When Landon Donovan retired in 2014, he was making a guaranteed $4.6 million a year with the LA Galaxy. His new short-term contract for the rest of this season pays him quite a bit less.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Donovan will make $152,500 for his stint with the Galaxy–a pro-rated salary for a max, non-Designated Player deal. If the club makes it all the way to the MLS Cup final, it would mean Donovan would be earning about nine times less per game than he did two years ago. Donovan is only signed on through the end of this season, saying that he is coming out of retirement to help the club during an injury crisis as it chases a record sixth MLS Cup title.
Donovan, who could be in action as soon as Sunday's match vs. Orlando City SC, told the Galaxy's official website that "it seems like the situation where the team could use a little bit of help almost exclusively in a reserve or substitute role to help fill the shoes of a Gyasi [Zardes], Nigel [de Jong], or some of the other guys that are injured. At this point in my career, I know that I’m not going to fill Gyasi’s shoes, I’m not that player anymore, but if I can help in small ways on the field and off the field and help the team win a sixth championship then that would be awesome.”
Donovan also explained why he'll be wearing the No. 26 jersey after starring in the No. 10 (now worn by Giovani Dos Santos) for so many years.
He said that it is in part for the birth date of his son, Talon, who was born on January 26 of this year, and also because he wore No. 26 at his first club, Bayer Leverkusen, when he was 17 years old. Now twice that age, Donovan told the Galaxy's site that, "It's a nice way to close the circle."