ESPN to Provide Unprecedented Studio Coverage of U.S. – Mexico FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match in Mexico City
2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Special at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN; Up to Eight Hours of Live FIFA World Cup Qualifying Studio Programming on ESPN Deportes;
ESPN.com Special Multimedia Package on the U.S. Team
ESPN networks will provide comprehensive studio news and information coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match featuring the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team vs. Mexico, Wednesday, Aug. 12, from Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The “game around the game” coverage will be highlighted by a 30-minute SportsCenter 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Special on ESPN, Aug. 12, at 3:30 p.m. ET, hosted by Bob Ley and Alexi Lalas (from outside Azteca Stadium in Mexico City) and SportsCenter anchor Josh Elliott and ESPN soccer analyst John Harkes (in Bristol, Conn.). The special marks the first time in its 30-year history that ESPN will air a live pre-match show for a soccer event it is not televising.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language network in the U.S., will feature up to eight hours of live news and information programming around the match led by three live hours of Futbol Picante (one-hour match preview at 3 p.m. and a two-hour post-match edition at 6 p.m.), the network’s signature soccer program.
“This match is critical to Mexico’s effort to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and presents an historic opportunity for the U.S. Team to win for the first time ever on Mexican soil,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. “The history of this rivalry, the teams’ standings in the qualifying series and growing demand for World Cup news provide great storylines for our coverage.”
Five matches into the final round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying series for the CONCACAF region, the U.S. team has 10 points and is No. 2 in the standings, two points behind No. 1 Costa Rica. Mexico is No. 4 in the standings with 6 points. Upon completion of the 10-match round, the top three teams qualify for the quadrennial competition. The fourth team will face off in a home and away playoff series against the No. 5 team from the COMNEBOL (South American) region.
ESPN’s coverage will begin Monday, August 11, with Pedro Gomez reporting from Miami, Fla., site of the U.S. Team training camp. Gomez will travel with the team to Mexico City where he’ll appear through Wednesday’s post-match reports on SportsCenter, ESPN2’s First Take and ESPNEWS. Highlights:
Tuesday, Aug. 11:
· Ley, who will host ESPN’s coverage 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, and Lalas will provide “news of the day” live from Azteca Stadium on SportsCenter at 6 p.m. ESPN Deportes John Sutcliffe will join Ley and Lalas for perspective on the Mexican.
Wednesday, Aug. 12:
· Ley and Lalas will appear live on SportsCenter at 9 a.m., with Gomez covering the U.S. Team;
· SportsCenter 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Special (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.): SportsCenter’s Elliot and analyst Harkes are live from Bristol. Ley and Lalas from Mexico City with live reporting by Gomez;
· SportsCenter at 6 p.m.: Live post-game reactions and reports by Ley, Lalas, and Gomez.
ESPN Deportes programs will originate from three locations in Mexico City with three sets of soccer hosts and analysts. Jose Ramon Fernandez (host) will be joined by analysts Daniel “Ruso” Brailovsky, Rafael Puente, Roberto Abramowitz and Carlos Albert on-set, close to Azteca Stadium. Heriberto Murrieta (host), Ciro Pocuna, Hector Huerta, Angel Garcia Torano and Felipe Ramos Rizo will anchor the shows from the ESPN studios in Mexico City. Alejandro de la Rosa (host), Sutcliffe, David Faitelson and Alejandro Blanco will host news, commentary and analysis, from Azteca Stadium’s parking lot.
Live news and information programming on ESPN Deportes:
SportsCenter (2 – 3 p.m.); Futbol Picante – U.S. vs. Mexico preview special (3 – 4 p.m.); Futbol Picante – post-match special (6 – 8 p.m.); SportsCenter, (8 – 9 p.m., 10 – 11 p.m. and 11 p.m. – 12 a.m.), and Futbol Picante (12 – 1 a.m.).
Beginning today (Thurs., Aug. 6), ESPN.com launched “Fevered Pitch,” a multimedia feature by ESPN.com senior writer and award-winning journalist Wayne Drehs that tells the story of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team this summer during its travels around the world with an eye on the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Click here to read. A Spanish-language version of this multimedia feature is also available on ESPNDeportes.com.
The package is a collection of short stories from the team’s stops around the world – combining Drehs’ reporting and storytelling with photo galleries, video, and behind-the-scenes footage of the team’s trips:
- Drehs was embedded with the U.S. Team on its trip from Miami to Costa Rica for the team’s first loss (1-3) in the final round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying series for the CONCACAF Region;
- He followed the team four days later as the U.S. side rebounded with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Honduras in Chicago;
- Through additional reporting, Drehs also captures what happened in South Africa as the U.S. Team reached the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final – an improbable feat having lost its first two group stage matches before upsetting then No. 1 ranked Spain in the semifinal; and
- The package, featuring a unique page for each stop from Miami to Costa Rica, from Chicago to South Africa, ends with a look ahead to what challenges the U.S. men face in the Aug. 12 qualifying match at Mexico City.
Additionally, ESPNSoccernet.com and ESPNDeportes.com will feature previews and post-game analysis. Reporter Ives Galarcep will cover the match at Azteca for Soccernet.com.
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