The Galaxy has scheduled a news conference for noon Wednesday at which officials are expected to announce that the team has reached an agreement with forward Landon Donovan on a multiyear contract that is likely to keep him in Major League Soccer for the rest of his career.
Donovan, 31, the U.S. national team’s all-time leader in goals and assists and the most decorated player in MLS history, had been entertaining offers from several European clubs. But with his four-year $10-million contract with the Galaxy scheduled to expire this fall, the team and President Chris Klein made his re-signing a priority.
Word of Donovan’s new deal comes less than two weeks after the Galaxy locked up defender Omar Gonzalez with a multiyear contract and less than a month after the Seattle Sounders lured forward Clint Dempsey back from England with a contract that will pay him more than $5 million a year over the next four seasons. That's the fourth-highest guaranteed salary in league history and nearly twice what Chivas USA is paying its entire roster.
Terms of Donovan’s new deal were not disclosed but it is likely to include a base salary comparable to what the Sounders are paying the 30-year-old Dempsey.
Donovan’s decision to follow Gonzalez and Dempsey and make a multiyear commitment to the league is a huge victory for MLS Commissioner Don Garber and his effort to keep the top U.S. players at home. All three players signed as designated players, a tag that allows teams to negotiate up to three contracts that exceed the league’s salary cap. Before this season, just three of the 31 players signed to designated-player contracts, including Donovan, were U.S.-born.
But in the last seven months MLS teams have signed four Americans to designated-player deals.