One of U.S. soccer's gems, Donovan is also one of the most popular American players in the game. The all-time leader in both scoring and assists for the national team, the striker is also the fourth-youngest player to reach 100 caps for his country.
He began his professional career in Germany as he became the youngest American to sign with a foreign club when he signed for Bayer Leverkusen in February 1999 aged 16. After catching the eye at the 1999 Under-17 World Championships, where he picked up the Golden Ball award, he chose to move to Europe as he began to develop into the USA's most potent finisher.
However, Donovan's career stagnated at Leverkusen. He was not given much of a chance to shine and had trouble adjusting to the German culture, before returning to America on loan at the San Jose Earthquakes for a fee of $4 million for the 2001 season.
His career began to take off as he led the Earthquakes to the MLS championship in 2001 after they had been the worst team in the league the season before. Selected for the U.S. squad for the 2002 World Cup, Donovan became the poster boy for the American team. He helped the side reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1930, with two important goals, and his popularity in America grew.
Showing his vision, skill and accuracy in front of goal, he impressed futher in 2003 and won the MLS championship again. Notching up personal awards in the form of the All-Star MVP and being named the U.S. soccer athlete of the year, he made himself a household name in the MLS.
His goalscoring prowess and incredible unselfishness made him a key team player and after a few seasons of success in America, Donovan decided to try his luck with Bayer Leverkusen again - signing for the club in June 2004. Once again, though, he struggled to make an impact. Starting just twice, he stated his intentions to return to the MLS and was picked up by the Los Angeles Galaxy, his hometown team.
Again he proved himself to be one of the best players in the league and became part of an elite group to have registered both 60 goals and 60 assists, but his attentions were still trained on Europe. Bayern Munich made their intentions clear and Donovan moved to the German giants on loan, but after just seven substitute appearances he returned home again.
His final loan spell to date was arguably his most successful as he joined Everton for the second half of the 2009-10 season, scoring two goals in 13 games. Helping the USA through to the second round of the World Cup, he may earn himself another shot at the big-time.
Strengths: His pace, ability to put the ball in the back of the net and tenacity on the pitch.
Weaknesses: Not consistent enough, he has failed to prove himself completely outside of the MLS.
Career high: Scoring the last minute winner against Algeria to seal the USA's progress from the group stages of the 2010 World Cup.
Career low: Bayern's decision not to renew his loan was yet another failure to establish himself in three different stints in the German Bundesliga.
Style: Fast, direct, an unselfish two-footed player who is always on the go.
Quote: "The reality is, when you're somewhat successful at what you do, there's always a group of people who aren't going to like you. I like to think I live my life the right way, and that's what's important. But I understand that people are passionate about soccer, and that's OK." Landon Donovan.
Trivia: Before he turned to football, he was a gymnast at Redlands East Valley High School.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER