Tonight is a big TV night for soccer fans in the United States.
As the start date of the World Cup fast approaches, ESPN is planning a full schedule of friendly matches, documentaries and insight into the USMNT’s preparations for Brazil. Beginning tonight, May 13th at 7pm EST, ESPN will show the first of a six part series titled Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil, which will document the training regiment of the USMNT as they gear up for national play. Produced by Jonathan Hock and Roger Bennett, the series provides a never before seen perspective on the hard work and decisions that go into preparing for a World Cup tournament.
At 8pm ET tonight (following Inside: US Soccer’s March to Brazil), Inside ESPN’s investigative newsmagazine E:60 will dedicate a whole program to soccer content, including an intimate interview with FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi. The often-quiet 26-year old star, and arguably one of greatest players of all time, sits down with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap to discuss his thoughts on the World Cup. The Argentinian forward has won the Ballon d’Or a record breaking four times in a row and scored 91 goals in 2012 breaking the 40 year old record.
ESPN also talks to Brazilian’s legendary Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, about the World Cup and how Brazil has balanced its love of soccer with the struggles the country has faced to prepare for the large tournament. ESPN’s Wayne Drehs’ also speaks to Pele about what he wants to see his native country accomplish in their surge for its first World Cup title since 2002.
With a tough road ahead for the U.S. Men’s National team, ESPN looks into the personal life and history of American captain Clint Dempsey whose modest beginnings in a trailer park in Texas motivated him to become one of America’s best players ever, rotating between the New England Revolution of MLS to Fulham then Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League and back to MLS with the Seattle Sounders.
ESPN’s E:60 also looks ahead to the 2022 Qatar World Cup with Schaap who explores the alarming casualty rate due to strict and severe working conditions while trying to prepare for the large tournament with workers exported from some of the poorest countries of the world. The episode on ESPN takes viewers to Nepal where coffins arrive from Qatar almost daily.
Broadcasting simultaneously on ESPN Deportes, the 16-episode documentary series Destino Futbol will continue with new episodes including “La Escuela de los Sueños,” scheduled to air at 7:30pm EST. The episode will focus on Santos FC, a soccer club based in Phoenix that gives young immigrants, those affected by violence or youth who are unsure about their next step in life, the chance to play and help give them hope for their futures.
Scheduled to air on Saturday May 17th is ESPN’s SportsCenter’s series Primera Plana with two new editions, one on Spain’s head coach Vicente del Bosque at 6pm EST and then on Honduras’ manager Luis F. Suárez to air at 6:30pm EST. Both look to give viewers a unique perspective on World Cup preparations through the eyes of these squad’s managers.