ESPN has named four additional analysts – Efan Ekoku, Kasey Keller, Alejandro Moreno and Stewart Robson – to its commentator team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer. The group of analysts will contribute to ESPN’s English-language match and studio coverage in the United States during the month-long tournament, June 12 – July 13.
Ekoku, the former Nigerian national team player, will again work primarily as a match analyst after calling the opening match and World Cup final in South Africa 2010. Keller, Moreno and Robson will make their ESPN World Cup debut, though all currently or have previously contributed to the company’s global football coverage.
Moreno, the former Venezuelan national team player, will continue to call Mexican National Team matches with Fernando Palomo on ESPN and will work as co-commentator and studio analyst during the tournament.
Keller, the former United States goalkeeper and studio analyst for MLS Cup on ESPN, will split roles as both as studio pundit and match co-commentator in Brazil. Robson, ESPN’s lead match analyst for the 2013 Confederations Cup, returns to the network in a similar role for Brazil 2014.
“Our team of analysts for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is one the best collections of football minds assembled anywhere for this global sporting event,” said Jed Drake, ESPN’s executive producer, 2014 FIFA World Cup. “Beyond their knowledge of football on its biggest stage, their passion for the sport is infectious and resonates with viewers.”
ESPN’s 11-member analyst team for Brazil 2014 represents a highly diverse, global roster of international football experts. Collectively, the commentators represent eight different countries including Steve McManaman, Stewart Robson (England); Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman, Kasey Keller (USA); Michael Ballack (Germany); Efan Ekoku (Nigeria); Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela); Gilberto Silva (Brazil); Santiago Solari (Argentina); and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands).
ESPN’s broadcast assignments for the World Cup in Brazil – including match analyst pairings – will be announced later this spring.
Ekoku scored an impressive 16 goals in 38 appearances for Norwich City during the 1993-94 Premier League season, earning a spot on the Nigerian National Team for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He currently works as a co-commentator for Premier League Productions, where he is heard across the English-speaking world wherever Premier League matches are televised.
Keller, a member of the U.S. team roster for four World Cup tournaments (1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006), is the most-capped goalkeeper in U.S. Men’s National Team history with 102 appearances. He is a studio analyst for select Major League Soccer and U.S. Men’s National Team telecasts, and he served as co-commentator for the 2013 Confederations Cup and the UEFA EURO 2012 on ESPN.
Moreno, who played 41 matches for Venezuela from 2004-11, ended his 11-year Major League Soccer career in 2012 and made a seamless transition to broadcasting. He is the English-language match analyst for Mexican soccer – “El Tri” and Liga MX club matches – on ESPN networks, as well as studio analyst for ESPN FC and MLS Cup on ESPN.
Robson, a midfielder, played top-division football for 13 seasons with Arsenal, West Ham United and Coventry City from 1981-94. Since he retired from professional soccer, Robson has been a television commentator for Arsenal TV, UK’s international feed of FA Cup and ESPN UK.
ESPN Inc.’s 2014 FIFA World Cup in the United States
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be ESPN’s eighth World Cup and most comprehensive presentation to date. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to air all 64 matches live and in high definition (June 12 – July 13). All ESPN and ESPN2 games will be available on WatchESPN, while ABC matches will be available on WATCH ABC. ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network available in more than 85 million homes, will present matches live in multiple languages (other than English and Spanish).
ESPN’s presentation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will include comprehensive news and information coverage of the month-long soccer showcase with renowned journalists reporting on the tournament and the host country of Brazil. Additional English-language coverage of the quadrennial event will total more than 90 hours of original programming and will include SportsCenter at the World Cup, a nightly World Cup Tonight program, ESPN FC World Cup Encore, a 30-minute pre-match show, halftime and post-match segments, as well as a World Cup-branded ESPN Films 30 for 30: Soccer Stories series, E:60 shows, and access-driven long-form storytelling features.
ESPN garnered more than 40 industry awards, including three Sports Emmys, for its presentation of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa – more accolades than any single event in the company’s history.
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