Sports

ESPN: Donovan to analyze US team during World Cup

View Comments
A Brazuca, the official soccer ball of the 2014 World Cup, sits on a cone, during a training session at the Santa Cruz Stadium in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

A Brazuca, the official soccer ball of the 2014 World Cup, sits on a cone, during a training session at the Santa Cruz Stadium in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ESPN has hired Landon Donovan to offer commentary on the U.S. soccer team he was cut from just before the World Cup.

The all-time American leader in goals and assists, the 32-year-old Donovan was dropped last month in a highly debated move by coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He will make his debut during ESPN’s two-hour World Cup preview show Wednesday.

“Adding Landon to our ESPN roster just before the World Cup is a coup because he knows the United States team better than anyone having played such a huge role in its success, especially at this event,” said Jed Drake, ESPN’s executive producer for World Cup coverage. “Landon is also one of this country’s biggest sports stars and we believe that he will help attract even more fans to our monthlong coverage.”

Donovan will work out of the company’s Los Angeles studios, with a particular focus on his former team. He will provide analysis before and after the Americans’ group-stage matches and during halftime. Donovan will also appear on shows such as “SportsCenter.”

FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, U.S. soccer player Landon Donovan stretches prior to training for the World Cup soccer tournament in Stanford, Calif. ESPN has hired Donovan to offer commentary on the U.S. soccer team he was cut from just before the World Cup. He will make his debut during a World Cup preview show on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

FILE – In this May 22, 2014 file photo, U.S. soccer player Landon Donovan stretches prior to training for the World Cup soccer tournament in Stanford, Calif. ESPN has hired Donovan to offer commentary on the U.S. soccer team he was cut from just before the World Cup. He will make his debut during a World Cup preview show on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Donovan played in the last three World Cups, scoring a U.S.-record five goals. His thrilling stoppage-time goal against Algeria sent the Americans to the second round four years ago.

Former teammate Jozy Altidore said in Sao Paulo he wasn’t too surprised by the move.

“He’s a smart guy. He knows the game very well,” Altidore said. “It was always going to going to happen — right? — him to be a commentator.”

Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya agreed that “I don’t see any problem with it.”

“I feel like people are probably going to want to tune in on that, yeah,” he added.

Donovan said in a statement released by ESPN that he hoped “to provide unique insights for our amazing U.S. Soccer fans.”

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28,161 other followers