Friday, March 30, 2007

Wynalda and Donovan still at it.

During Sunday's telecast of US-Ecuador ESPN's Eric Wynalda made the statement that he felt Landon Donovan was shirking his responsibility to the national team by stating he would skip one of the major tournaments the US is playing this summer. Donovan was asked about Wynalda's comments on Tuesday by a local reporter in Dallas, and Donovan scoffed when he heard Wynalda's name before he even heard the comment. Then after hearing the comment, Donovan curtly said "I have to live my life and he doesn't."

Clearly Donovan still holds a bitterness towards Wynalda for his consistent criticisms during the World Cup, and his continued criticism this year even as Donovan was scoring five goals in three matches. Stay tuned, because as we know US Soccer doesn't enjoy criticism and if Donovan, the chosen poster boy for US Soccer eventually wants Wynalda off the US Soccer telecasts, my money is on him getting his wish.


BillEShears said...

I think that says a lot about Donovan's personality. The fact that he is still so offended because someone ripped his World Cup performance, which was terrible, gives some great insight. He is too sensitive to play in Europe, or to be an effective leader for the National Team.

All he had to do was blow off that question and say that he had some nagging injuries and wanted to be fresh for the MLS season etc. etc. But, he perhaps made it into a bigger issue than it is.

I don't see Wynalda getting booted from the broadcast booth though. He has personality, he speaks his mind, he seems like a generally decent guy, and from ESPN's perspective I don't see them having anyone better to put in there.

I also don't think US Soccer or Donovan have the clout to dictate anything to ESPN. They are more dependent on ESPN to televise it than ESPN is to have their broadcast.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I hope ESPN stands up to US Soccer, because I 100% agree with Kartik that the USSF demands company men in the booth. However, the reality of the situation is ESPN has made a long term commitment to soccer in the states and Wynalda is the right guy to spice up the coverage and get otherwise disinterested people into soccer.

BillEShears said...

Yeah, its not like England where the TV contract has the same amount of clout where they can dictate who is in the booth.

Xavier said...

Wynalda needs to shut up.