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ESPN Commentators for FIFA Confederations Cup


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Ian Darke and Stewart Robson lead match commentator team; Everton FC Manager Roberto Martinez joins studio team with Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman, Tato Noriega and Rubens Pozzi

Three commentator teams, led by Ian Darke and Stewart Robson, will call all 16 matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 in Brazil, June 15-30, on the ESPN networks.  The quadrennial tournament — that serves as a precursor to the upcoming FIFA World Cup – will be presented in high definition when the champions of the six FIFA confederations – CONCACAF (Mexico), UEFA second-place team (Italy), CAF (Nigeria), CONMEBOL (Uruguay), AFC (Japan) and OFC (Tahiti), the 2014 FIFA World Cup host country (Brazil) and the 2010 FIFA World Cup champion (Spain) compete against one another.

The commentator teams:

  • Darke and Robson – ESPN’s lead team will call the opening and title matches, and more;
  • Fernando Palomo and Alejandro Moreno the “El Tri on ESPN” duo will call Mexican National Team matches, among others;
  • Adrian Healey and Kasey Keller the play-by-play voice of “MLS on ESPN” will work select matches with the former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper.

Studio Programming:

Bob Ley, lead host for FIFA telecasts on ESPN, will anchor all FIFA Confederations Cup studio programs – pre-game, halftime, post-game and in-between match shows.  Ley will be joined by a rotating group of analysts: Keller, Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman, Roberto Martinez, Jose Antonio (Tato) Noriega and Rubens Pozzi

ESPN’s coverage of the Confederations Cup will include 30-minute pre-game shows leading into the first match each day (except on June 17 and 20) and 45-minute programs in-between doubleheader matches.  ESPN’s John Sutcliffe, who is traveling with the Mexican National Team, will report news about the team daily.

Commentator bios (alphabetical order):

  • Darke – ESPN’s lead play-by-play commentator for soccer, Darke joined the company in August 2010 after his critically-acclaimed performance calling pivotal U.S. Men’s National Team during the World Cup in South Africa.  Brazil 2013 marks Darke’s first FIFA Confederations Cup for ESPN.
  • Healey – The voice of MLS on ESPN telecasts, Healey handled play-by-play for the Euro 2008 title match between Spain and Germany. He also calls UEFA Champions League matches for ESPN International;
  • Keller – One of America’s most-decorated goalkeepers, Keller will make his ESPN debut on a FIFA event during the Confederations Cup.  He worked as a studio and match analyst during the UEFA European Football Championship 2012 (UEFA EURO 2012);
  • Lalas – A former U.S. Men’s National Team defender, Lalas has been a leading soccer studio analyst for ESPN since 2006, appearing on every marquee soccer event telecast the past seven years;
  • Ley – An award-winning host and journalist, Ley’s ESPN role as a soccer host and play-by-play commentator dates back to 1979 when he joined the network during its first month on the air;
  • McManaman – A former England National Team player and Liverpool FC star, McManaman joined ESPN in August 2010 following his critically acclaimed role as studio analyst for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  He was lead analyst for Premier League matches on ESPN and for UEFA EURO 2012;
  • Martinez – Named Everton FC manager earlier this month after four seasons with Wigan Athletic, Martinez is regarded as one of the best young coaches in Europe. After working the 2010 FIFA World and UEFA EURO 2012, the Confederations Cup marks his third major international soccer competition for ESPN;
  • Moreno – An 11-year veteran of Major League Soccer who played 43 matches for the Venezuelan National Team, Moreno joined ESPN in March as a match and studio analyst, working primarily Mexican National Team and Liga MX telecasts;
  • Noriega – An 18-year professional player in Mexico, including 10 years with the Mexican National Team – Noriega is among the foremost Mexican soccer experts on American television.  He works primarily for ESPN Deportes and ESPN networks in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
  • Palomo – A versatile television anchor and journalist, Palomo joined ESPN in 2000 as a SportsCenter anchor for ESPN Deportes and ESPN networks in Spanish-speaking Latin America.  He is the play-by-play voice for “El Tri on ESPN”;
  • Pozzi – One of Brazil’s top national sports journalists, Pozzi joined ESPN Brazil in 2000 after working for regional media outlets and TV Globo.  He has a deep knowledge of soccer in Brazil;
  • Robson – A former Premier League player, Robson – who has already called select Premier League matches with Darke – will work his first FIFA event for ESPN in the U.S. during the Confederations Cup.

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Commentators Assignments (subject to change):

Date Time (ET) Matchup Networks
Sat, June 15 2:30 p.m. Studio: Bob Ley, Alexi Lalas, Roberto Martinez and Rubens Pozzi ESPN/WatchESPN
    Brazil vs. Japan

Ian Darke and Stewart Robson

Sun, June 16 2:30 p.m. Studio: Ley, Lalas, Martinez and Tato Noriega ESPN/WatchESPN
    Mexico vs. Italy

Fernando Palomo and Alejandro Moreno

    Studio: Ley, Lalas, Martinez and Pozzi  
  5:45 p.m. Spain vs. Uruguay

Darke and Robson

Mon, June 17 2:45 p.m. Studio: Ley, Lalas and Steve McManaman ESPN/WatchESPN
    Tahiti vs. Nigeria

Adrian Healey and Kasey Keller

Wed, June 19 2:30 p.m. Studio: Ley, Martinez, Noriega and Pozzi ESPN/WatchESPN
    Brazil vs. Mexico

Palomo and Moreno

  5:45 p.m. Studio: Ley, Lalas, Martinez and McManaman  
    Italy vs. Japan

Healey and Keller

Thu, June 20 2:45 p.m. Studio: Ley, Lalas and McManaman ESPN/WatchESPN
  . Spain vs. Tahiti

Palomo and Moreno

  5:45 p.m. Nigeria vs. Uruguay

Darke and Robson

Sat, June 22 2:30 p.m. Studio: Ley, Martinez, Pozzi and Noriega ESPN/WatchESPN
    Japan vs. Mexico

Palomo and Moreno

  2:30 p.m. Italy vs. Brazil

Darke and Robson

Sun, June 23 2:30 p.m. Studio: Ley, Lalas, Martinez and McManaman ESPN/WatchESPN
    Nigeria vs. Spain

Darke and Robson

  2:30 p.m. Uruguay vs. Tahiti

Palomo and Moreno



ESPN and Soccer in the United States:

ESPN  is  committed  to  offering  comprehensive  coverage  of  the  world’s  premier  soccer  events  in  the  United  States. ESPN is the English-language television home – and other languages, except Spanish – in the U.S. for the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup and other FIFA events through 2014. The media company is also the English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship through 2016™, and a collection of FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from UEFA nations – Spain, Germany, France and more. ESPN’s multimedia platforms also provide extensive coverage of a myriad of top-tier international leagues and Major League Soccer in the U.S., as well as telecasts of the United States National Team and Mexican National Team matches, international friendlies, and more.

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