Sign up for the free World Soccer Talk daily email newsletter for TV schedules, news and more »

THURS, 1PM ET
CAG
JUVE
THURS, 2PM ET
ATL
HOS
THURS, 3PM ET
NAP
PAR
THURS, 4PM ET
ELC
VAL
THURS, 4PM ET
MAL
COR
FRI, 2:45PM ET
VIGO
ALM

ESPN Announces Commentators For World Cup Quarterfinals

ian darke ESPN Announces Commentators For World Cup Quarterfinals

ESPN have announced the commentators for the World Cup quarterfinals.

ESPN have decided not to feature Efan Ekoku, Fernando Palomo, Daniel Mann, Taylor Twellman and Roberto Martinez in the commentary booth for the quarterfinals. Instead, ESPN have teamed up Jon Champion/Stewart Robson, Ian Darke/Steve McManaman, Derek Rae/Kasey Keller and Adrian Healey/Alejandro Moreno.

With so few games remaining, the competition for commentary positions is at a premium. For some of the commentators or co-commentators who won’t be featured in the quarterfinals, there remains the possibility that we’ll see some of them in the semi-finals.

Based on the assignments below, Champion/Robson for the France-Germany game makes total sense since both commentators have announced many of the European-centric games this World Cup. Plus, Robson has a lot of experience co-commentating Bundesliga games during the season.

For the Brazil-Colombia game, I’m not impressed by ESPN’s decision to put Darke and McManaman in the booth. Macca was poor last weekend for the Brazil-Chile match, and Darke’s commentating is getting tiresome. How many times can we expect to hear “[insert player name] plays for [insert Premier League club]” on Thursday? With both the USA and England out, the combination of Darke/Macca seems forced. I’m not sure whether it’s written into their contract that they get the highest profile games, but in my personal opinion, the novelty of Darke/Macca commentating games has worn off. Underneath the pleasant personalities, there doesn’t appear to be much substance.

Darke will commentate the World Cup Final. Either Twellman or McManaman will presumably partner him.

For the Belgium-Argentina game, I’m disappointed that ESPN has decided to select Kasey Keller instead of Efan Ekoku. Keller is an ideal analyst to have in the studio when the discussion turns to goalkeeping (he was at his best I’ve ever seen him post-USA/Belgium match, with his opinions regarding Tim Howard), but he doesn’t belong in the commentary booth.

Lastly, the appointment of Healey and Moreno for the Netherlands vs Costa Rica game seems forced. Daniel Mann deserves to be in that slot based on his strong commentary debut for ESPN this World Cup. Moreno, without Palomo, is much more palatable, but it’s just a shame that he’s not going to be partnered with Mann.

Here’s the complete list of commentators:

 

Friday, July 4

Quarter-finals — France vs Germany, Noon ET

• English language: ESPN2 and WatchESPN
• Commentators: Jon Champion and Stewart Robson

Quarter-finals — Brazil vs Colombia, 4pm ET

• English language: ESPN and WatchESPN
• Commentators: Ian Darke and Steve McManaman

 

Saturday, July 5

Quarter-finals — Belgium vs Argentina, Noon ET

• English language: ABC and Watch ABC
• Commentators: Derek Rae and Kasey Keller

Quarter-finals — Holland vs Costa Rica, 4pm ET

• English language: ESPN and WatchESPN
• Commentators: Adrian Healey and Alejandro Moreno


This entry was posted in ESPN, World Cup, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

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.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →