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ESPN reveals Women’s Euro 2022 commentators and analysts

Women's Euro 2022 commentators

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 has the pride of being the only major soccer tournament happening this summer. With more eyes focused on the competition, ESPN has named its Women’s Euro 2022 commentators and studio analysts.

The headline news is that Ian Darke and Julie Foudy are the lead commentary team. No surprises given their experience calling soccer matches galore. But there are some new names that round out the coverage of the competition that is scheduled to run from July 6 through July 31.

Women’s Euro 2022 commentators

Jenn Hildreth and Jonathan Yardley, women’s soccer voices familiar to U.S. fans, join Darke as play-by-play commentators. The roster includes two former U.S. Women’s National Team players Lori Lindsey and Daniele Slaton. ESPN FC’s Kay Murray and Futbol Americas Sebastian Salazar will co-host studio shows and segments. ESPN’s UK-based journalist Alexis Nunes will be the reporter, while Christina Unkel rounds out the team as the rules analyst.

“We are thrilled to have this lineup of commentators on our coverage of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. Their experience and knowledge is world class,” said ESPN coordinating producer Matt Leach. “We look forward to how their insight will better inform and entertain our viewers.”

ESPN’s match commentary and studio voices will be based in Bristol, Conn. Throughout the tournament, they will appear on various programs, including SportsCenter, ESPN FC, and Futbol Americas.

Bios for ESPN’s Women’s EURO 2022 commentators

Women’s Euro 2022 commentators:

Ian Darke and Julie Foudy: Darke and Foudy return as ESPN’s lead commentary team for UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. Their partnership in the booth dates back to FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 in Germany, where Darke provided some of the most memorable calls in the sport for Abby Wambach’s improbable goal in the 122nd minute of the U.S. Women’s National Team quarterfinal match against Brazil.

· Darke has been a soccer play-by-play voice for ESPN since the FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa. He called the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments, the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as UEFA EURO championships in 2012, 2016 and 2020 – voicing the Final in five of the six international tournaments.

· Foudy is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, and soccer hall-of-famer following a USWNT career that featured 274 appearances from 1988-2004. Foudy joined ESPN in 2005. She has been a part of every major soccer event at ESPN since her television debut while an active player during the 1998 FIFA World Cup. She has also contributed to ESPN’s coverage of the Olympics, while expanding her roles to include feature reporting, podcasting, and writing for espnW.

Jenn Hildreth and Lori Lindsey: Hildreth and Lindsey are familiar to fans of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the top women’s soccer league in the United States. The duo have commentated several NWSL games together.

· Hildreth is one of the industry’s most versatile play-by-play commentators. She calls the NCAA Women’s College Cup for ESPN and the NWSL for CBS Sports. She was a part of the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup commentary team for FOX Sports, and the 2020 Summer Olympics for NBC Sports. Beyond soccer, her résumé includes play-by-play duties for college basketball, softball, and gymnastics, studio hosting, and sideline reporting.

· Lindsey is a former U.S. Women’s National Team player whose career spanned 13 years. She is one of only four players in all three of the U.S. professional women’s soccer leagues – Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and the NWSL. Lindsey’s sports broadcasting credits include commentating on the NWSL, MLS, USL, and the NCAA.

Jonathan Yardley and Daniele Slaton: Yardley and Slaton complete the three ESPN commentary teams for EURO 2022.

· Yardley made his ESPN debut in 2012. He has been a play-by-play commentator on college sports and professional soccer for the network, including serving as a leading voice on women’s soccer at the collegiate, professional, and international level since 2014. Yardley called the final of UEFA Women’s European Championship 2017 on ESPNU. He led ESPN’s game coverage of the 2021 UEFA Men’s Under-21 Championship, the 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, and the Men’s DFB-Pokal Final (German Cup) and Women’s FA Cup Final, both in May 2022.

· Slaton played soccer for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2000-2005, earning a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games and a bronze at the 2003 Women’s World Cup. Professionally, Slaton won the Women’s United Soccer Association championship with the Carolina Courage in 2002, and played for Olympique Lyonnais in France. Slaton is an analyst for San Jose Earthquakes home matches on NBC Sports Bay Area. Slaton was a match analyst for 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Studio Hosts

· Kay Murray – An ESPN soccer host since 2019, Murray appears regularly on coverage of major soccer events, including FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, and more. She is the primary host for Bundesliga on ABC, ESPN+, and ESPN. Murray also serves as co-host of ESPN FC and LaLiga on ESPN platforms. She has worked with BeIN Sports, Real Madrid TV, and Boro TV, the official channel of her hometown club, Middlesbrough FC in the U.K. Murray’s ESPN credits include serving as a UEFA EURO 2020 studio host.

· Sebastian Salazar – Salazar has been a host, reporter, and play-by-play voice for soccer since joining ESPN in 2016. He co-hosts the critically acclaimed Futbol Americas on ESPN+, alongside former U.S. Men’s National Team star Herculez Gomez, and regularly appears on ESPN FC. Salazar covered the Mexican National Team for ESPN during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. His other soccer assignments have included MLS, the International Champions Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team, and more. He served as a studio host during ESPN’s presentation of UEFA EURO 2020.

Studio Analysts:

· Steffi Jones – One of the most accomplished women soccer players, Jones played for the Germany Women’s National Team from 1993-2007. In her prime, she was one of the best defenders. Jones won the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and three consecutive UEFA Women’s EURO Championship titles in 1997, 2001 and 2005. She also played for the Washington Freedom in Women’s United Soccer Association. Jones was president of the organizing committee for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, and later managed the women’s national from 2016-’18.

· Emma Hayes – After leading Chelsea FC Women to 12 titles in seven seasons, Hayes was named FIFA Best Women’s Coach in January 2022. She is considered one of the best minds in the sport, male or female. She assumed the helm at Chelsea in August 2012 after successful tenures at the different levels of the sport in the United States – W-League’s Long Island Lady Riders; Iona College in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), and Chicago Red Stars in the Women’s Professional League.

Foudy, Lindsey, and Slaton will join the studio team when they are not calling games.

Rules Analyst

· Christina Unkel – Former USA FIFA Referee and PRO NWSL Referee, and MLS VAR (Video Assistant Referee), Unkel has officiated at the highest international and professional levels for over 10 years. She has brought her years of officiating experience to the viewers as the laws and rules analyst on the coverage of top soccer competitions by major U.S. networks, including FIFA Women’s World Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and Europa Conference League, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, and Serie A.

Reporter

· Alexis Nunes – A host and reporter for ESPN for the past seven years, Nunes covers football for ESPN FC and cricket for ESPN Caribbean. Since moving to London in 2019, Nunes has covered the FA Cup and other major UK events for ESPN, and from August 2021, she has been one of the leading television reporters for ESPN’s match and studio coverage of LaLiga. At EURO 2020, Nunes reported on select games and the Final at Wembley Stadium.

About UEFA Women’s EURO 2022

UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 is a quadrennial competition among national teams representing member countries of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Sweden won the first championship, held in 1984, with four teams – Denmark, England, Italy, and Sweden.

Rescheduled from July 2021 due to COVID 19 pandemic, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 will feature 16 teams competing to be champions of Europe. With 12 of the 16 teams ranked in the top 20 of FIFA rankings for women’s football, the tournament is arguably the most-competitive international soccer tournament in the world. The competition in July will be the 13th edition of the European women’s championship.

The 31 tournament matches will be played across 10 stadiums in eight English cities, including the opening match at Old Trafford and the final at Wembley Stadium. Netherlands returns to the tournament as champions of Europe, having won the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017. Germany holds the record with eight of the 12 titles.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avril Kay Purvis

    July 26, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    I’m watching England v Sweden on ESPN2. What is the name of the very annoying American woman commentator. She has a very high pitched voice and so damned annoying, she never shuts up.

    • Christopher Harris

      July 26, 2022 at 3:54 pm

      Julie Foudy. Personally, I think she’s great but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  2. Larry Hager

    July 14, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    Whoever hired Johnathon Yardley and Danielle Slaton made a big mistake, instead of calling the game, all they do is criticize and speculate on the teams, this talk is for pregame , half time and post game. Hate them both, we turn the volume off. All the other announcers are great, except those two, you need to check it out and tell them to keep their opinions to themselves.

  3. Anthony

    July 9, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Steffi seems to be struggling a bit with the English language commentary so far

  4. UnitedFan3478

    July 3, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    Let’s hope ESPN gets Euro 2024 and 2028. UEFA better buy back the rights from Fox. Fox has destroyed UEFA.

    • S. McGinnis

      July 7, 2022 at 4:03 pm

      Aside from Ian Darke, the other commentators are crap. First of all , why are they all American? Last I checked UEFA was for European football clubs not American soccer D-listers. Did ESPN even attempt to get some European female commentators? The non-stop overtalking of the commentators during a match is another peeve. Am actually switching to Judge Judy instead of this Norway v Northern Ireland fixture. At least it will be entertaining !

      • Rob

        July 7, 2022 at 8:07 pm

        Way too much talking during the game. I just let us watch the game, I don’t want to hear their conversations with each other or their over analysis during the game, just makes the game so boring to watch.
        And yes why aren’t there more Europeans?
        Oh and what other sport s coverage gives us a Rules analyst?

        • SteveK

          July 9, 2022 at 11:14 am

          ever watch American football? Each network has its own ex-referee sometimes to hilarious effect as they often get the calls wrong. That said, CBS has a current referee Christina Unkel helping out with their on air soccer coverage as she is excellent, so, too, Clattenburg. When he was a guest in-studio with Rebecca and the gang for the Premier League he was great.

        • Larry hager

          July 14, 2022 at 3:22 pm

          You are so right, they are annoying

  5. jstrummer

    June 30, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks Dave, to be honest I don’t normally follow and have never seen a women’s Copa America but I did a history check and Brazil have won ’em all except for Argentina once. Tournament is in Colombia, so I expect their matches will have the best atmosphere, especially since they have the third highest rated team. Stadiums in Quindio and Bucaramanga should be easier on the eyes than the other large stadium in Cali. Believe matches are on FS1 or FS2.

    • Christopher Harris

      July 1, 2022 at 8:03 am

      We have all of the Copa América Feminina games listed in our Soccer TV Schedules App. And they’ll be appearing in the ‘Upcoming Games’ page on our website too as we get closer to the start of the competition.

    • dave

      July 8, 2022 at 9:13 pm

      @jstrummer, good suggestion, the Colombia opener against Paraguay has a decent fan turnout and has been an enjoyable watch (high energy and passion) in the first half. A number of the games are on ViX if you want to catch any in Spanish
      .
      Interesting how different crowds are by tournament. Euro Women’s has good atmosphere so far, CONCACAF W has essentially zero attendance even when Mexico plays, Copa Femenina had a very sparse crowd for the early game followed by a nice turnout for the home team. I am curious what the stadium will be like during tomorrow night’s Brazil-Argentina

    • dave

      July 21, 2022 at 6:47 pm

      @jstrummer, thanks again for the recommendations. I am enjoying Copa America Femenina far more than I expected. Colombia finished group stage unblemished and had a raucous crowd as they clinched against Chile. Game tonight between Argentina and Venezuela is for the right to face Colombia in the semifinals. Brazil have been dominant and seem very likely to win it all, but a Colombia-Brazil final in Colombia could be entertaining

  6. jstrummer

    June 30, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    Plethora of women’s football starting over the weekend with ANC on Bein. Concacaf (CBS) and Copa America (Fox) begin next week also.

    • dave

      June 30, 2022 at 4:45 pm

      @jstrummer, thank you for the reminders. Do you follow South America women’s national teams? I am accustomed to CONCACAF where women’s tournaments usually result in US-Canada. Is there more parity in the women’s Copa America, or is it close to a lock that Brazil will win?
      .
      I enjoy the men’s Copa America and would be interested to catch some women’s Copa America games. Please share if you have suggestions for intriguing matches

  7. dave

    June 30, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for the details. I am looking forward to a good summer tournament and ESPN seem to have assembled a solid team. Interesting to see ESPN2/ESPN+ splits similar to what Disney have done with a few other European rights. Approaches to linear vs. streaming vs. blended seem highly varied by sports property and rights holder
    .
    I believe TUDN have the Spanish rights in the US. Do you know if they plan to show any of the games (and if so, TUDN or ViX or OTA)?

    • Christopher Harris

      June 30, 2022 at 3:27 pm

      TUDN has rights to the games but we haven’t heard a peep from them about their coverage plans. Hopefully we’ll hear something soon.

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