United States soccer star Landon Donovan was left off of Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but he will still involved in the sport's biggest tournament thanks to a new studio gig with ESPN.
Donovan was officially announced as an in-studio analyst on Wednesday. He will be working from the ESPN/ABC studio in Los Angeles. SI.com's Richard Deitsch had shed light on the possibility a couple of weeks ago, with both ESPN and Fox expressing their interest. Donovan had done UEFA Champions League analysis for Fox this past season.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
The debut for Donovan will come Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET during a two-hour World Cup preview on the network.
“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 said in a release.
While serving as an in-studio analyst, Donovan's responsibilities will include pre-, halftime and post-match coverage, editions of SportsCenter, World Cup Tonight and various other appearances.