ESPN Starts Countdown To 2014 FIFA World Cup Tournament This Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup begins this week.

ESPN will mark one hundred days to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Tuesday, March 4th with three days of special programming beginning Monday, March 3rd.  There will also be extensive digital content on and coverage of seven FIFA matches among much more coverage throughout the week. kicks off the special three-day event with an in-depth three-day content initiative that focuses on this year’s tournament in Brazil.  That initiative includes digital video, stories, and much more.  Among the highlights from are:

  • “American Underdogs” – Part I: This is the first of Roger Bennett’s four-part series focusing on the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 World Cup.  It examines specifically the buildup to that year’s FIFA World Cup tournament in the United States.
  • World Cup injuries report Who’s in, who’s out?: As the buildup to this year’s FIFA World Cup tournament builds, John Brewin gives a report on all of the key injuries from the teams taking part in the tournament.
  • How does a country win a World Cup?: Gabrielle Marcotti investigates what it takes to be the FIFA World Cup champion.
  • Battling the elements: Teams will face not only each other in the FIFA World Cup tournament, but also Mother Nature.  Brazilian-based journalist Eduardo Alvarez gives an in-depth look at the impact of the weather on the tournament.

ESPN2 and WatchESPN will continue the ESPN family of networks’ special three-day coverage of the 0214 FIFA World Cup tournament on Tuesday with a special one-hour edition of ESPN FC on TV.  The special broadcast will include previews and discussions of this year’s World Cup tournament as well as the launch of “American Underdogs,” which focuses on the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 FIFA World Cup tournament.

Tuesday’s hour-long ESPN FC on TV broadcast will air on ESPN and WatchESPN at 5pm ET.  It will be hosted by Dan Thomas and former U.S. Men’s National Team players Kasey Keller and Alexi Lalas.  They will be joined by analyst Alejandro Moreno, a former Venezuelan National Team player, live from Atlanta.  Moreno will call matchup of Mexico and Nigeria Wednesday, March 5th on ESPNEWS and WatchESPN.  That game can also be viewed online via WatchESPN.  It will air at 8:30pm ET.

Tuesday’s broadcast of ESPN FC on TV will include:

  • The top 10 on-the-field questions leading into the World Cup.
  • “American Underdogs – Part III: Alexi Lalas played in the 1994 FIFA World Cup tournament.  He will personally discuss the legacy of that year’s tournament.
  • A preview of Wednesday’s matchups, featuring key 2014 World Cup Teams – the only FIFA approved match date before the tournament.
  • Analysis from ESPN FC’s European football experts Gabrielle Marcotti and Raphael Honigstein on the tournament’s top European teams.
  • A “100th Day Out” countdown graphic that will appear on-screen throughout the course of the progam.  It will also be featured on programming across the ESPN family of networks.

The ESPN family of networks wind-down their special three-day coverage marking the countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Tournament on Wednesday with seven international matches.  That coverage includes the last official FIFA match date before the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament.  The schedule for those games is listed below.

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network(s)
Wed, March 5 1:30 p.m. Ukraine vs. USA ESPN2 / WatchESPN
2 p.m. Romania vs. Argentina ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes
2:45 p.m. Germany vs. Chile ESPN3
3 p.m. France vs. Netherlands ESPN3
3:45 p.m. Portugal vs. Cameroon ESPN3
4 p.m. Spain vs. Italy ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes / WatchESPN
8:30 p.m. Mexico vs. Nigeria ESPNEWS / WatchESPN


The ESPN family of networks will offer much more content and coverage beginning today, March 3rd on the 100-day countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Tournament.  More information on this week’s special three-day event is available online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Soccer Fans Getting More Coverage From ESPN Beginning This Summer

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPNFC


ESPN is giving soccer fans an early Christmas gift this Summer.  What started mainly on the website has evolved into the first ever full length studio show dedicated to coverage of all things soccer.  ESPN FC on TV will air on ESPN daily on ESPN beginning Sunday, August 11th.  The announcement was made today at the company’s Upfront presentation in New York City.  The new show will take the place of ESPN FC Press Pass, which currently airs on ESPNEWS in the United States.    

The new program will be more than just a studio based show.  It will also incorporate the use of into the show via a variety of outlets including social media and ESPN’s industry-leading Stats & Information Group’s data visualization analysis, just to name a couple.  Digital versions of the show will be available online at

Scott Guglielmino spoke on the motivation to expand ESPN’s coverage of professional soccer, noting the increased attention that it is now getting around the world.  “Soccer’s popularity is at an all-time high in the United States as fans are now more familiar with the world’s top players, marquee clubs and national teams.  ESPN FC on TV continues our leadership role in coverage of the sport across all media,” he said.  “ESPN FC will inform, entertain and provide hard-hitting insight on the global sport of soccer,”  It will become ESPN’s signature program for soccer, bringing tremendous value to the company, our affiliates and the ad sales community looking to reach core and casual soccer fans in the United States.” 

Sunday editions of ESPN FC on TV will offer full wrap-ups of each week’s biggest games and looks forward to the coming week, too.  Weekday editions of the show will run for half an hour each day.  Fans can expect from ESPN FC on TV all the latest news and rumors from around the world of professional soccer.  Reporters, columnist, and bloggers from around the world will have all the latest from the Barclay’s Premiere League, UEFA Champion’s League, Spain’s La Liga, Major League Soccer, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, and Mexican National Team.  It will also include interviews with the biggest names from around the professional soccer world, and previews of the biggest games from the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, Manchester Derby, and even more.

To keep up with the latest soccer news from ESPN online, fans can “Like” the ESPN FC Facebook page at and check in daily at the ESPN FC website,

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

ESPN FC Offering Extensive Coverage Of Men’s FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPNFC


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 

To get full information on coverage of the team’s matches, audiences can go online to and

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at