Three key members of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup winning U.S. team – Brandi Chastain, Briana Scurry and head coach Tony DiCicco – will join ESPN as studio analysts for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 (June 26 – July 17). Chastain, Scurry and DiCicco will contribute to ESPN and ESPN2’s studio coverage of the three-week tournament, providing analysis on pre-match, halftime and post-match shows from Germany, including studio segments on the company’s news and information programming such as SportsCenter, First Take and ESPNEWS.
Chastain’s 16-year career on the U.S. Women’s National Team was highlighted by scoring the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup winning penalty kick vs. China in front of 90,185 fans at the Rose Bowl – the most-attended stand-alone women’s sport event in history. Scurry’s save on China’s third shot in the penalty kick shootout helped secure the Women’s World Cup title for the U.S. team. Under DiCicco (1994 – ’99), the U.S. Women’s National Team enjoyed its most successful five years, winning the 1996 Olympic gold medal and the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
Chastain, Scurry and DiCicco will join ESPN’s award-winning host Bob Ley and ESPN UK’s Barclays Premier League co-host Rebecca Lowe to serve as the tournament’s primary studio commentator team – hosting the network’s most comprehensive coverage of this quadrennial event to-date.
“Brandi, Briana and Tony are among the best minds and most recognizable faces for women’s soccer anywhere in the world,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice and executive producer, production. “Their ability to draw from past experiences will give our viewers the best insight on what these exceptional athletes are going through on the biggest stage of their careers.”
The Women’s World Cup 2011 will mark Chastain’s return to ESPN after serving as sideline reporter for ESPN and ABC’s Major League Soccer coverage in 2005 and 2006. Germany 2011 will be Scurry’s first international event for ESPN. DiCicco, who will also provide match analysis, has worked with ESPN since 2000, including the last two Women’s World Cups. Biographical highlights:
Chastain is one of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s most accomplished players, having won two FIFA World Cups (1991 and ’99) and two Olympics gold medals (1996 and 2004). She played for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1988 to 2004. Chastain, along with teammates Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett, Kristine Lilly and goalkeeper Briana Scurry, anchored the golden era of U.S. women’s soccer beginning with the 1996 Olympics and capped by the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
She played for the U.S. in 192 international matches, scoring 30 goals. On Sunday, July 10, 1999 in a sold-out Rose Bowl at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup title match, Chastain provided one of the greatest moments in sports with the World Cup-clinching penalty kick. Her “thrill-of-victory” moment after the kick – removing her shirt to celebrate in her sports bra – remains one of the seminal images in sports. That moment thrust Chastain and her teammates into international spotlight. It is also the most-watched soccer event in U.S. television history – seen by 18 million people on ABC.
A 1990 television and communications graduate of Santa Clara, Chastain in 2004 co-authored It’s Not About the Bra – How to Play Hard, Play Fair, and Put the Fun Back Into Competitive Sports, addressing the issues of sportsmanship, gamesmanship, and excessive parental involvement. In the book and in off-the-field endeavors, she teaches young athletes how to develop leadership skills, find and become role models, and give something back to their team and community.
Chastain worked with NBC Sports as a soccer analyst during the 2008 Olympics.
Scurry was U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper from 1994 to 2008. Called into to the U.S. team by then coach Tony DiCicco, Scurry played 173 matches, the most-ever by a U.S. goalkeeper, and anchored the backline in the team’s most successful stretch bookended by the 1996 Olympics gold medal and the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
As the starting goalkeeper, Scurry helped lead the team to a third place finish in the 1995 Women’s World Cup, barely a year after joining the team. Other key results include a third place showing in the 2003 Women’s World Cup and the Olympic gold medal in 2004. Scurry’s best career moment was in the U.S. team’s overtime victory over China in front of more than 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl during the 1999 Women’s World Cup title match when she saved one of the penalty kicks to ensure the win. The save and the impact of the match catapulted her and her teammates into the consciousness of sports fans everywhere.
Building on the success and popularity of women’s soccer from the World Cup, Scurry and her teammates became founding members of the WUSA (Women’s United Soccer Association) in 2001, the world’s first women’s league where the players were paid as professionals. She played three seasons as starting goalkeeper for the Atlanta Beat.
Scurry was a high school multi-sport athlete in Minnesota. She excelled in soccer and basketball. Upon graduation, Scurry attended the University of Massachusetts, where she led the team to the NCAA Women’s College Cup. She is currently general manager of South Florida’s magicJack FC, a Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) team.
DiCicco is a former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach and one of the most recognizable names in women’s soccer. From 1994 through 1999, he guided the U.S. team to the 1996 Olympic gold medal and the historic 1999 World Cup championship. He has a record of 103 wins, eight losses and eight ties – making him the all-time wins leader and most successful coach in U.S. National Team soccer history.
Under his leadership, the 1999 Women’s World Cup U.S. squad changed the face of women’s athletics forever, winning the championship over China in front of the largest crowd in women’s sports history (90,185 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 10, 1999) and a worldwide television audience. His team and their accomplishments became a symbol for the aspirations of women in sports everywhere in the world.
After the Women’s World Cup triumph, DiCicco served as the WUSA’s COO (2001), Commissioner (2002 and 2003), and the Chairman of the re-launch committee (2004). DiCicco is currently coach of the Boston Breakers of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), the top level professional women’s soccer league in the United States. In 2008, DiCicco returned to international soccer and guided the USA U20 Women to the FIFA U20 World Cup Championship in Chile.
He served as an ESPN analyst for the 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cups. He has also worked for NBC during the Olympics.
ESPN & the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 (June 26 – July 17) will be ESPN’s fifth straight, having televised the quadrennial event since 1995. ESPN and ESPN2 will air all 32 matches live and in high definition. ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network in 70 million homes, will offer simulcasts of all matches, and ESPN’s mobile platforms will also provide coverage of 26 matches. All programming on ESPN and ESPN2 will also be available online through ESPNnetworks.com, which is accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
For the first time, ESPN will present all of its FIFA Women’s World Cup studio programming from host nation Germany. The comprehensive news, highlights and information coverage of the quadrennial tournament featuring the top-16 women’s national teams in the world will include, for the first time, pre-match, halftime and post-match shows, as well as World Cup-branded segments on SportsCenter, First Take and ESPNEWS.