By CARL SETTERLUND
Many clubs and fanbases around MLS have had a chance to say a proper farewell to Landon Donovan before seeing him play in person one last time.
His former team, the San Jose Earthquakes, will not be one of them.
The retiring Donovan was down to having seven regular season games left in his MLS career, but that number dropped to six after he was shown a controversial yellow card for dissent by referee Hilario Grejeda during the first half of Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw against the Montreal Impact.
The yellow card triggered a one-game suspension due to accumulation, which means Donovan will miss the Galaxy’s game at Buck Shaw Stadium this Sunday.
The 32-year-old MLS legend played his first four seasons for the Earthquakes, winning the MLS Cup with the franchise in 2001 and 2003.
Donovan accumulated 78 goals and 32 assists during his tenure in San Jose, but left after the 2004 season to give the German Bundesliga another try.
Donovan returned to MLS in 2005, but the Earthquakes no longer held his rights and he instead ended up joining the LA Galaxy.
The Galaxy and Earthquakes have already played twice this season.
Barring a reversal of the yellow card or an improbable run into the Western Conference playoffs by the Earthquakes, Donovan’s final game in the San Jose area will be a 1-0 Galaxy win on June 28, which came before his retirement announcement. That game took place in front of a reported sellout of over 50,000 at nearby Stanford Stadium.
Donovan’s final Cali Clasico will have been a 2-2 draw at the StubHub Center on Aug. 8, which was one day after Donovan made his plans to retire known.
There was some confusion over whether Donovan was even the player Grejeda meant to book, which led to a pool reporter query into the referee’s decision. But Grejada confirmed that he issued the card to Donovan, adding that he cautioned Donovan for disagreeing with a call “by words and gesture.”
MLS has not published video relating to Donovan’s yellow card.
What do you think about Donovan missing his final Cali Clasico? What was your reaction to the yellow card given to him Wednesday night?
Share your thoughts below.