The Nine for IX series winds down next Tuesday, August 20th with the penultimate film in the Summer-long film series from ESPN Films and espnW. The 99ers premieres Tuesday night at 8pm ET on ESPN. It focuses on the 1999 U.S. women’s national soccer team. On July 10, 1999, the U.S. women’s national soccer team turned the women’s sports world on its ear when the Women’s national soccer team defeated China’s women’s national soccer team at the famed Rose Bowl to take the Women’s World Cup. The victory came in front of more than 90,000 fans in attendance and an estimated 40 million fans watching on television.
The story of the iconic victory is told by longtime U.S. Women’s national soccer team captain Julie Foudy. It’s through Foudy’s own words that audiences gain an understanding of the mentality that led the U.S. women’s national soccer team to victory over China. It uses not just interviews with Foudy, but behind-the-scenes footage shot by members of the team that have never before been seen. It reunites key players from the 1999 U.S. women’s national team for the story, directed by Erin Leyden and produced by Foudy.
The 99ers is the second to last film in the Nine for IX series this Summer. The series’ final film, Branded airs August 27th at 8pm ET on ESPN. Each film will be available for download via iTunes the day after its broadcast. A collectible gift set containing each film will be available on October 15th, 2013.
The U.S. Men’s National Team will attempt to qualify for the FIFA World Cup beginning this Friday, March 22nd, and ESPN will have coverage of the game both on television and online at WatchESPN. The game is the first of two qualifying matches for the U.S. Men’s National Team. It will pit the Men’s team against Costa Rica. The men’s team will also face Mexico next Tuesday, March 26th. That match will take place in Mexico City. That match will be aired live at 9:30pm EST on ESPN and online via WatchESPN.
The team’s match against Mexico will be preceded by a one-hour pre-game show that will be broadcast live from Mexico City. The show marks the very first time that ESPN will air a pre-game show before a World Cup qualifying match. The game is the most anticipated in the team’s quadrennial FIFA World Cup qualification process.
Commentator Ian Darke will provide play-by-play for the team’s game this Friday against Costa Rica. He will be joined by analyst Taylor Twellman and sideline reporter Monica Gonzalez. Bob Ley will be on hand in studio for the broadcast. He will be joined by analysts Kasey Keller and Alexi Lalas. Viewers will get a preview of the game on SportsCenter throughout the day. It will also have post-game results and highlights on the overnight broadcast of SportsCenter at 1am EST/10 PST. The game will be broadcast live at 10pm EST. ESPN’s online soccer affiliate will also offer full coverage of the game. Reporter Roger Bennett will keep the site updated with the latest video reports, match previews, and previews. He will also offer a profile of sorts of the U.S. team’s coach, Jurgen Klinsmann in the feature, “Is U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Getting Things Right?” Along with this extensive coverage, soccer fans will even get the chance to chat live at the ESPN FC Boot Room during the game.
The second of the U.S. Men’s national matches will take place Tuesday, March 26th at 9:30pm. Ian Darke will be on hand to cover this game as will Taylor Twellman. Audiences will get extensive coverage yet again both on air and online. This includes audiences watching ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPNDeportes.com.
Major League Soccer and ESPN are set to “kick” off their 18th season together. The league’s 18th season on the ESPN family of networks is set to begin Sunday, March 3rd. The new season’s premiere matchup pits the Portland Timbers against the New York Red Bulls from JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Oregon. It will air live on ESPN2, ESPN 3D, and ESPN Deportes at 7:30pm EST. The inter-conference competition will be the first of 20 regular season matches to be broadcast. 18 of those matches will be Sunday games, making it MLS’ most consistent broadcasting schedule on ESPN. All 19 regular season matches will be broadcast in HD. Twelve of those matches will air on ESPN2. Seven will run on ESPN. One extra match that is currently TBD will also run on ESPN2.
All matches broadcast on the ESPN family of networks will also be simulcast live on ESPN Deportes Radio. Eight of the season’s matches will be broadcast on ESPN 3D, the world’s very first 24/7 all-sports 3D network. Seven of those eight will be broadcast live. It marks the first time that MLS soccer matches will be shown in 3D. All regular season matches will also be available to fans online courtesy of WatchESPN.
Adrian Healey will offer play-by-play commentary. Healey will be joined by analysts Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas in studio. Reporter Monica Gonzales will handle English-language commentaries. Richard Mendez and former New York/New Jersey (New York Red Bulls) striker Giovanni Savarese both return to call the matches in Spanish for ESPN Deportes. Kenneth Garay, Elmer Polanco, and Diego Cora will be in the booth for ESPN Deportes Radio.
MLS fans have a lot to look forward to this season. Along with expanded coverage on television and online, ESPN will broadcast the only regular-season meeting of the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy. That matchup is scheduled for Sunday, May 19th. It will broadcast live from the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. It’s just one of many big matches expected for this season. To get a full schedule of games, just go online to http://espnfc.com/fixtures/_/league/usa.1/major-league-soccer?cc=5901.