Major League Soccer announced today it has named its Most Valuable Player award after American soccer legend Landon Donovan, who retired in December after playing 14 seasons in the League. Since 1996, the MLS MVP award has been presented annually to the individual deemed most valuable to his club by players, management and the media.
Designs for the Landon Donovan MVP Award, crafted by Tiffany & Co., were unveiled this morning by MLS Commissioner Don Garber at a special tribute prior to the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia, PA.
“As a child, soccer was merely an outlet for me — a way to express myself,” said Donovan. “To have this prestigious award named after me is truly unimaginable. Thank you to Commissioner Garber, Major League Soccer and all of the people that have supported me along the way. I am extremely humbled by and proud of this honor.”
The Landon Donovan MVP Award features a silhouette of Donovan applied to a sterling silver MLS Crest, which is attached to a black, ebonized wood base with a sterling silver collar. The trophy’s silver portion is recessed with a matte finish and the vermeil portion is recessed with a high polish. It stands 12 inches tall, and winners of the award will have their name and their club hand-engraved on the collar.
“Landon Donovan’s commitment to growing the game in North America is unrivaled and his contributions to Major League Soccer are immeasurable,” said Garber. “When he joined MLS in 2001, he showed other American players that this was his ‘League of Choice.’ His legacy will be forever etched in our league’s history, and we appreciate everything he has accomplished, both on and off the field.”
Donovan, who played for the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy, retired as Major League Soccer’s all-time leader in goals (144) and assists (136). He is the winner of six MLS Cups (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014), a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2005), and two MLS Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011). His accolades include 14 consecutive All-Star selections (2001-2014), two MLS Cup MVP awards (2003, 2011), seven MLS Best XI nods (2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014), a pair of MLS All-Star Game MVP awards (2001, 2014), and an MLS MVP (2008). Additionally, Donovan leads the U.S. Men’s National Team in goals (57) and assists (58), and his 156 appearances are the second-most all time in U.S. history.
About Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer kicks off its 20th season in early March 2015 featuring 20 clubs throughout the United States and Canada. The 2015 season will feature the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of the league, as eight-year agreements with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes commence next year. To view the 2015 MLS regular season schedule click here. For more information about MLS, visit www.MLSsoccer.com.