Landon Donovan Criticized by Past, Present USMNT Members for Supporting Mexico

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

Leon´s new footballer,  Landon Donovan of the US, poses with the team´s jersey during his official presentation at the Nou Camp stadium on January 15, 2018, in Leon, Guanajuato state, Mexico. / AFP PHOTO / GUSTAVO BECERRA        (Photo credit should read GUSTAVO BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
GUSTAVO BECERRA/Getty Images

Current and former U.S. men's national soccer team players have been critical of Landon Donovan, who suggested in a video for Wells Fargo that American soccer fans should support Mexico at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia:

A number of players quickly disagreed with that take, with many citing the longstanding rivalry between the United States and Mexico in men's soccer:

Former USMNT player Cobi Jones wasn't in favor of rooting for El Tri, either, as he revealed in a post on Instagram:

"Nah man!!! Mexico is not 'my team.' Mexico is a rival in CONCACAF. In sport there is something sacred about rivalries. Meaning and history behind them!!! I don't see Brazil cheering for Argentina. England cheering for Germany. Barca for Madrid. Man U for Liverpool or Lakers for Clippers. Yankees/RedSox etc...It's sports and you're allowed to cheer against someone. Let alone your regional rival!!!"

Donovan also responded to Carlos Bocanegra, a former USMNT teammate, citing Bocanegra's Mexican heritage in a now-deleted tweet:

"You grew up in SoCal and owe much of your soccer skill to playing with Mexicans," Donovan said via Andrew Joseph of For The Win. "Your father is of Mexican decent. Look around our country, are you happy with how we are treating Mexicans? Open your mind, stand for something & remember where you came from."

That didn't go over well with another one of his former teammates, Herculez Gomez: 

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Donovan apologized for the tweet Monday, noting he removed the post:

Some folks didn't think the debate was particularly productive one way or another: 

Donovan, who is tied with Clint Dempsey for the most goals scored in USMNT history (57), spent time this spring playing for the Liga MX's Club Leon, and it appeared his comments were made in the spirit of solidarity.

Nonetheless, they came at a time when many former and current USMNT players, and supporters alike, are still raw over the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup.

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