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 TV
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 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.
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