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ESPN: Donovan to analyze US team during World Cup

Published: Wednesday, June 11 2014 12:20 p.m. MDT

United States' Landon Donovan, controls the ball during a training session  on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, Stanford, Calif.   (Tony Avelar, ASSOCIATED PRESS) United States' Landon Donovan, controls the ball during a training session on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, Stanford, Calif. (Tony Avelar, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

LOS ANGELES — ESPN has hired Landon Donovan to offer commentary on the U.S. soccer team he was cut from just before the World Cup.

The all-time American leader in goals and assists, the 32-year-old Donovan was dropped last month in a highly debated move by coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He will make his debut during ESPN's two-hour World Cup preview show Wednesday.

"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's executive producer for World Cup coverage. "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."

Donovan will work out of the company's Los Angeles studios, with a particular focus on his former team. He will provide analysis before and after the Americans' group-stage matches and during halftime. Donovan will also appear on shows such as "SportsCenter."

Donovan played in the last three World Cups, scoring a U.S.-record five goals. His thrilling stoppage-time goal against Algeria sent the Americans to the second round four years ago.

FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, U.S. soccer player Landon Donovan stretches prior to training for the World Cup soccer tournament in Stanford, Calif. ESPN has hired Donovan to offer commentary on the U.S. soccer team he was cut from just before the World Cup. He will make his debut during a World Cup preview show on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.  (Ben Margot, File, Associated Press) FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, U.S. soccer player Landon Donovan stretches prior to training for the World Cup soccer tournament in Stanford, Calif. ESPN has hired Donovan to offer commentary on the U.S. soccer team he was cut from just before the World Cup. He will make his debut during a World Cup preview show on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Ben Margot, File, Associated Press)

Former teammate Jozy Altidore said in Sao Paulo he wasn't too surprised by the move.

"He's a smart guy. He knows the game very well," Altidore said. "It was always going to going to happen — right? — him to be a commentator."

Donovan said in a statement released by ESPN that he hoped "to provide unique insights for our amazing U.S. Soccer fans."

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