ESPN today announced the match analysts for its presentation of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012 (June 8 to July 1) in Poland and Ukraine.
The English-language analysts will be led by Steve McManaman, a Liverpool FC legend and former England National Team player who had his best performances representing his country at the UEFA European Football Championship 1996. McManaman’s inspired play propelled England to its only semifinal appearance in the UEFA European Championship. McManaman will be paired with the lead play-by-play commentator and his Barclays Premier League booth partner Ian Darke as the primary team.
Other English-language match analysts include former Premier League midfielder Robbie Mustoe, former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller, and former New England Revolution and U.S. Men’s National Team striker Taylor Twellman. Mustoe, a match analyst for ESPN International who was part of ESPN’s award-winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, will be paired with ESPN’s Major League Soccer voice Adrian Healey. Keller and Twellman will split match analyst roles working with ESPN UK’s Derek Rae, while also contributing studio analysis.
On ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language booth analysts include Hernan Pereyra, former Mexican National Team playersRafa Puente and José Antonio Noriega.
Pereyra, who has covered several FIFA World Cups, the Mexican soccer league, and other marquee international sporting events, will be paired with Jorge Ramos. Puente, the former Mexican Men’s National Team goalkeeper who later coached Mexican first division clubs such as Pachuca, Club Atlante and Tecos UAG, will work with veteran commentator Fernando Palomo. Rounding out the team is former Mexican Men’s National Team midfielder Noriega, who will be paired with Ricardo Ortiz.
From Friday, June 8, through Sunday, July 1, three ESPN television networks – ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes – will combine to present more than 200 hours of live coverage of the UEFA EURO 2012 including all 31 matches live on English-language networks and 27 on the Spanish-language sports network ESPN Deportes. This will mark the most comprehensive presentation ever of the quadrennial European championship in the United States.
- Keller – Currently the record holder as the most-capped goalkeeper in the U.S. Men’s National Team with 102 appearances, Keller started two of three matches in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and played all matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. His professional career took him to two of Europe’s best leagues – German Bundesliga and English Premier League – before returning to the U.S. to play three seasons for the Seattle Sounders FC. An analyst for Sounders matches on local television, Keller is also a studio analyst for ESPN’s MLS and U.S. National Team matches.
- McManaman – After earning critical acclaim for his work on ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage, McManaman joined the company as the analyst for Premier League matches and studio analyst for key international events such as FIFA World Cup and U.S. Men’s National Team matches. One of England’s best players in his prime, McManaman is a legend at Liverpool FC after nine seasons and 364 appearances for the club. He was the first English player to win the Champions League with a non-English club while playing for Real Madrid FC.
- Mustoe – He played for 12 seasons in the midfield for Middlesbrough FC (1990-2002). Following his retirement from professional soccer, Mustoe moved to the United States and began coaching soccer. He primarily works on ESPN International’s coverage of top soccer leagues such as Spain’s La Liga, German Bundesliga, the UEFA Champions League, and more.
- Noriega – played professional soccer with various clubs in the Primera Division de Mexico from 1988–2004 and was a member of the Mexican national soccer team from 1993-2002. In 16 professional seasons, Noriega played for six Mexican clubs, most notably, UNAM (1988-1992), Monterrey (1992-96), Santos Laguna (1997-99) and Morelia (2000-02). Currently works for ESPN International and ESPN Deportes, where he mostly appears onFuera de Juego.
- Pereyra – a veteran Spanish-language radio and television commentator for soccer, Pereyra has covered numerous FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2010). He is cohost of the weekday afternoon show Jorge Ramos y su Banda, where he is paired with Jorge Ramos on ESPN Deportes Radio (simulcast on ESPN Deportes). Ramos (commentator) and Pereyra (co-commentator) will replicate their on- and off-air chemistry commentating on UEFA EURO 2012 matches for ESPN Deportes.
- Puente – a former goalkeeper for the Mexican National Team and for several Mexican first division clubs who serves as an analyst for ESPN Deportes and ESPN International, including co-host role on Fútbol Picante andLos Capitanes studio programs. Prior to becoming a TV broadcaster, Puente also coached several Mexico first division clubs such as Pachuca, Club Atlante and Tecos UAG.
- Twellman – a former Major League Soccer MVP and New England Revolution’s most prolific scorer who serves as the lead match analyst for MLS on ESPN and U.S. Men’s National Team. His career highlights include leading the Revolution during its most-successful era – four MLS Cup appearances in six years. Twellman played 30 matches for the U.S. senior team after emerging as one of the stars of the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria.
SOCCER ON ESPN
ESPN is the home of premier soccer championship events and top league competitions from around the world. It is the English-language home of the Men’s and Women’s FIFA World Cup events in the United States through 2014, including the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup; and the exclusive English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship™ 2012 and 2016 in the U.S. ESPN airs the Barclays Premier League and Spain’s La Liga in both English and Spanish across multiple networks and platforms, as well as matches on its digital and television platforms from other top leagues – Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, the Dutch Eredivisie, Portuguese Liga, Mexican Primera Division, Brazil’s Paulista Championship – and national domestic club competitions, including Copa del Rey, Coppa Italia and the French Cup. With top-level national team competitions, Major League Soccer, coverage of the U.S. National Teams, and the NCAA Men’s and Women’s soccer championships also part of its soccer programming, the ESPN portfolio represents arguably the most comprehensive commitment to the sport in the United States.
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