An American soccer star is attracting criticism - from fans and former teammates alike - for appearing in a Wells Fargo ad that encourages US fans to root for Mexico in the World Cup. "United States of America fans, our team may not be in Russian Federation, but our neighbors to the south are", which was met with immediate backlash.
It has been an emotional, painful eight months for U.S. Soccer fans since that fateful loss in Trinidad and Tobago ruled out the men's national team from competing in their eighth straight World Cup.
Carlos Bocanegra, a retired soccer player who was teammates with Donovan on the USA national team, was one of the most prominent people to call Donovan out.
Donovan apparently realized that the ad had struck a nerve.
'Wells Fargo and I are inviting anyone in need of a team to root for to join us in cheering for the Mexican National team'.
Former U.S. forward and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman didn't directly reply to Donovan's posts, but he nevertheless revealed strong feelings about rooting for Mexico.
Donovan has been appearing in promotions for Wells Fargo, and many, including past US internationals, let him have it via social media, for supporting the USA's bitter on-field rival even after the Americans failed to qualify for Russian Federation 2018.
"You grew up in SoCal and owe much of your soccer skill to playing with Mexicans", Donovan said to Bocanegra.
The California native is the US men's national team's all-time leading scorer along with Clint Dempsey, with both players scoring 57 goals for the Stars and Stripes. Open your mind, stand for something & remember where you came from'.
That drew a sharp rebuke from Donovan's former USA teammate Herculez Gomez, who is also an ESPN analyst.
El-Tri, or el tricolor, is a nickname for the Mexico national football team and refers to the colors of the country's flag - red, white and green.