ESPN’s Serie A TV debut will feature 2 familiar commentators on Sunday

Sunday’s Serie A debut on ESPNEWS will feature two very familiar voices to soccer fans in the United States. With the anticipation building for the Torino-Roma game that’ll kick off at noon on Sunday on ESPNEWS, ESPN will feature Mark Donaldson as commentator and Matteo Bonetti as co-commentator. Donaldson has been commentating matches for ESPN since 2010, and has called Serie A matches for several years for the company’s international networks. Most recently, Donaldson has been commentating games from the International Champions Cup as well as several high-profile friendlies that aired across the ESPN networks. Bonetti will be a very ... Read more

TV not included in ESPN’s plan to stream all FA Cup games on ESPN+

Say goodbye to the FA Cup on television in the United States. ESPN’s acquisition of the FA Cup rights in the US will feature all broadcasts streamed on ESPN+ with no plans to air any of the matches on television. The agreement will bring 79 FA Cup matches – beginning with the First Round in November and running through the Final – exclusively to ESPN+. While the news that The FA Cup has found a home in the United States after the previous deal ended with FOX Sports, it’s a surprise that ESPN didn’t decide to at least have the ... Read more

Univision to air twice as many Champions League games on TV than TNT

Univision has announced their coverage plans for the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League that will include 97 games shown live on television, which compares to Turner’s 46 games that’ll air on TNT. The substantial number of games to be aired on TV by Univision also carries over to the Europa League. Beginning in September, Univision Deportes will air more than 70 Europa League games live on UDN, UniMás and Galavisión compared to just one Europa League game on TNT (the final). Beginning with the play-off round August 21-22 and 28-29, Univision Deportes will carry 137 Champions League matches live across its ... Read more

Comcast Xfinity customers, it’s time to cut the cord so you don’t miss LaLiga

Seven days since Comcast Xfinity pulled the plug and removed beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español from its programming, there appears to be no resolution in sight to bring the two channels back that have exclusive rights to LaLiga, Ligue 1 and the Turkish Super Lig. With LaLiga’s new season scheduled to begin on August 17, time is running out for soccer fans to ensure they’re ready in time to watch Spain’s top league. According to Comcast, “Our contract with beIN SPORTS expired on July 31, 2018. beIN SPORTS is asking for a major increase in fees for the ... Read more

Ex Portugal boss Bento named as new South Korea coach

Seoul (AFP) – Former Portugal boss Paulo Bento will coach South Korea over the next four years through the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Korea Football Association (KFA) announced Friday. Kim Pan-gon, a top KFA official in charge of finding a new coach, said that with “four years of patience and support” Bento will take the Taeguk Warriors to new heights. “Coach Bento fits the Korean football style as  he pursues high-pressing games and tight defences denying opponents chances for counterattacks,” Kim told journalists.  He also praised Bento — who took Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012 — for his ... Read more

Ronaldo set for Serie A debut amid sombre backdrop in Italy

Milan (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo will make his much-anticipated Serie A debut for Juventus who open their campaign for an eighth straight Italian league title on Saturday against a sombre backdrop of a country in mourning following the Genoa bridge disaster. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was the star signing of the summer season arriving amid great pomp and ceremony following a 100 million euro ($117 million) deal from Real Madrid. But it could be a low-key start for the 33-year-old Portuguese superstar against minnows Chievo in Verona’s Stadio Bentegodi on Saturday on a day of national mourning for the ... Read more

Tough start makes Arsenal’s Emery evolution a slow burner

London (AFP) – Unai Emery couldn’t have asked for a tougher start to life as Arsenal manager as hot on the heels of defeat to Manchester City in his Premier League bow, the Gunners travel to Chelsea on Saturday. The task facing Emery to turn Arsenal merely back into contention for the top four, after missing out on the Champions League for the past two seasons, let alone title challengers was laid bare as City cruised to a 2-0 win at the Emirates. Reversing seasons of decline towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign was never going to be ... Read more

Still warming up, PSG prepare to face Guingamp

Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain head to Guingamp for the second round of Ligue 1 matches already among the pace-setters, yet coach Thomas Tuchel said it feels as if the club is still in pre-season. There were some glimpses of innovation under the new manager with Neymar, who scored in his first start for PSG in six months, playing as a false nine in a 3-0 home victory over Caen. Yet while the Brazilian superstar is back, PSG’s three World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe, Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola appeared only to show the trophy they won in Moscow to ... Read more

Angry Poyet considers Bordeaux future after star player sold

Bordeaux (AFP) – Gustavo Poyet threatened to quit as Bordeaux coach on Thursday after claiming the club sold key striker Gaetan Laborde to French Ligue 1 rivals Montpellier without his permission. The 50-year-old Uruguayan, a former Chelsea and Tottenham player and ex-coach at Brighton and Sunderland, demanded answers from the club as the row took the shine off Bordeaux’s Europa League qualifying win over Mariupol of Ukraine. “I’m not happy, it’s my worst day at this club,” said Poyet who joined Bordeaux in January after a stint with Shanghai Shenhua in China. “What the club did today with Gaetan Laborde ... Read more

Sarri eyes early Chelsea boost as Tottenham return to Wembley

London (AFP) – Chelsea and Arsenal’s new regimes under Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery got off to contrasting Premier League starts, but Saturday’s clash between the two will provide a truer test of where the London rivals stand. Failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League provoked big changes at both clubs. But while Chelsea are used to the upheaval of coaches coming and going under Roman Abramovich, Arsenal are still settling into Emery’s new era after 22 years with Arsene Wenger in charge. The early signs suggest it will take Emery time to stem years of decline towards the ... Read more

Marlon Santos leaves Barcelona for Sassuolo

Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona said Thursday they have reached an agreement with Sassuolo to transfer their Brazilian defender Marlon Santos to the Italian Serie A side for six million euros. The Catalan giants retain the right to buy back the player, and will keep 50 percent of the economic rights on any future sale of the 22-year-old, the club said in a statement. “The clause regarding future sale will not come into effect if Marlon plays 50 games with US Sassuolo Calcio, at which point the Italian club is obliged to pay another six million euros,” it added. Santos joined ... Read more