He might not have been good enough for Jurgen Klinsmann, but Landon Donovan will get to play on ESPN's World Cup team.
Donovan, whom many believe is the best soccer player the U.S. has ever produced, will serve as a studio analyst and make his his debut for the worldwide leader on its World Cup preview show today at 3 p.m. Donovan is set to work from ESPN’s Los Angeles studios, with a particular focus on the U.S. team and its three group stage matches, the first of which kicks off on June 16 versus Ghana. He will contribute to pre-match, halftime and post-match coverage on ESPN and ABC, 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."
When he was cut from the U.S. men's national team by Klinsmann, many had expected he would turn up in ESPN or Fox's coverage. Now, it will be interesting to see if Donovan will be critical of the manager, who has repeatedly stated that Sam's Army has no chance of winning the World Cup, which kicks off tomorrow with host nation Brazil engaging Croatia.