The most controversial move that USMNT coachh Jurgen Klinsmann has made during his tenure–cutting Landon Donovan from the team–may come back to haunt him.
Why? It appears that the former USMNT star is going to be covering the team during World Cup action in Brazil for the World Wide Leader in Sports–ESPN.
“Landon is … one of this country’s biggest sports stars and we believe that he will help attract even more fans to our month-long coverage,” ESPN said in statement announcing the hire.
As sensible as it makes for ESPN to make the hire–Donovan is one of the most recognizable faces in U.S. soccer–it still comes as somewhat of a surprise. Even though Donovan had been left off the roster he still could have been called upon as an emergency roster replacement should something happen to someone on the roster prior to the team’s first game against Ghana June 16.
Than again, being a long time veteran Donovan knows this and could very well have discussed the possibility with ESPN. Since he is just covering the team from the network’s studios in Los Angeles it would not be hard for him to jump on a plane for Brazil if called upon (depending on his contractual obligation with ESPN of course).
Should he not join the team Jozy Altidore thinks he’s found his next calling in the sport.
“Landon’s a smart guy, he knows the game well. It was always going to happen, Landon being a commentator.”[NYDailyNews]