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Where is Landon Donovan now? The USMNT World Cup legend balancing broadcasting and coaching roles

10:36 PM MYT 21/11/2022
Landon Donovan USMNT Algeria 2010 World Cup HIC 16:9
The former forward finished his playing career as an iconic figure in American soccer and set his sights on achieving different kinds of goals.

Landon Donovan never shied from the spotlight as a player – and often thrived at critical moments for the United States men's national team.

However, he's embraced a different kind of life after retiring in 2019.

"What I have realized is that the competitive fire is still there," Donovan told GOAL last year, "but I don't want to do it in a way that's about me anymore and, admittedly, for almost my entire career, it was about me."

That has at times meant helping others stand out.

Donovan has been the head coach of the USL's San Diego Loyal, a club he co-founded, for the past three years.

Additionally, he serves as a stakeholder and strategic advisor for lower-tier English team Lincoln City.

His philosophy is to embrace learning and accept that there are many things he does not know – rather than pretend to be a perfect leader right away.

"My role [at Lincoln City] is if – at any point, in any way – they need help, then I’m happy to try to help, but you don’t come into a club that’s been this successful and pretend that you have much to add," he told The Athletic.

Donovan has also taken on TV broadcast responsibilities, and in Qatar, he will tackle his biggest media challenge to date by serving as a World Cup color commentator alongside Ian Darke.

Previously, Donovan spent time in ESPN and Fox studios for Gold Cup action, and he did live match work at the 2016 Copa America. He's also hosted episodes of the ESPN+ sports analysis series 'Detail'.

Donovan's former USMNT team-mate Clint Dempsey is honing his TV skills as well, and he will be part of a separate Fox match commentary crew in Qatar.

It's a funny coincidence that Donovan will be paired with Darke in the booth, as it was Darke who called Donovan's most famous USMNT goal – the last-second strike against Algeria in 2010 to take his team to the knockout stage.

The USMNT legend – not Darke – is the one feeling a bit starstruck.

"I saw [Ian] a few months back when we were doing practice matches," Donovan said to World Soccer Talk.

"I was excited to see him because of that [goal call]. Having someone that iconic call a goal that meant so much to me is really special.

"It actually makes the goal even better than if it was somebody who was brand new and had never [been] heard of. So, I’m really proud that he was able to experience that too.

"Being with Ian Darke is such a blessing because he’s so good. It’s exciting to work with him. I’ve been a big fan of his work forever!"

Similar to former USMNT international team-mate Jozy Altidore, Donovan remains a full-throated supporter of Gregg Berhalter's squad.

Being a broadcast voice has helped him stay tuned-in to the team, even with his management duties.

Donovan had his time as the face of United States soccer. He loved that role.

But he's now excited to watch someone else – perhaps Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna or Tyler Adams – take the spotlight in Qatar.