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.