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Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 2:03 PM
— Landon Donovan’s support for Mexico at the World Cup has sparked a pitched battle between the most recognizable name in American soccer and his peers, ESPN reported Sunday.
Donovan has been part of an advertising campaign for Wells Fargo to support Mexico, which opened its World Cup play in Russia with a stunning 1-0 victory against defending champion Germany on Sunday. Critics of the promotion have criticized Landon, calling his cheerleading inappropriate.
Donovan posted a photo on Twitter on Saturday holding a scarf that read “My other team is Mexico.”
Donovan played this spring for León, which is part of Mexico’s Primera Division. Still, some questioned Donovan’s motives.
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
“Watering it down for beer/banks won’t enrich the rivalry,” ESPN announcer Sebastian Salazar tweeted.
Carlos Bocanegra, the former captain of the U.S. national team, tweeted “Really?”
Donovan tweeted back that Bocanegra should “remember where you came from.”
#unsponsored thought re: pushing #USMNT fans to root for #ElTriEng . Please don’t do it 🇺🇸 fans. The rivalry, with all its rancor & spite, is THE defining element of ⚽️ in our region. Watering it down for beer/banks won’t enrich the rivalry, just @AlexiLalas & @landondonovan.— Sebastian Salazar (@SebiSalazarFUT) June 16, 2018
“Look around our country, are you happy with how we are treating Mexicans?” Donovan answered. “Open your mind, stand for something and remember where you came from.”
Donovan’s former teammate, Herculez Gomez, an ESPN analyst, criticized that exchange, ESPN reported, tweeting that it was “an incredibly terrible take.”
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?— herculez gomez (@herculezg) June 16, 2018
You can hate El Tri- this doesn’t mean you have anything against Mexicans. ✊🏼 🇲🇽 🇺🇸 https://t.co/xF9JCI1qBC