Landon Donovan: “This is the right place, at the right time, with the right people for me to begin my managerial career.”

SAN DIEGO – San Diego Loyal Soccer Club announced Thursday that former U.S. international Landon Donovan has been named the USL Championship side’s head coach for the 2020 season.

Donovan will have dual duties as both executive vice president of soccer pperations and coach. In its press release, San Diego Loyal called the position manager.

The team at Torero Stadium on the University of San Diego campus.

“There are no names more synonymous with men’s soccer in the U.S. than Landon Donovan,” Loyal chairman Andrew Vassiliadis said. “Landon’s talent and knowledge of the game goes beyond just his skills as a player; during all those years he was a student of the sport and developed relationships within the industry that will be vital to us as we launch our club and assemble its first roster. We are honored to have him lead our technical side, both on and off the pitch.”

Donovan’s newest role signified his retirement from the sport as a player. Last year he came out of retirement to play for the San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League.

“I am truly honored to be named the first manager in San Diego Loyal history,” Donovan said in a statement. “This is the right place, at the right time, with the right people for me to begin my managerial career. I am extremely grateful to The Locals and all of our amazing fans for putting their faith in me to help build a club that is authentically San Diegan. Together, we will put forward a product that all of San Diego can be proud of and that will bring smiles to countless faces.”

Donovan is finishing his U.S. Soccer license and is expected to complete it during next season.

During his 19-year professional career, Donovan’ played for six professional outdoor teams covering four leagues: Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich (Bundesliga); Everton (Premier League); San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy (Major League Soccer) and Club León (Liga MX). He competed in six MLS Cups, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and won two MLS Supporters’ Shields.

He was named to an league record 14 consecutive MLS All-Star games from 2001-2014, was honored with the MVP Award in 2009 and won the Golden Boot in 2008, as well as being one of two players to be named MLS Cup MVP twice. He holds MLS’s all-time lead in assists (136), playoff goals (25) and is the league’s co-leader in playoff assists (14). He is second to former international teammate Chris Wondolowski in the category of most regular-season goals with 145.

Donovan’s contributions to the national team also set records. He is the all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (58) and sits second in appearances (157). He also is the only American player to surpass both 50 goals and 50 assists. He was the fastest American to earn 100 caps and played for the U.S. in three World Cups.