Retired American soccer star Landon Donovan will coach the MLS Homegrown Team during this year's All-Star festivities, Major League Soccer announced on Thursday.
The Homegrown Game, which was played for the first time in 2014, serves as a showcase for young players who have developed through MLS academies. Donovan’s squad will face the Club America U-20 team on Tuesday, July 28, the day before the 2015 All-Star Game.
“I am truly honored to coach the MLS Homegrown Team in this year's Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game,” Donovan said in a statement. “As someone that was developed in MLS, I hope I can provide some insight to these young players and help them reach their goals of becoming successful professionals.”
Donovan’s coaching cameo is his first appearance on an MLS field since he retired in 2014 after a 14-year career. During his storied career, Donovan scored 144 goals, earned 14 consecutive All-Star selections and won six MLS Cups, all league records.
As coach, Donovan will be charged with building the game roster from available players nominated by MLS clubs. The roster will be announced the week before the match.
Both the All-Star Game and the Homegrown Game will be held at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., home of the Colorado Rapids.
- Erin Flynn