Landon Donovan Put On Blast By Former USMNT Players For Supporting Mexico
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In the eyes of many, USMNT legend Landon Donovan is now a massive sell-out. The man with the second-most appearances in the history of the USMNT and the joint-leader for goals has decided to support El Tri at the World Cup (in partnership with Wells Fargo) despite his role in turning the Mexico-United States soccer rivalry into one of the biggest in the world.
The tournament is here! USA fans, our team may not be in Russia, but our neighbors to the south are. So join me and their proud #sponsor @WellsFargo to cheer on our other team, Mexico @miseleccionmxEN. ¡Vamos México! pic.twitter.com/YIifLGCT0D— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) June 16, 2018
Having been born in Southern California, Donovan has made no secret of his admiration for hispanic soccer — he’s fluent in Spanish and currently plays his club ball for Leon in Liga MX. His decision to join Leon was coupled with a political statement aimed at Donald Trump, complete with the statement: “I don’t believe in walls, I want to go to Mexico, dress in green and win tournaments in Leon.”
However, Donovan’s decision to support El Tri in Russia has drawn the ire of former USMNT teammates, including a wonderful rebuttal from Herculez Gomez (who was also born in Southern California, is fluent in Spanish and played for Cruz Azul, Puebla, Pachuca, Estudiantes Tecos, Santos Laguna, Tijuana and Tigres).
The fallout was started by former USMNT captain Carlos Bocanegra, a defender who was capped 110 times by the U.S. and who featured alongside Donovan at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
Really? https://t.co/nlhHJ8CUNG— Carlos Bocanegra (@BocaBoca3) June 16, 2018
Donovan was quick to reply to his former teammate.
You grew up in SoCal and owe much of your soccer skill to playing with Mexicans. Your father is of Mexican descent (). Look around our country, are you happy with how we are treating Mexicans? Open your mind, stand for something & remember where you came from https://t.co/1oOD3asfDk— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) June 16, 2018
But here comes Herc with an absolute closer. That’s the end of that.
This is an incredibly terrible take. Questioning ones loyalties to culture and/or heritage because HE questioned YOU for taking marketing dollars to “root” for your SPORTING RIVAL?You can hate El Tri- this doesn’t mean you have anything against Mexicans. https://t.co/xF9JCI1qBC
— herculez gomez (@herculezg) June 16, 2018
Here are some other takes from other former/present USMNT players (and my favorite player in the world, MNUFC defender Brent Kallman).
I’d rather cut off my toe than “root for ” & I’m on the outside on this one, but how could I root for my/our rival?! Imagine any players rooting for today?! I can’t imagine how @AmericanOutlaws would feel if I rooted for Mexico....but then again I’m old school. https://t.co/wN910307vI— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) June 16, 2018
— Ethan Finlay (@EthanFinlay13) June 16, 2018
— Brent Kallman (@BMKhaveiturway) June 16, 2018
On the pitch, the rivalry will continue a couple months after the World Cup with the U.S. set to host Mexico in a friendly on September 11 in Nashville, Tennessee.