Landon Donovan joins ESPN’s World Cup coverage


(Associated Press)

Landon Donovan, the leading scorer in U.S. soccer history, was famously (infamously?) left off the World Cup roster by Coach Juergen Klinsmann, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have anything to do with soccer’s biggest stage. ESPN announced Wednesday that Donovan will join the network’s coverage of the World Cup, starting with Wednesday afternoon’s “FIFA World Cup Preview” at 3 p.m. EDT. From a news release:

The all-time U.S. leader in both goals and assists will preview and analyze the tournament with a particular focus on the U.S. team’s three opening round matches: June 16 vs. Ghana; June 22 vs. Portugal; and June 26 vs. Germany. He will contribute to pre-, halftime and post-match coverage, editions of SportsCenter, World Cup Tonight and other shows.

“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 senior vice president and executive producer. “Landon is also one of this country’s biggest sports stars and we believe that he will help attract even more fans to our month-long coverage.”

Added Donovan: “I am excited to be joining ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 World Cup from Los Angeles, and I look forward to working with the talented ESPN broadcasters to provide unique insights for our amazing US Soccer fans.”

Donovan won’t be traveling to Brazil, instead broadcasting from ESPN’s studios in Los Angeles. It’ll be curious to see if he is candid about Klinsmann’s decision.

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