- Ian Darke and Julie Foudy lead the match commentary team
- Soccer legend Steffi Jones and FIFA 2021 Best Women’s Coach Emma Hayes make their US TV debuts
ESPN today announced a full list of commentators, studio hosts, analysts and a reporter for its upcoming presentation of the 2022 UEFA European Women’s Football Championship (July 6-31). . The list combines ESPN experts, led by the critically acclaimed commentary team of Ian Dark and Julie Foudy, with European headliners making their ESPN debuts – German women’s football legend and three-time European champion Steffi Jones and Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2020-21 Emma Hayes.
Jenn Hildreth and Jonathan Yardley, voices of women’s soccer familiar to American fans, join Darke as play-by-play commentators. List includes two former United States Women’s National Team players Lori Lindsey and Danielle Slaton. ESPN-FC Kay Murray and Futbol Americas Sebastien Salazar will co-host shows and in-studio segments. UK-based ESPN journalist Alexis Nunes will be the rapporteur, while Christina Unkel completes the team as a rules analyst.
“We are delighted to have this commentary team for our coverage of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. Their experience and knowledge is world class,” said ESPN’s coordinating producer. Matt Leach. “We look forward to seeing how their insights will better inform and entertain our viewers.”
ESPN’s match commentary and studio voices will be based in Bristol, Connecticut. Throughout the tournament, they will appear in various programs, including sports center, ESPN-FC, and Futbol Americas.
Brief bios of ESPN 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 stand dates back to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, where Darke provided some of the sport’s most memorable calls for Abby Wambach’s unlikely goal in the 122n/a minute of the United States Women’s National Team quarter-final against Brazil.
- darke has been a play-by-play football voice for ESPN since the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He called the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments, the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as the UEFA EURO championships in 2012, 2016 and 2020 – voicing the final in five of six international tournaments.
- Foudy is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, and a member of the soccer hall of fame after a USWNT career that featured 274 appearances from 1988 to 2004. Foudy has joined ESPN in 2005. She has appeared in all of ESPN’s major football events since her television debut when she was active during the 1998 FIFA World Cup. She has also contributed coverage of the Games Olympics by ESPN, while expanding his roles to include reporting, podcasting and writing for espnW.
Jenn Hildreth and Lori Lindsey: Hildreth and Lindsey are well known to fans of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the top women’s soccer league in the United States. The duo commentated on several NWSL games together.
- Hildreth is one of the most versatile play-by-play commentators in the industry. She calls the NCAA Women’s College Cup for ESPN and the NWSL for CBS Sports. She was on the commentary team for the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup for FOX Sports and the 2020 Summer Olympics for NBC Sports. Beyond football, his resume includes game-by-game duties for college basketball, softball and gymnastics, studio hosting and side reporting.
- Lindsey is a former United States Women’s National Team player whose career spanned 13 years. She is one of only four players in all three professional women’s soccer leagues in the United States – the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), and NWSL. Lindsey’s sports broadcasting credits include commentary for the NWSL, MLS, USL and NCAA.
Jonathan Yardley and Danielle Slaton: Yardley and Slaton complete the three ESPN commentary teams for EURO 2022.
- Yardley debuted at ESPN in 2012. He has been a play-by-play commentator on college sports and professional football for the network, including serving as the leading voice for women’s football at the college, professional and international level since 2014. Yardley led ESPN’s match coverage of the last UEFA Women’s European Championship in 2017, as well as the 2021 UEFA Men’s Under-21 Championship and Women’s Under-20 World Cup. FIFA 2014. In addition to football, its play-by-play experience includes coverage of NBA and college football, basketball, baseball and softball.
- Slaton played soccer for the United States Women’s National Team from 2000 to 2005, winning a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2003 Women’s World Cup. Professionally, Slaton won the Women’s United Soccer Association championship with Carolina Courage in 2002 and played for Olympique Lyonnais in France. Slaton is an analyst for the San Jose Earthquakes’ home games on NBC Sports Bay Area. Slaton was a match analyst for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- Kay Murray– An ESPN football broadcaster since 2019, Murray regularly appears in coverage of major football events including the FA Cup, UEFA Nations League and more. She is the main Bundesliga host on ABC, ESPN+ and ESPN. Murray is also co-host of ESPN-FCand 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 UK. Murray’s ESPN credits include being the studio host for UEFA EURO 2020.
- Sebastien Salazar – Salazar has been a host, reporter and play-by-play voice for football since joining ESPN in 2016. He co-hosts the critically acclaimed Futbol Americas on ESPN+, alongside the former U.S. men’s national team star Herculez Gomez, and regularly appears on ESPN-FC. Salazar covered the Mexico national team for ESPN during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. His other soccer assignments have included MLS, International Champions Cup, United States Women’s National Team, and more. He was a studio host during ESPN’s presentation of UEFA EURO 2020.
- Steffi Jones –One of the most accomplished soccer players, Jones played for the Germany women’s national team from 1993 to 2007. In her prime, she was one of the best defenders. Jones won the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and three consecutive UEFA European Women’s Championship titles in 1997, 2001 and 2005. She also played for the Washington Freedom in Women’s United Soccer Association. Jones served as the chairwoman of the organizing committee for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, then led the women’s domestic competition from 2016 to 2018.
- Emma Hayes – After leading Chelsea FC Women to 12 titles in seven seasons, Hayes was named FIFA’s Best Women’s Coach in January 2022. She is considered one of the finest minds in sport, male or female. She took charge of Chelsea in August 2012 after successful tenures at various levels of the sport in the United States – Long Island Lady Riders of the W-League; 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 not calling games.
- 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 more than 10 years. She has brought her years of refereeing experience to viewers as a law and rule analyst on coverage of top football competitions by major US networks, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Europa Conference League, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and Serie A.
- Alexis Nunes –A host and reporter for ESPN for the past seven years, Nunes has covered football for ESPN FC and cricket for ESPN Caribbean. Since arriving in 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 main television reporters for coverage of the LaLiga ESPN matches and studios. At EURO 2020, Nunes reported on select matches and the final at Wembley Stadium.
About UEFA Women’s EURO 2022:
UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 is a four-year competition between 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.
Postponed from July 2021 due to the COVID 19 pandemic, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 will feature 16 teams vying to be European champions. With 12 of the 16 teams ranked in the top 20 of the FIFA rankings for women’s football, the tournament is arguably the most competitive international football tournament in the world. The July competition will be on the 13the edition of the European Women’s Championship.
The tournament’s 31 matches will be played at 10 stadiums across eight English cities, including the opener at Old Trafford and the final at Wembley Stadium. The Netherlands return to the tournament as European champions, having won UEFA Women’s EURO 2017. Germany hold the record with eight of 12 titles.
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ESPN: Mac Nwulu ([email protected]), Santa Brito ([email protected])
ESPN+: Oliver Wilson ([email protected]), Christine Calcagno ([email protected])