New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls Headline MLS Rivalry Week Sunday on ESPN

Extensive cross-platform coverage of MLS Heineken Rivalry Week on ESPN; New York rivalry is one of seven regular season MLS matches moving to ESPN

ESPN will present Major League Soccer’s only intra-city rivalry match on Sunday, June 28, when New York City FC, led by 2010 FIFA World Cup champion and former Barcelona striker David Villa, hosts 2014 MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips and the New York Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium – one of the topline matchups in the “MLS Heineken Rivalry Week.” The match telecast, initially scheduled on ESPN2, moves to ESPN and will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET with a 30-minute pregame show. ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio will also carry the match live; radio coverage begins at 4 p.m.

Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman will call the match in English on ESPN, joined by college sports reporter Allison Williams, in her first assignment as a Major League Soccer sideline reporter. Robert Sierra and Manu Martin will handle Spanish-language commentary on ESPN Deportes. The match will be available on WatchESPN.

Highlights of MLS Rivalry Weekend content on ESPN:

NYC FC-NY Red Bulls Match Production:

  • 30-minute pregame show with Healey, Twellman and Williams focusing on the budding NYC FC/NYRB rivalry;
  • A camera will be embedded with the supporter groups of each club – NYC FC’s Third Rail and NYRB’s Empire Sport Club and Viking Army – leading-up to the match to capture pregame festivities, transportation to the Bronx, and the march to Yankee Stadium. Footage will be featured in pre-match segments and highlighted throughout the telecast;
  • Mike Petke, former New York Red Bulls head coach and player, will be a guest at halftime;
  • ESPN FC Boot Room Extra – Live, digital post-match program with Healey, Twellman and Petke on ESPN3 immediately following the match.


  • On Friday, June 26, the 3 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on ESPNEWS will feature a live, in-studio interview with New York City FC midfielder and U.S. National Team player Mix Diskerud;
  • Preview segments with Twellman on Sunday morning SportsCenter editions (ESPN, 10 a.m.);
  • Post-match highlights and commentary from Yankee Stadium on Sunday night shows.


  • Diskerud will be a guest on ESPNEWS, Friday, June 26, at 11 p.m. (re-airs on ESPN2, 1 a.m.);
  • Preview segments and guest (TBD) interview on Saturday, June 27 (ESPN2, 11 p.m.);
  • Extended post-match coverage Sunday (ESPN2, 12 a.m.) with commentary from the match site by Healey and Twellman, as well as fan-generated content captured during the match.

  • The digital soccer news and information hub will feature a primer on each matchup of MLS Rivalry Weekend;
  • David Hirshey essay about the big NY-NY match from the New York City FC point-of-view;
  • “Insider” video segments leading-up to the NYC FC/NYRB match including game-day coverage from Yankee Stadium (analysis, interviews and more).

Seven MLS Matches Moved to ESPN

Beginning this week with MLS Rivalry Weekend, seven Major League Soccer matches initially scheduled for ESPN2 will now air on ESPN. In addition to the network change, two of the seven match windows – both during MLS Heineken Rivalry Weeks – have been expanded to include 30-minute pre-game shows (June 28 and August 30). The start times for two matches (July 12 and August 23) have been moved to 3 p.m. MLS matches now scheduled for ESPN:

Date Time (ET) Match Platform(s)
Sun, Jun 28 4:30 p.m. MLS Sunday Pre-game Show – #RivalryWeek ESPN
  5 p.m. New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio***
Sun, Jul 12 3 p.m. New York City FC vs. Toronto FC ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun, Aug 23 3 p.m. Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New York City FC ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun, Aug 30 4:30 p.m. MLS Sunday Pre-game Show – #RivalryWeek ESPN
  5 p.m. Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun, Sep 20 5 p.m. Portland Timbers vs. New York red Bulls ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun, Sep 27 5 p.m. Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun, Oct 18 5 p.m. TBD – MLS Flex Schedule ESPN, ESPN Deportes

*** – ESPN Deportes Radio starts at 4 p.m. 

– 30 –

ESPN Releases 2015 Body Issue Roster


Bryce Harper, Kevin Love among 24 in Mag’s annual Body Issue

Bryce Harper‘s on-field body of work this season includes a .345 batting average and 24 home runs.

The star Washington Nationals outfielder’s off-field body of work includes a wish fulfilled: Harper is one of 24 athletes in the ESPN The Magazine Body Issue, online on July 6 and on newsstands July 10.

“I’ve always wanted to do the Body Issue,” Harper said. “I want to put baseball out there.”

Harper is joined by NBA stars Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers andDeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Giants wide receiverOdell Beckham Jr., two-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner, USA women’s soccer star Ali Krieger, Olympians Aly Raisman and Natalie Coughlin, and newly crowned French Open champion Stan Wawrinka.

“I’m proud of my body, I’m proud of my sport, I’m proud of being a professional athlete,” said Krieger, whose team is currently in the knockout rounds of the Women’s World Cup. “Being naked is just another aspect of that.”

This is the seventh annual edition of the Body Issue. It will include photos, personal interviews and videos of the athletes, including NHL star Tyler Seguin and three members of the Indianapolis Colts offensive line: Anthony Castonzo, Todd Herremans and Jack Mewhort.

“I’ve always been a big kid,” said the 23-year-old Mewhort, who is listed at 6-foot-6, 308 pounds. “That’s why when I got this call I was like ‘they want to see me naked?’ I thought I was getting Punk’d.”

Others in the issue include professional wakeboarder Dallas Friday, rugby player Todd Clever, skateboarder Leticia Bufoni, golfer Sadena Parks, archer Khatuna Lorig, soccer player Jermaine Jones, U.S. Olympians Paige Selenski (field hockey), Amanda Bingson (hammer) and Chantae McMillan (heptathlon), along with the husband-wife team of surfer Laird Hamilton and former beach volleyball player Gabby Reece.

“Our goal is to continue to evolve the issue year after year,” ESPN The Magazine and editor in chief Chad Millman said. “The ability to capture both the strength and vulnerability of these extraordinary athletes through such powerful images and introspective interviews is incredibly moving.”

“One of the things I love about the Body Issue so much is that it celebrates the bodies that allow us to be successful in our sport,” said Coughlin, who has won 12 Olympic swimming medals. “As a sports fan, I love seeing the differences in body types.”







Media Contact:  Carrie Kreiswirth


ESPN Weekly Enterprise jOURnalism Release

 A Father’s Legacy

 june 18 SCFeatured SportsCenter (Sunday, 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET)

june 18 2015 SCF frates

This Father’s Day, the catalyst behind last year’s miraculous Ice Bucket Challenge is celebrating a new phenomenon. Pete Frates is now the father of a baby girl named Lucy. While ALS has left him physically limited, it has not stopped him from enjoying every second of fatherhood. Pete’s own father, John, passed down a legacy of strength and perseverance by example. They have now forged a new bond through their mission of ALS awareness, traveling cross country in search of a cure. SC Featured finds Pete passing on his own legacy, to his daughter, as Tom Rinaldi reports.

“Becoming a father has been the greatest gift of all. When I am feeling down or sick all I need to do is look at her little face and I immediately feel better.” – Pete Frates

I think it comes down to one word, and that’s legacy… You want to leave your legacy in a better position than you carved in this world.” – John Frates   

 Still Fighting

OTL 25th logo 1Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ESPN; 10 a.m. ESPN2)

june 18 2015 box1Credit: ESPN/Producer Willie Weinbaum

Magomed Abdusalamov with his wife Bakanay Abdusalamova holding their youngest daughter

In an award-winning February 2014 report, Outside the Lines examined the story of heavyweight contender Magomed Abdusalamov, whose devastating brain injury three months earlier nearly killed him and raised serious questions about the treatment he received. Now the severely disabled former fighter and his wife, the parents of three young girls, confront profound challenges every day. John Barr reports.

“Our oldest more or less understands what happened to him. She seems to have accepted it and she’s waiting for her dad to get better. The middle one is always asking, when will her dad be back, she even made him a birthday card, ‘Daddy, I miss you, you’re the strongest’. It’s like she’s waiting for that other dad to come back.” Bakanay Abdusalamova, Magomed Abdusalamov’s wife, on how their two oldest daughters (ages 9 and 6) are reacting to their father’s condition

“The man’s face was horribly disfigured. He was making all classic complaints that would be consistent with potentially having a brain injury. And then they abandoned the guy, didn’t put him in an ambulance whereby he would have gotten immediate care once he did get to the hospital that night.”  — Paul Edelstein, Abdusalamov’s family attorney, on the civil lawsuit accusing New York State Athletic Commission doctors of negligence and medical malpractice.

june 18 FR logo

FrontRow’s latest “Beyond The Story” entry:

june 18 harris pool

Several ESPNers explain how the Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes became ESPN’s NBA Finals social media MVP by providing virtually all-access content across various platforms for his fans.

After World Cup Elimination, Ivory Coast Coach Makes Case for More


june 18 w soccer

Inspired by her players despite a 31 loss to Norway and elimination from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, coach Clementine Toure wants more funding to help Ivory Coast’s preparation and development. Andrea Canales reports.

 Are Fans Fantastic? Producer Goes from Pictures to Prose to Report


First-time author Justine Gubar (far right) was a guest on Outside The Lines to discuss fan behavior

ESPN producer Justine Gubar talks about hooliganism, alcohol, over-the-top parents and the double standard for policing sports riots and protest riots when discussing her debut book  FANATICUS: Mischief and Madness in the Modern Sports Fan released this week.

Sports Reporters

This week’s Panel* (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ESPN; 10:30 a.m., ESPN2)


Mike Lupica guest host, Howard Bryant, Israel Gutierrez, Bob Ryan

*Subject to change


FOX Sports FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Morning Highlights – Monday, June 15

fox-sports-logoICYMI:  Jay and Dan DON’T Go to the Women’s World Cup Part 2

FOX Sports’ coverage of the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015™ continues with four games on Monday, June 15. Pregame coverage begins at 3:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1 and local FOX stations. The day wraps up with FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TONIGHT at 10:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1.

See below for the full schedule and for highlights from last night’s FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TONIGHT.



4:00 PM ET – Thailand vs. Germany, FOX

(Group B, Winnipeg – JP Dellacamera, Tony DiCicco and Cat Whitehill)

4:00 PM ET – Ivory Coast vs. Norway, FOX Sports 1

(Group B, Moncton – Jenn Hildreth, Kyndra de St. Aubin)

6:00 PM ET – FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TODAY, FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports 2

7:30 PM ET – Netherlands vs. Canada, FOX Sports 1

(Group A, Montreal – John Strong, Danielle Slaton)

7:30 PM ET – China vs. New Zealand, FOX Sports 2

(Group A, Winnipeg – Glenn Davis, Christine Latham)






Leslie Osborne on Abby Wambach’s comments suggesting that the U.S. would score more goals if their matches were played on grass rather than turf:

“I was surprised when I heard those comments, so I reached out to her for clarification, and she did say that she would have scored those goals if they had played on grass.  However, she did say that she takes full responsibility and will do better in the games to come and will finish those chances.  It’s a mental thing for her right now, and she said it to me today that she needs to get over [it].”


Alexi Lalas addresses Wambach’s comments:

“It’s weak. It’s completely weak and irritating to be quite honest … To blame the turf for her not scoring goals is ridiculous … If she is pulling punches, that is a problem. That is a problem for the United States.  And if the United States does not win the World Cup, I hate to break it to you Abby, but it’s not going to be because of artificial surface.”

Angela Hucles adds her thoughts:

“You don’t want to be in a position to be concentrating on the turf.  It becomes a mental issue.  Abby is used to scoring goals and what this says to me is that Abby is feeling a little bit of the pressure.”

USWNT star midfielder Megan Rapinoe joined the show and answered questions from the panel:


Is the team satisfied so far?

“I think so. We’re taking a little bigger picture look.  After the game, we don’t like to lose, and sometimes when we tie we feel like it’s a loss. Looking back, by far, I think we have the toughest group… Coming out of there [with] four points, we’re in the driver’s seat, and looking forward to Nigeria.”

How are you feeling after getting a couple of goals?

“Someone’s got to do it. Right?  Might as well be me.”

How has it been for you playing on turf?

“It’s tough. I don’t think anyone can say it’s easier to play on turf than grass.  It’s tough. The game’s played a little differently, but that’s what it is now, and everyone is playing on it and everyone has to deal with it.”

Rapinoe on Megan Klingenberg’s header to deny Sweden a goal in their last match

“Kling, little Mini Me getting up there, she’s such a warrior. She’s so intense.”

The Women’s World Cup Tonight crew gave updated power rankings of their top 10 teams in the tournament so far:

  1. Germany
  2. Brazil
  3. Japan
  4. USA
  5. France
  6. Norway
  7. Sweden
  8. Australia
  9. Switzerland
  10. Columbia/Canada


For notes, coverage, bios, photography and more, visit the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015 page on FOX Sports Press Pass.


ESPN Weekly Enterprise jOURnalism Release

 College Athletes & Crime
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN; 10 a.m. ESPN2)
ESPN Digital Media (to be posted Sunday morning)

may 28 2015 copsCredit: ESPN/Producer Nicole Noren
Paula Lavigne speaks with Tallahassee defense attorney Tim Jansen with his autographed Jameis Winston jersey in the background

When college athletes, especially big-name stars, are accused of crimes, they often make headlines — not just because of an arrest, but often for avoiding charges or prosecution. Some people believe athletes get special treatment for their status, while others believe they are unfairly targeted. Outside the Lines studied thousands of police reports and court records and discovered that athletes at some schools are indeed less likely to face criminal punishment. However, as Paula Lavigne reports in an exclusive investigation, the reasons why may be surprising.

Paula Lavigne: “Was there a sense that you weren’t worried about getting in trouble? That you felt like people would protect you, that you could get away with things? Was there that attitude out there?”
Chris Rainey, former University of Florida running back: “Yeah, we did feel like the – the ‘S’ word (Superman).”

“You can’t win with the people who are just rabid sports fans. I mean, I got hate mail from all over the country. I had people writing me saying that they hope my daughter and my wife got raped. And then I had people writing me saying ‘You’re going to cost us a national championship.’” – Willie Meggs, Florida State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit, who investigates whether athletes get special treatment by police

 Anatomy of the Kings’ trying season

june 11 2015 kings national NHL writer Katie Strang chronicles why the Los Angeles Kings went from Stanley Cup Champions in 2014 to missing the playoffs in 2015 Check ESPNFrontRow for the story behind the story.


2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

june 112015 wcup

ESPN has unprecedented news and information coverage of the Women’s World Cup in Canada 2015, led by espnW, which will provide on-site features, analysis and reports from each of the 52 matches. espnW profiles U.S. players Hope Solo and Alex Morgan and takes a look at each team in the field.


Sports Reporters

This week’s Panel* (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ESPN; 10:30 a.m., ESPN2)


John Saunders, Mike Lupica, Bob Ryan, Pablo S. Torrre

*Subject to change


ESPNers’ SJI Honored

june 11 2015 SIJ

Sports Journalism Institute (SJI), the training-internship program co-founded in 1993 and still directed by ESPN News Editor Sandy Rosenbush and Leon Carter, VP and Editorial Director, The Undefeated, has been recognized with the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism. SJI is a nine-week training and internship program designed to attract talented women and minority students to journalism through opportunities in sports reporting and editing and enhance racial and gender diversity in sports departments nationwide. Most of the nearly 300 graduates have gone on to work at newspapers, websites and TV stations and networks around the country. The Missouri School of Journalism has awarded the honor annually since 1930 to outstanding journalists, advertising and public relations practitioners, business people, institutions and media organizations from around the world.

FOX Sports FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Morning Highlights – Tuesday, June 9

fox-sports-logoFOX Sports presents four FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015™ games today on local FOX stations and FOX Sports 1, beginning with France, one of the tournament favorites, taking on England at 1:00 PM ET. Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET on local FOX stations with FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TODAY live from FOX Sports’ state-of-the-art Vancouver studio.


FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™


1:00 PM ET – France vs. England, FOX

(Group F, Moncton – Justin Kutcher, Aly Wagner, Julie Stewart-Binks)


4:00 PM ET – Colombia vs. Mexico, FOX

(Group F, Moncton –Kutcher, Wagner, Stewart-Binks)

4:00 PM ET – Spain vs. Costa Rica, FOX Sports 1

(Group E, Montreal – John Strong and Danielle Slaton)


7:00 PM ET – Brazil vs. Korea Republic, FOX Sports 1

(Group E, Montreal – Jenn Hildreth and Kydra de St. Aubin)




Leslie Osborne on Alex Morgan getting into the game:

“There’s nothing like getting back in the game and getting game fit. She played 11 minutes; she had some great touches today, and even had a great left-footed shot.”

Monica Gonzalez adds:

“The question coming in was at what point will she be 100 percent? The fact that she played even just 10 minutes says that she’s 100 percent. That’s good news if you’re a United States fan because Jill Ellis was prepared to not play Alex until the second or third game.”

Angela Hucles on Hope Solo’s performance:

“Hope Solo is on her A-game. She came into this tournament focused and she had an outstanding game. She had at least three crucial saves that could have determined this game and could have gone the other way for the United States. Hope Solo was playing like the Hope Solo we know she can be.”

Eric Wynalda on the different options the USWNT has:

“I like the balance of this team because they can change it up on the fly and beat you in several ways.”


Gonzalez says the entire U.S. team is accountable for giving up Australia’s goal:

“This is a team goal that was given up. There were about four or five different players that could have done one thing to prevent the goal.”

Hucles on what the U.S. can take away from its performance today:

“The United States got better throughout the game. They had a couple moments defensively where they were exposed a little bit, but this allows them to go ahead and make sure that they’re shoring things back up and getting on the same page.”


Wynalda on Nigeria’s strengths:

“The team speed that they have and their willingness to use it and a coach who is not afraid to change the game and turn it on its head – I like them, I think they can beat anybody.”

Osborne on Nigeria:

“This is the best Nigerian team I’ve seen play. They took their strengths and made Sweden look not very good today. I do think they are going to go far, however, they do not have the depth that the U.S. and France and Germany have. I think they will go farther than they have before, but they’re not winning the World Cup.”

For notes, coverage, bios, photography and more, visit the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015 page on FOX Sports Press Pass.


ESPN and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015

1999 Women’s World Cup Champions Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf Reunite on ESPN

ESPN will feature unprecedented coverage news and information coverage of the Women’s World Cup in Canada 2015, led by espnW, the premier cross-platform brand for women who love sports. Highlights:

Primary TV Pundits

Julie Foudy, captain of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team that captured the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and her 1999 teammates Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf headline ESPN’s analysis, news and information coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup on TV. Bob Holtzman will report on the U.S. team from Canada.

  • Julie Foudy (espnW) – the ESPN commentator is one of the most-recognized faces in women’s sports
  • Kristine Lilly (ESPN FC) – making her debut as a TV pundit after one of the most-accomplished careers in women’s soccer history
  • Kate Markgraf (ESPN FC) – returns to ESPN after working as a game and studio analyst during Germany 2011
  • Bob Holtzman (Reporter) – ESPN bureau reporter, who covered the U.S. Women’s National Team throughout Women’s World Cup 2011 in Germany, returns to the same role for SportsCenter, ESPN FC, and other news and information programs.

espnW will anchor ESPN’s multi-platform coverage of the quadrennial tournament – the biggest women’s only global sporting event. The digital platform will feature veteran sports and soccer writers – Andrea Canales, Jim Caple, Jeff Carlisle, Kate Fagan, Ben Gladwell, Graham Hays, D’Arcy Maine, Doug McIntyre, Elizabeth Merrill, Graham Parker and Sarah Spain – who will be onsite providing original content from all 52 matches. Highlights:

  • Group-by-group previews of all 24 teams;
  • In-depth features on U.S. stars Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan, as well as Allison Glock’s intimate look at goalkeeper Hope Solo;
  • Three-part series by Julie Foudy explaining how the S. Women’s National Team can end the drought and win its first World Cup in 16 years;
  • Foudy’s bracket predictions, with game-by-game picks from the Round of 16 and on;
  • A panel of experts select the top-10 players as well as picks and predictions;
  • An Xs and Os look at the top contenders at the World Cup – USA, France, Germany, Japan and Sweden;
  • Graham Hays’ profile of USA coach Jill Ellis;
  • espnW’s #HowSheDoesIt – a deep-dive focusing on how six U.S. Women’s National Team players prepare physically and mentally for the World Cup;
  • In their own words, U.S. Women’s National Team stars Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe recount the plays that led to the historic header by Wambach in stoppage time against Brazil in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals, voted as the best goal in U.S. Soccer history;
  • Post-game analysis and breakdown for all matches via data provided by ESPN’s industry-leading Stats and Information Group;
  • Automated stats, team rosters, match previews and recaps, all powered by ESPN FC.

Additionally on ESPN Social Media handles: Facebook Q & As with ESPN soccer talent; World Cup Snapshot Mosaic featuring images shared by teams and players during the tournament; “Day in The Life” – curated Instagram follow with player or talent; “Scene and Heard” content from various match sites, and more.


Grantland will have ongoing coverage from Louisa Thomas and Ryan O’Hanlon throughout the tournament.  Thomas profiled USWNT forward Sydney Leroux earlier this week.

This week, June 2, FiveThirtyEight debuted the first-ever Women’s World Cup interactive graphic, which will evaluate on a daily basis the probability of each team’s chances throughout the tournament. In addition to covering developing storylines, the site will publish several data-driven stories and podcasts tied to tournament, including:

  • An in-depth analytical profile of the U.S. Women’s National Team, based on its performance in the Friendlies.
  • A group-by-group tournament preview based on FiveThirtyEight’s forecast, by Allison McCann.
  • A video and podcast interview with USWNT players Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press, by Allison McCann.


ESPN’s flagship news and information program will feature live reports from the U.S. Women’s National Team camp through the duration of their World Cup campaign in Canada as well as studio analysis featuring a rotation of Foudy, Lilly and Markgraf. Highlights:

  • On match-days featuring the U.S. team, SportsCenter will offer extensive pre- and post-match coverage;
  • Holtzman, with the U.S. team, will be SportsCenter’s primary reporter in Canada;
  • After the group stage, Foudy will appear on the show live from sites of key World Cup matchups in Canada.


ESPN FC on TV, ESPN daily soccer news, information, highlights and analysis, television program, will provide daily analysis, previews and post-match breakdowns throughout the duration of the tournament, with regular appearances by Foudy, Lilly and Markgraf, including reports from espnW writers covering the matches in Canada and Holtzman with the U.S. team.

ESPN FC will kickoff its coverage with a one-hour special ESPN FC Women’s Soccer Preview on Friday, June 5, at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, hosted by Adrian Healey with Foudy, Lilly and Markgraf. Highlights:

  • Daily analysis from panel of experts;
  • Reports by Holtzman and espnW writers from U.S. camp in Canada;
  • Daily espnW digital segments and features about the tournament and its key stars;
  • X and Os previews and analysis of the key matchups, including the U.S. team;
  • ESPN digital anchor Antonietta “Toni” Collins will join the rotation – including Healey and Dan Thomas – as a ESPN FC host during the tournament.

ESPN The Magazine: World Football Issue

The Mag’s World Football Issue (on newsstands now) features U.S. Women’s National Team stars Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux on the cover.  The issue also features profiles of the U.S. World Cup team, including goalkeeper Hope Solo, who opens up for the first time about the incidents that led to her suspension from the team by U.S. Soccer as she prepared for her third World Cup.

Other stories include the Premier League’s diversity problem, a look into FIFA’s numerous controversies surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, an analytics preview of the (June 6) Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus, and a special take from FiveThirtyEight on all 24 teams in the Women’s World Cup.

espnW Originals: What Makes Us

espnW has launched a new original series, What Makes Us, comprised of five documentary shorts featuring some of the world’s greatest female athletes and their journeys to become sports icons.  The series is produced in collaboration with the sibling directing team, the Mundo Sisters, who previously directed the popular espnW Original Nine for IX Short: Rowdy Ronda Rousey.

Three of the films focus on elite women’s soccer players participating in the Women’s World Cup – USA’s Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe, and Spain’s Verónica Boquete.

– 30 –


FOX Sports Showcases All 24 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015 Teams in Unprecedented Series of Features


Emmy Award-Winning Producer Jennifer Pransky

Leads Unit Telling More than 60 Unique and Compelling Stories

Think fast: Which member of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) is the youngest of seven children? Which player turns 40 years old during the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP™ 2015?

FOX Sports answers these questions and many more about the players comprising the 24 international teams competing in this month’s FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP™ 2015 with more than 60 features airing throughout the tournament on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Every feature – including extended “director’s cut” versions for many – is available on demand on and distributed across FOX Sports Digital social media accounts. During its nearly 200 hours of FIFA Women’s World Cup™ programming, FOX Sports offers more comprehensive human interest coverage of players and teams than any other network in the event’s history, beginning with FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SPECIAL, a live one-hour preview show airing on the eve of match play, Friday, June 5 (7:30 PM ET) on FOX Sports 1.

Spearheading the production of the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP™ 2015 features is Jennifer Pransky, Coordinating Producer for the Features Division.  Pransky, a multiple Emmy Award-winner, plays a central role in creating features and vignettes for FOX Sports’ expansive coverage of the tournament and is charged with telling the athletes’ stories in unique and compelling ways.  In her daily role outside of women’s soccer, Pransky produces specialty features, projects and shows across all sports for every FOX Sports outlet, including broadcast and cable television and digital.

“The level of athleticism and training these women put into the FIFA Women’s World Cup is astounding, but their stories don’t end with the endless hours on the field,” said David Neal, FIFA Women’s World Cup™ on FOX Executive Producer.  “FOX Sports is delving deep into each team to unearth the most interesting aspects of who these superstars are. Jen Pransky and her group have done an outstanding job of painting these players not only as world-class athletes but as human beings. Their personal triumphs are as compelling as their professional ones, and fans will be able to identify with the athletes as they cheer them on.”

One prime example of the work Pransky’s unit has produced is the feature focused on USWNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe.  The piece shows that she is as much an artist off-field as she is an athlete on-field.  We learn that she is an avid guitar player, a style aficionado and loves the diverse community that is her home in Seattle.  Openly gay, Rapinoe shares her personal story, including her use of art and music to express her individuality while growing up as a teenager who struggled to reveal her true self. Watch a preview of the feature here.

“I love soccer, I always have and I always will, but there is more to me than just soccer, more that I love, more that I am proud of, more that I am passionate about and more that I want to be,” said Rapinoe. “I have and will always live my life by a simple rule: always be yourself.”

“We’ve spent over a year coming to know many of the women playing in this tournament, and we can’t wait for America to learn more about them through the work of the talented people in our unit,” said Pransky. “Our piece on Megan Rapinoe is a great example of what viewers can expect. She’s honest, unique, and has tons of moxie!  Megan reminds us that being different is cool, which is one of the many positive messages that will come from getting to know her and the remarkable women playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Highlights of the 60-plus features include:

Japan – Four years ago, Japan shocked the world by beating the United States in an unforgettable World Cup final. Players from the 2011 championship team recount that fateful match and how it changed their lives.

Carli Lloyd – By virtue of her regimented training and meticulous eating plan, Lloyd is considered one of the hardest working players in the game today. However, she wasn’t always as dedicated.  Lloyd reveals the challenges she faced when graduating to the national level and the realization she no longer was the best on the field, which prompted her to make drastic changes in her mindset and daily training.

Dzsenifer Marozsan – The German midfielder describes herself as quiet on the field but cheeky off of it. Soccer is in her DNA. Born in Hungary, her family moved to Germany when her father had the chance to play for FC Saarbrϋken. Meet the rising star of the No.1-ranked team in the world.

Maren Mjelde – Mjelde has lived and played abroad for many years but is always honored to play for her home country of Norway. She takes FOX Sports to her picturesque home to meet her family. Mjelde’s mother is battling cancer, but through supporting her, the family has become stronger than ever.

Alex Morgan – Morgan, one of the most high-profile players on the USWNT, takes viewers behind-the-scenes of what it means to be an ambassador for the sport and role model for younger, aspiring players.  Cameras follow Morgan through commercial and promotional shoots to learn more about the responsibilities of being a team member both on and off the field, as well as the woman who was virtually unknown in the last FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP™ but whose face now is everywhere.

Christie Rampone – Rampone, a longtime captain of the USWNT, is participating in her fifth and final FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP™, and turns 40 years old during the tournament (June 24).  Rampone, also a soccer mom to two children, takes viewers through a day in her life as a mother, wife and world-class athlete.


Pia Sundhage – One of the great players in women’s soccer history, Sundhage was born in Sweden, but coached the USWNT from 2008-12. Now coaching for her home country, she looks to deliver glory to her native Sweden after leading the USWNT to two Olympic gold medals and a second-place World Cup finish. FOX Sports soccer insider Grant Wahl goes one-on-one with the head coach.

Abby Wambach – One of the biggest names in the history of the USWNT, Wambach’s mother checked out a library book on soccer because one of her seven children wanted to play.  Wambach, lucky number seven of her siblings, heads home to Rochester, N.Y., with FOX Sports to introduce viewers to her dozens of family members, including many boisterous nieces and nephews, at her parents’ home.  The group reminisces and shares interesting stories about life growing up as a Wambach.

Women’s Soccer – Equality between men’s and women’s sports has always been a topic of discussion in the United States, and the conversation is reaching global levels. Many of the top players in the world grew up playing on boys’ teams because there were no girls’ teams. FOX Sports talks to players around the world about how women’s soccer has changed in their lifetimes, and what steps the sport still needs to take to become the global force it has the potential to be.

FOX Sports plans the most expansive and comprehensive multi-platform coverage ever of the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP™, including an unprecedented 16 matches airing live on FOX broadcast network, when the tournament commences on Saturday, June 6. FOX Sports televises all 52 games in the expanded tournament from six cities across Canada between June 6 and July 5, live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, America’s fastest growing sports network, and FOX Sports 2.  All games are available on tablets and mobile devices via the FOX Sports GO app and online at

For more information on FOX Sports’ comprehensive coverage of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™, please visit FOX Sports Press Pass.


espnW’s Julie Foudy and Former U.S. Soccer Teammates Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf Headline ESPN’s Women’s World Cup Coverage

1999 Women’s World Cup Champions to Appear on SportsCenter, ESPN FC, espnW and Other Platforms

espnW’s Julie Foudy, captain of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team that captured the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will be joined by two of her 1999 teammates Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf to headline ESPN’s comprehensive analysis, news and information coverage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

The three are among the most accomplished and decorated players in international women’s soccer, collectively with five World Cup titles and six Olympic gold medals among them and combined 825 international appearances for the USWNT.

Foudy will provide analysis for ESPN’s news and information programs including SportsCenter and ESPN FC, and offer previews, reports and commentary for

Lilly and Markgraf will join ESPN FC beginning Saturday, May 30, from Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., the site of the USWNT’s final send-off match before the World Cup, against South Korea.

Additionally, ESPN digital anchor Antonietta “Toni” Collins will join the rotation as a host of ESPN FC during the Women’s World Cup. ESPN reporter Bob Holtzman will follow the U.S. team throughout the tournament, providing updates for SportsCenter.

espnW will be onsite providing original content for all 52 games of the tournament – with a collection of veteran writers from espnW, ESPN FC and, including Andrea Canales, Jim Caple, Jeff Carlisle, Kate Fagan, Ben Gladwell, Graham Hays, Doug McIntyre, D’Arcy Maine, Elizabeth Merrill, Graham Parker and Sarah Spain. espnW will provide comprehensive coverage of the Women’s World Cup at, which will include automated stats, rosters, game previews and recaps powered by ESPN FC.


Canales covers Liga MX and Mexico National Team for

Caple is an award-winning columnist and senior writer for, who has reported from 17 World Series, nine Olympic Games and six continents.

Carlisle has covered MLS and the U.S. national teams for ESPN since 2005, and provided on-site coverage from the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. He began his soccer journalism career in 2002 when he wrote for, covering the San Jose Earthquakes and the WUSA’s San Jose CyberRays.

Collins joined ESPN in 2013 as a digital anchor. She played for the Mexican Women’s National Team’s under-19 squad and has previously reported on MLS’ FC Dallas, among other assignments. Collins also contributes to various platforms for ESPN Deportes.

Fagan has been a columnist for since 2012 who has covered a variety of sports for the site, including college and professional basketball, women’s soccer, the NFL and more. She spent three seasons reporting on the Philadelphia 76ers for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2009 – 2012 and played women’s basketball at the University of Colorado from 1999 – 2004. Last October, she wrote the in-depth profile “After the Storm” about USWNT star Abby Wambach for espnW and ESPN The Magazine.

Foudy is one of the most accomplished female soccer players in the world. She joined ESPN in 2005 as women’s soccer and FIFA World Cup analyst. Following her work during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Foudy’s role at ESPN was expanded to include serving as a features reporter and a spokesperson for select company initiatives. She served as a host, analyst and reporter for ESPN’s productions of the the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and was an analyst during ESPN’s presentation of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In 2015, Foudy was named espnW’s primary representative at major sporting events.

Gladwell is a writer for, covering international soccer.

Hays began his career with ESPN in 1999, and has since become one of the preeminent women’s college sports writers in the country, covering basketball, soccer and softball for espnW. In 2015, Hays was honored with the Mel Greenberg Media Award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for his women’s college basketball writing.

Holtzman joined ESPN in November 2000 as a Cincinnati-based reporter. He primarily covers stories that are featured on the network’s award-winning news and information shows including SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, Outside the Lines and Baseball Tonight. A seasoned international sports reporter, Holtzman has covered the U.S. National Soccer Teams for SportsCenter and other shows.

Lilly is the most-capped player in international soccer history, appearing 352 times for the USA. A midfielder, she scored 130 goals in her career – good for fourth-most all-time — and played in five Women’s World Cups. Lilly is a three-time U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the year. She was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014.

MacIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine and a U.S. Soccer Insider for ESPNFC. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.

Maine is a staff writer for espnW, covering culture and sports, and highlighting some of the top trending sports social media topics the espnW’s The Buzz. She previously served as SportsNation’s mobile correspondent, hosting chats from some of the biggest sporting events in the country.

Markgraf was one of the best defenders in U.S. Women’s National Team history. Though she was the least experienced starter in 1999, having joined the team a year earlier, Markgraf helped anchor the defense for the United States’ 1999 Women’s World Cup winning team. Markgraf played in 201 international matches from 1998 – 2008, the seventh-most in the U.S. women’s team history. She previously served as an analyst for ESPN during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Merrill is a senior writer for and ESPN The Magazine who has written extensively on the NFL and several Olympic sports. She previously wrote for The Kansas City Star and The Omaha World-Herald.

Parker is a soccer columnist for and Grantland where he writes “The Designated Player” column, and serves as the chief U.S. soccer writer for The Guardian US

Spain is the co-host of espnW Presents: Spain & Prim on ESPN Radio, a SportsCenter anchor for ESPN1000 and has been an espnW columnist since 2010, covering a variety of sports including the NFL, NBA and soccer.

– 30 –


ESPN Weekly Enterprise jOURnalism Release

Reporter Jeremy Schaap & host Bob Ley discuss the issues on Wednesday’s expanded OTL.

“The FIFA Crisis”

ESPN Platforms

ESPN continues its extensive FIFA indictments coverage highlighted by tonight’s Outside the Lines Special: The FIFA Crisis at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Below, some examples of the reports, analysis and commentary which have appeared across various ESPN platforms:

may28 otlpod

Wednesday’s Outside the Lines’ podcast

may28 538

How FIFA’s Structure Lends Itself To Corruption

By Carl Bialik, FiveThirtyEight’s lead writer for news

may28 fc

Sepp Blatter’s Future – What You Need to Know

By Gabriele Marcotti, columnist for ESPN FC

may28 .comm

The Buck Stops with Blatter

Video commentary by soccer play-by-play commentator Ian Darke


The FIFA Crisis 

SportsCenter’s Robert Flores’ “Top Takes” video commentary

may28 e60

An Examination of the Most Powerful Man in Sports

Jeremy Schaap focuses on Sepp Blatter’s leadership of the organization overseeing world soccer.


The Ugly Game

ESPN The Magazine (“World Football Issue” on newsstands on Friday)

may28 theuglygame

Sepp Blatter is on the brink of winning his fifth term as FIFA president, even as the staging of the next two World Cups looks more contentious than ever. Based largely on a recent in-depth documentary produced by E:60 in which Jeremy Schaap told the tale of corruption, injustice and moral depravity behind FIFA’s naming Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts, ESPN The Magazine presents a guide explaining just why everyone is so outraged with FIFA.


Life on the Streets

SportsCenter (Sunday, 10 a.m., ESPN) (to be posted Sunday)

may 28 homeless

In an effort to get a closer look at the hardships homeless people in America endure every single day, two St. Louis Rams defensive linemen took to the streets for 24 hours with no place to sleep or eat, no connection to the outside world and only $4 each. SC Featured followed their story.

“It was the worst night I’ve ever had in my life for sure. My body hurts so bad right now.” — William Hayes, St. Louis Rams defensive end

“It’s amazing though when that cop went to talk to me, just how unsettled that felt, compared to like if a cop normally talks to me walking down the street.” — Chris Long, St. Louis Rams defensive end

Check for a behind the scenes look at the making of the piece.


Cub-struction Project

Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ESPN; 10 a.m., ESPN2)

may 28 2015Credit: ESPN/Producer Willie Weinbaum

Cubs fan Holly Swyers at the May 11 re-opening of Wrigley’s bleachers

Their ballpark is 101 years old and their championship drought is 107. As the Chicago Cubs renovate the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, many question the effect on the park’s allure and whether it can help the team reach its first World Series since 1945. Cubs officials say modernization is a must to compete financially and on the field. Four

 Chicagoans discuss the contentious construction project as told to reporter T.J. Quinn and producer Willie Weinbaum.

“Part of being a Cubs fan is discovering there are ways to lose a game that you’ve never seen before and never imagined were possible. It is an incredibly frustrating experience, but it’s also part of, I think, what draws us together.” — Holly Swyers, Lake Forest College anthropologist & author of “Wrigley Regulars: Finding Community in the Bleachers”

“Will Wrigley Field lose some of its character? Sure. And it won’t be the same ballpark that I’ve walked into over the years. But if it brings us that championship, I’m all for it.” — Mike Reischl, Chicago police officer


What’s next for Kurt Busch and Patricia Driscoll

ESPN The Magazine (“World Football Issue” on newsstands Friday)


When Patricia Driscoll accused Kurt Busch of domestic violence, it made news. When Busch accused her of being an assassin, it went viral. Seth Wickersham reports.


Sports Reporters

This week’s Panel* (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ESPN; 10:30 a.m., ESPN2)


John Saunders

Howard Bryant

Jemele Hill

Bob Ryan

*Subject to change