ESPN Names Jurgen Klinsmann to South Africa 2010 Roster

German soccer legend Jurgen Klinsmann at West Hollywood's Les Deux nightclub for the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour

ESPN has announced that former German national team manager and Tottenham Hotspur legend Jurgen Klinsmann has been added to ESPN’s roster for its coverage of the 2010 World Cup.

Klinsmann will work as a studio analyst for ESPN this summer.

In addition to Klinsmann, former South African national team player Shaun Bartlett, who played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and Robbie Mustoe, Middlesbrough’s longest serving player, will both serve as television analysts for ESPN during the FIFA World Cup. With Klinsmann (1990, ’94, ’98) and Bartlett (1998), ESPN’s English-language coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the U.S. will feature analysts with combined experience of 11 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Others: Efan Ekoku (1994), Ruud Gullit (1990), John Harkes (1990, ’94), Alexi Lalas (1994, ’98) and Steve McManaman (1998).

“I’m extremely happy to be part of the ESPN FIFA World Cup team, and I hope that I can give American viewers insight into the world’s greatest game,” said Klinsmann.  “Living in the U.S for more than 10 years, I’ve seen soccer grow incrementally and I think ESPN’s coverage of this exciting World Cup will take it to a new level.”

UPDATE: I just got off the conference call with ESPN. Other than Klinsmann being added to ESPN’s roster, no earth shattering news was announced. Klinsmann may not necessarily be the last man announced on the ESPN roster. There may be one more announcement forthcoming.

As for ESPN’s feedback on why there are no American accents as lead commentators for ESPN’s TV coverage, ESPN executive producer Jed Drake said that ESPN went out there and hired four of the best announcers they could find. That all of them had a British accent was not by design. The fact that there are no American accents is a coincidence, said Drake.

18 thoughts on “ESPN Names Jurgen Klinsmann to South Africa 2010 Roster”

  1. On one level I understand the argument that Americans want an American calling Team USA games. However, I think we all recognize that the Brits are the best in the world at this and putting J P on the radio makes sense because there he can talk as much as he wants and it will work well. He says way too much for TV commentary so I think ESPN has made the right choice.

  2. I fail to see why ESPN keeps loading up on former players as opposed to coaches. Why not Guus Hiddink, Glen Hoddle, or Giovanni Trappattoni (if his English has sufficiently improved)? At least Klinsmann possesses the experience of coaching a national team. Gullit has some managerial club experience but his biggest quality was luring in top players not his tactics themselves.

  3. An excellent addition. BTW, he lives in the US for sometime now. It would be nice to have more of an American face to the coverage but let’s applaud ESPN because the World Wide Leader in Sports has gone all out to bring to the US audience World’s greatest sporting event like they have never seen it before.

    The can only be good news for soccer in the USA.

  4. What a concept, getting the best announcers regardless of nationality or accent! ESPN should be applauded, I only hope they keep close up shots to a minimum so I can see play develop properly. Close up shots are the bane of TV sports these days!!!

    1. Mike, ESPN wanted me to pass along this note to you — “ESPN is not responsible for “close up shots” as the network does not produce the matches. It is done by FIFA and FIFA’s production crew (selected from among the best in the world – camerapersons, directors and producers) and all FIFA partners across the globe get feeds of matches produced by this crew.”

      The Gaffer

  5. Espn is doing a fine job. Jurgen Klinsmann was one of the best coach in the 2006 Fifa World Cup and he would do a great job as an analyst.

  6. i tend to find the standard american accent quite annoying. maybe they should find someone with a nice regional accent like boston or new york next time. lol. maybe i will actually watch the games in english and not in spanish this time around.

  7. I personally met Jurgen Klinsmann, and I really think that he is the best for this job even with his accent, I wish him the best at his new job wich I think he will do better than anybody else. good luck and thank you espn for putting him in your team you guys won’t be sorry. he knows alot.

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