished fashioning that. — John R
Given the timing of his breakthrough he is slightly overrated as a player compared to Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, ect, all of those who challenge his talents, but he is definitely one of the best players in the MLS and it has produced. With a different introduction to world class football, say, in Europe instead of the MLS, he might have been even more influential and rivaled some of Europe or South America's best talents. — Alex Morgan
Greatest player in MLS no question. Started the momentum of soccer in the US by the horns. — Rahman
you know — mw
solid. we wouldn't be here as us soccer w/out his contributions. — lesly
Donovan is MLS' Wazza.. That's not meant to be a compliment (File under: Pestilent). — Chris
Howard and dempsey may be better but he is definatly the face of mls soccer — Joy
I struggle with this. Do I think that there will one day be an American who is a better player than LD? Yes, I do. I think we are one generation away from fielding our first batch of true "world-class" superstars. However, I do not think that there will ever be a player who meant more to the sport in this country than LD. He was (and will continue to be until he is dethroned) the face of MLS and the USMNT. I'm thankful for his time and efforts, but look forward to the future. — Kevin
Donovan is a great player - not sure he is the best ever - maybe the best in a period of growing. I would say there are several players on the current roster that will and have proved better than Donovan. Howard and Bradley are above him in my opinion. — Aractic Fox
Yup. — Landon Donovan
LD will forever be the greatest of his generation. But like Chamberlain or Russell, he was great before the game (in America) was great. We're still waiting on our MJ and I am convinced we will see him. Taking nothing from Landon, the sport is far too new to the country to label him "best ever" in either vein. That said, I will remember that goal for the rest of my life. Thanks LD! — Brett
People are crazy, Dempsey and Howard are already better us internati — Chris
We have enjoyed watching you hone your craft. Thanks for adding value at Everton, the Galaxy and especially the USMNT. We will miss you on the field, greatly. Maybe you can come and coach my daughter's team for a game. She needs help with her first touch. Heck, they all do. Lead feet across the board. Let me know if you have some free time ;) — Emily
Landon took the blue pill. Right now he is still inside the Matrix. — Morphius
As the current USMNT will eclipse previous ones for new soccer fans, and Dempsey's iconic status approaches Donovan's, he will likely be remembered less as an international and more as a great Galaxy player and a great, outspoken personality in the soccer world. — Benny
Big fish, little pond. Game achievements are over-rated when considering he had a talent to be much more than what he was. He may be a great American player, but he was an underachieving player on the bigger stages. — Nathan
Tough question. Kind of like asking how Satchel Paige compares against the all time greats. This is not a question like "How does Johnny Unitas or Bob Russell stand?" They were playing against the best of their eras. Landon was playing in an underfunded, mediocre league. He was as good as any then, but does he compare with the best of the best today? Henry, Valleri, Morales, Bradley or Keene? Very good but not the best and as the league develops, will fall lower in the pantheon of greats. — Mutiny
<---- You're not paying attention to what he's doing right now, are you? — Tom
What bigger stage did he fail on? Yeah, he (and the rest of the team) were a disappointment at the 2006 WC...but he was awesome in 2002, 2010 and at the 2009 Confederations. — Tom
Dempsey and Howard are already better all time internati — Chris
Semi-talented, but with the work ethic of Garfield and the eating habits of Rosie O'Donnell. Ultimately disappointing. — Professor Cruyff
Solid player for sure, but when given the opportunity to show it on the top levels, he never really made much of a splash. There have been plenty of US players who have performed consistently at a higher club level, such as Deuce, Bradley, Howard, Freidel, and Cherundolo among others. — DREW
...what are you referring to? Best player at the U17 WC? Best young player at the 2002 WC? That seems like stepping up to me. Or are you referring to the 2010 WC where he pushed the US out of the group? Or his time at Everton where he was voted MVP? — Tom
I like tis gwan. — Rafa Marquez
I only chose this point because ASN won't let me rate him any lower. Most. overrated. player. ever. — Joe Gaetjens