A Guide to ESPN’s World Cup Commentators, Presenters and Analysts

In just two days, the World Cup kicks off from the (hopefully) completed Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo with Brazil against Croatia in the opening game. Ian Darke and Steve McManaman will call the match on ESPN. Here introductions to ESPN’s six play-by-play men for the tournament, along with snippets on analysts and studio hosts.

Ian Darke – Much has been said and written about Darke, who completed a rather remarkable journey to the top of the American soccer broadcasting mountain by unseating Martin Tyler as ESPN’s lead commentator for this World Cup.

Darke’s easy affability and charm make him a joy to listen to, and his commentary has only gotten better over the last ten years. Darke has always been quality, but if you go back and compare his commentary on the world feed at the 2002 World Cup, for instance, to his commentary today you’ll notice marked improvement.

Simply put, Darke is in the form of his life right now, with something of a dream job.

Darke will call all USA matches with Taylor Twellman, and all England matches with McManaman. Darke will have around 18 games to work in the tournament, including the final. What will be interesting to see is who his partner is for those latter games – ESPN might want to play that assignment by ear. Darke, on the other hand, is the undisputed #1.

Jon Champion – When ESPN made the decision to let Tyler go for this tournament, they knew they were going to need a top announcer to pair with Darke. Jon Champion is the man.

Judging by his early assignments, which include Spain – Netherlands and Germany – Portugal, Champion the clear #2 announcer, and he looks a good bet to work the semi-final and third-place game down the road.

Champion has worked World Cup Finals in the past, and is one of the best and most respected commentators in the game. He has been paired with Stuart Robson, and will mostly focus on European teams. Champion, who is impeccably prepared for each game he works, is a slam-dunk for ESPN who makes this roster of talent even better than the one ESPN took to South Africa.

Adrian Healey – Speaking of affability, Healey is possibly the most gregarious and funniest commentator ESPN has, and is a familiar voice from his years of work on the network.

Healey has worked the last two World Cups for ESPN and not made it out of the group stage, and it he appears to be a bit of a handyman for this tournament as well. Healey is set to work four games in the first week with three different partners, including Twellman – who he is familiar with from their MLS coverage – Alejandro Moreno, and Efan Ekoku.

Pages 1 2 3

25 Comments

  1. Smokey Bacon June 10, 2014
  2. Martin J. June 10, 2014
    • Flyvanescence June 10, 2014
    • Americano & Proud June 11, 2014
      • Martin J. June 11, 2014
  3. truck June 10, 2014
  4. CH June 10, 2014
  5. Cantona June 10, 2014
  6. Bo June 10, 2014
  7. LaticsFan June 11, 2014
  8. Angry June 11, 2014
  9. Abdirahman June 11, 2014
  10. Scott Justice June 17, 2014
  11. Joe Linzner June 19, 2014
    • guyp June 29, 2014
  12. Maylnn June 20, 2014
    • Dmitry June 29, 2014
  13. Stephanie Logan June 21, 2014
    • Flyvanescence June 21, 2014
      • Stephanie Logan June 22, 2014
        • flyingbird June 29, 2014
  14. soccernut June 21, 2014
  15. Balaji June 25, 2014
  16. andyarsenalfc July 14, 2014
  17. acsel December 3, 2014

Leave a Reply