ESPN Adds Landon Donovan to World Cup Analyst Roster
Landon Donovan will be part of a World Cup team after all.
Despite not being selected for the U.S. team by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the three-time World Cup star will be part of ESPN's coverage and contribute analysis from the ESPN-ABC studios in Los Angeles.
Donovan -- the all-time U.S. leader in both goals and assists -- will make his debut Wednesday during ESPN's two-hour FIFA World Cup Preview, according to a statement from the network.
His focus will be on the U.S. team's three opening round matches: June 16 vs. Ghana, June 22 vs. Portugal, and June 26 vs. Germany; and he will then 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 vp 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 monthlong coverage."
L.A. Galaxy star player Donovan went on to say: "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 U.S. Soccer fans."
Donovan, who was part of the final cut in May when the 23-man U.S. roster was set for Brazil, is the all-time leader in goals and assists with the U.S. National Team, scoring 57 goals and adding 58 assists in his 157 games. He has played in 12 World Cup games and scored five career World Cup goals, both U.S. records. A seven-time Honda Player of the Year and four-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, Donovan won both awards in 2009 and 2010.
He was also the breakout star of the 2010 World Cup, scoring three times in the four games that the U.S. played, including a historic goal in stoppage time to give the team a 1-0 win over Algeria and the top seed in Group C.