ESPN networks gear up for live football explosion
Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 24-05-2013
The United States is continuing its love affair with the Beautiful Game with a range of ESPN networks planning a packed broadcast schedule highlighted by the US Men's National Team preparatory matches ahead of the team's three 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying contests in June, the first leg of a home-and-away Liga MX Final between Cruz Azul and Club America, and the 14 European qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on 7 June.
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, ESPNU and WatchESPN are combining to televise live 28 football matches between now and 7 June.
The matches began on 23 May on ESPN2 and WatchESPN with a match-up between two of the top three teams in the 2012-13 Barclays Premier League – Chelsea vs. Manchester City – live from Busch Stadium in St Louis. Meanwhile, ESPN Deportes, ESPN2 and WatchESPN presented Cruz Azul vs. Club America in the first leg of a home-and-away Liga MX Final between Mexico City's two popular clubs.
ESPN's English-language commentators for the Mexican Men's National Team – Fernando Palomo (play-by-play), analyst Alejandro Palomo and reporter John Sutcliffe – will be at Houston's Reliant Stadium on Friday 31 May to call the international friendly between reigning CONCACAF Gold Cup champions Mexico, and Nigeria, the African Cup of Nations title holder, on ESPNEWS and WatchESPN.
Play-by-play commentator Ian Darke will call two US Men's National Team matches ahead of its three matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying series in June: USA vs. Belgium and USA vs. Germany.
And finally, on Friday 7 June ESPN networks will air 14 European qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup highlighted by Czech Republic vs. Italy at 2.45pm on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.