ESPN to Bombard You With Unnecessary Hype

If there’s ever a copy-and-paste title, it’s this one. Tomorrow night is Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA coaching debut as the men’s side battles Mexico in a friendly at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly. ESPN is providing English-language coverage and have decided this is akin to a World Cup qualifier. I know it’s a rivalry and all, but what they’ve done is a little too much.

  • ESPN’s lead commentator team for soccer – Ian Darke and John Harkes – will call the match;
  • Award-winning studio host Bob Ley will be joined on-site by lead analyst Alexi Lalas and ESPN Deportes’ Jorge Ramos;
  • Rob Stone (USA) and Monica Gonzalez (Mexico), the former Mexico Women’s National Team player who served as an ESPN analyst during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will report from the sidelines;
  • Taylor Twellman, the former leading MLS striker and U.S. National Team player, will contribute analysis from site on ESPN digital platforms;
  • Conversation with Jurgen Klinsmann: ESPN’s Julie Foudy will sit down with the new U.S. team coach – who served as an ESPN analyst during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa – for an exclusive television interview.  Excerpts will air on SportsCenter and as part of studio coverage surrounding the match;
  • ESPN has added a 30-minute SportsCenter Special: USA vs. Mexico Preview show on ESPNEWS (8:30 p.m.), and expanded the programming window on ESPN2 to include 30 minutes of post-match analysis, commentary and opinion from Harkes, Lalas, Ramos and Twellman with host Ley and additional reporting by Stone and Gonzalez.

Prior to the match, ESPN2’s popular SportsNation will be live from a stage outside Lincoln Financial Field (4 p.m.) with Michelle Beadle and guest host Twellman – the first time the show is originating from a soccer match.


Oh come on, ESPN. I’m glad that you acknowledge soccer as a sport but that doesn’t mean you can make that into complete overkill, too. And for what it’s worth I really don’t care to hear Foudy, Lalas, Stone or Harkes in any capacity. I’ll probably just go to Univision instead. If Klinsmann loses tomorrow don’t cry foul and don’t call him a god if he pulls off a win. Both the USA and Mexico are hardly playing their best squads so this is nothing more than a “friendly”. Do I want the US to win? Sure. But if they lose it’s not the end of the world and I won’t make judgments that quickly on Klinsmann.

Stop with the talking heads, ESPN. It makes the broadcasts awful to watch.


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