This season, Landon Donovan is watching the Los Angeles Galaxy from the sidelines. The forward played with the Galaxy for nine seasons, captaining the club to four cup titles. But Donovan also conquered the pitch on the international stage while representing the United States. Donovan holds the all-time record for goals and assists for Team USA. Earlier this year, The Guardian named Donovan the greatest male American soccer player of all time.
Donovan was signed to a German club at the age of 17. He went alone to Europe, despite knowing very little about his team, the country or the culture.
"It was culturally very shocking," Donovan said. "One story that I remember vividly is I went to the grocery store one of the first days I was there, and I got my groceries and the checker was checking the groceries through... And I was sort of standing there after I had paid, and she was looking at me and I was looking at her. And I was waiting for the groceries to get bagged, and she kept looking at me. And I heard people behind me in line going 'uh, uh.' Like, 'What is he doing?' And I realized for the first time that you bag your own groceries there."
In this week's edition of "In Their Own Words," Donovan spoke with Only A Game about how he got his start in soccer and the growing success of MLS.
To hear the full story, click the play button below the headline at the top of the page.
This segment aired on September 12, 2015.