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Steve McManaman Joins ESPN As Soccer Analyst

steve mcmanaman Steve McManaman Joins ESPN As Soccer AnalystMost of already presumed it, but now the news is official. Former England National Team player Steve McManaman has joined ESPN as a soccer analyst for its networks in the United States and United Kingdom.

In the U.S., he will primarily serve as a studio and match analyst for the network’s coverage of Premier League matches, the U.S. Men’s National Team, marquee Major League Soccer events, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  On ESPN UK, the former Liverpool FC standout will contribute as a studio pundit.

McManaman, a studio analyst during ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, will be based in England.  He will pair with co-commentator Ian Darke for live commentary from Premier League match sites for ESPN’s U.S. audience on the Saturday, 9:55 a.m. ET, matches, and will be in the studio for 7:30 a.m. matches same day.  In addition, McManaman will make select appearances as a pundit on ESPN UK’s studio programming during the Premiership and FA Cup seasons.

“Steve McManaman was one of the finest players of his generation. As a broadcaster, he has a keen ability to communicate with great insight and clarity, and he is not shy about making his opinions known.  He is a great addition to our team,” said Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer, ESPN Remote Productions.

McManaman said:  “It is a pleasure to be joining such a great group of people who really love football.  I totally enjoyed myself during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and I look forward to being a part of the ESPN team again.”

McManaman will make his Major League Soccer studio debut Thursday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m., on ESPN2 – the San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls match.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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17 Responses to Steve McManaman Joins ESPN As Soccer Analyst

  1. Fernando says:

    As a pundit he’s ok. My hope is that he leave his any condescending tone on American football at home.

    I would’ve preferred Andy Gray as his personality works much better.

  2. JC says:

    I like him as a pundit, where his exposure on TV is roughly 1-2 minutes. As a commentator I think he is dreadful.

  3. Jonno says:

    He’s a terrible commentator, the way he adds on meaningless phrases to everything he says like “it’s almost as if..” drives me crazy. You can count the number of insightful comments he makes per match on one hand. And that’s on someone who only has 3 fingers. In short, I’m not a fan.

  4. jon cav says:

    An awful choice, what a jibbering idiot, who lacks vocabulary and sincerity, I thought he was the worst colour commentator at the world cup and his studio appearances made my skin crawl

  5. robster craws says:

    you scouse bastard! you scouse bastard! you scouse bastard!

  6. Mike says:

    I thought he did well as a studio analyst during the World Cup. Don’t think I’ve seen his work as a game analyst, but seriously, can’t be worse than John Harkes. Impossible.

  7. Simon says:

    Dose this spell the end of John Harkes as the 1 thing that John Harkes will be doing is mls that is it it seems like he is being dump off the usa games.

  8. John Regis says:

    Just watching the Liverpool / Villa match, your halftime report was a bit off mate, Liverpool haven’t won 18 Premier league titles, they’ve won 0.

    Also, please stop ruining all the other results on Saturday. You and Ian are the only commentators that talk about every goal as it happens. With today’s technology we can all check scores instantly and can record every game in HD.

    • kitten says:

      Just happened upon this old article. With all due respect John, you are the one that’s a bit off mate. Liverpool has indeed won the Premiership League 18 times. The only one who has surpassed that record is Manchester United after they won their 19th Premier League title at the end of last season.

  9. BergkmpWndrlnd says:

    Another serious question on this: why can’t someone tell Macca to keep his freaking microphone down from in front of his face??! I know the commentators do this in the UK, but it looks ridiculous!

  10. IC says:

    Steve McManaman must be the worst commentator I have ever had the displeasure of being subjected to. Inarticulate, ineloquent and robotic. I actually have to watch the games with the sound turned off now because his inane drivel is so distracting from what is actually happenning on the pitch. I thought ESPN were professionals…..

  11. Rick M says:

    Can someone at espn tell both Macca and Darke to please shut up spoiling the games with their constant idiotic chatter, please,please,please.

  12. GrkStav says:

    He is one of the least knowledgeable co-commentators around. He basically does ZERO homework before the matches that he co-commentates on and he obviously does not follow the major European football leagues religiously enough to be considered a knowledgeable commentator.

    Amazingly enough for a former LFC great, he seems particularly clueless about current LFC players. He once had the audacity to claim that Maxi Rodgriguez taking a shot with his right foot was “with his weaker, right foot”. One must have been watching LFC (and Argentina and previously Atletico Madrid) games on Braille to not know that Rodriguez is a right-footed player.

    He’s also incorrigibly “English” in his fascination with the ‘two strikers is positive, attacking football” notion. He considers the 4-2-3-1 and the 4-3-3 as cautious or ‘not positive’ approaches because . . . they contain only one “striker”.

    Hopeless. Not to mention his amazingly poor grammar (“Should have took”, “Should have went”, etc.)

    • The Gaffer says:

      Macca may not have the best grammar, and every co-commentator makes mistakes, but who do you put on a pedestal as the best out there GrkStav?

      The Gaffer

  13. Daniel Roth says:

    Steve McManaman prefaces every response with “Of course! Of course he is, Ian” or “Yeah, as you say…”

    Incredibly irritating and an absolute bell-end.

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