RIO DE JANEIRO, June 11 (Reuters) - Landon Donovan, controversially left out of the United States World Cup squad, has been added to television network ESPN’s broadcast team for the tournament.
ESPN said in a statement that Donovan would focus primarily on games involving the United States who face Ghana, Portugal and Germany in Group G.
“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.”
Donovan will not travel to Brazil but will comment for the sports network from a studio in Los Angeles.
United States coach Juergen Klinsmann’s decision to leave the 32-year-old Donovan out of his 23-man squad provoked fierce debate among American fans.
Donovan played in the last three World Cups and is his country’s all-time top scorer with 57 goals in 156 games. (Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond)