ESPN has added a famous new name to its Major League Soccer broadcast staff.
British broadcaster Jon Champion will be the new play-by-play voice for the network’s MLS coverage. Champion has become one of the most well-known and respected soccer anchors overseas thanks to his coverage of the English Premiere League and various other top global football events over the past 30 years.
Champion will take the reins of the network’s MLS coverage beginning with the 2019 season. He will be joined by top analyst Taylor Twellman to round out the network’s team.
Champion said in an interview that he is looking forward to taking the next step in his broadcasting career.
“I am thrilled to be joining ESPN on a full-time basis to cover MLS and the other soccer properties now in the company’s growing portfolio,” Champion said. “It’s a big adventure to move my family to the U.S., and a personal personal challenge after more than 30 years covering the sport in Europe. I’ve really enjoyed working on MLS on my frequent visits, and now I get the chance to call the matches on a weekly basis and to relate the whole story as the league enters an exciting phase of its development.”
He added, “I’m also looking forward to working with Taylor Twellman, who has carved out such a strong reputation as an analyst. Taylor and I have had great fun when we’ve worked together in the past, and it will be great to develop that rapport further.”
ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer Amy Rosenfeld shared her excitement about Champion’s addition to the network’s on-air roster.
“Jon is one of the most beloved voices in soccer, so we are thrilled that fans in the U.S. who have enjoyed his commentary during major global tournaments on ESPN will now have the opportunity to hear him weekly on Major League Soccer.”
Champion’s new contract marks his second run with ESPN. He previously worked for ESPN UK as the network’s lead football commentator, covering the English Premiere League, UEFA Europa League and the FA Cup Final from 2009-’13.
He joined ESPN in the United States in 2014 as play-by-play commentator for the World Cup in Brazil. the broadcast was Champion’s first international soccer event for an American audience. The result of that work led to work on the 2016 UEFA European Championship in France, UEFA’s World Cup Qualifying matches and the 2017 International Champions Cup (ICC), during which he served as the English-language voice of El Clasico Miami, the first-ever meeting in North America between Spain’s Barcelona FC and Real Madrid.
Champion also called the FIFA World Cup in South Africa while on loan from ESPN. He was joined by ESPN FC analyst and former Scotland National player Craig Burley for the tournament’s coverage. It was one of eight FIFA World Cup tournaments that Champion covered.
Champion started his broadcasting career with BBC Radio in the 1980s. He covered his first World Cup tournament at the age of 25. He joined BBC TV’s iconic program Match of the Day in 1995. In 2001, he moved to ITV, where he called games in the English Premiere League, UEFA Champions League and seven League Cup Finals.
More information on Champion’s addition to ESPN’s on-air roster is available online now along with all of the latest sports headlines at:
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