Exclusive Q&A: Landon Donovan talks Copa final, his career and more
Landon Donovan, who retired from playing soccer in 2014 but now but working as an analyst on FOX Sports' Copa America 2016 coverage,had the chance to chat with AOL Sports about the upcoming game, his career and more.
Q: You're teaming up to work with Sprint. How much fun has that been lately?
A: It's been really fun. We're doing a lot of different things. This is Sprint's first foray into soccer world, mainly due to their CEO's love for the game. He loves soccer and wants to be a part of it. I've been a to number of the venues and have had autograph signings. We've also had a sweepstakes in which fans have the chance to win tickets to Sunday's game and we'll get to hang out. There are a lot of fun things that are good for fans and for the sport.
Q: Sunday's final should be fun. What are you anticipating and any predictions?
A: I think it's going to be a tremendous game. Argentina-Chile is an amazing game. They have no fear. They are teams play each other all the time, so there's not too much of a shock factor. Both love to press the ball and when the ball is turned over, players will be flying to get it back. When you have the best player in the world, you're the favorite, so I'll say Argentina, but it'll be really good.
Q: You've completely made the transition into the broadcast booth. Was that difficult?
A: Little bit of both, easy and difficult. In some ways, it was pretty natural because I've had the camera in front of me and microphones in front of me my whole life. But it's also difficult because there's so much to learn and it's not just talking into a headset. When you pull the curtain back, you have a newfound respect for all announcers. Tricky part is, when I'm calling the U.S. games, I played with a lot of these guys and I'm friends with them. It can be tricky with how you say things. You have to be honest and critical, but you never want to be nasty. I'm on my toes and I do enjoy it.
Q: Six years ago today was your iconic World Cup goal. What do you remember specifically about that moment?
A: Not much, when it happened. I was just too in the moment. The power of that moment, I didn't know. I was just happy to go to next round. But as time has gone on, the more I speak to people, I realize how much it's meant for them and for the sport. I've connected with people more on it -– and I appreciate the value of it.
Q: You've had so many achievements over your playing career. What are you most proud of?
A: Playing in a World Cup was the ultimate because for most of my young life, my goal was just to play college so I can get a scholarship. It's pretty remarkable I was able to achieve it. I didn't have that goal from Day One like so many do now. I just wanted to play soccer. But, I'd say any championships I've won make me the most proud.