ESPN has assembled an all-star roster of hosts, analysts and reporters for its upcoming presentation of the UEFA European Football Championship 2020 (June 11 – July 11). The lineup of personalities combines current ESPN experts with new faces from across Europe and the United States, including world-class players and coaches – and a referee – who have competed and achieved success at the highest levels of global football.
College GameDay’s Rece Davis and Kelly Cates of Sky Sports and BBC Radio 5 Live in the UK headline the studio hosts for EURO 2020. Davis, a 25-year ESPN veteran, previously anchored soccer coverage during EURO 2008 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Cates, who worked for ESPN in the UK a decade ago, is making her debut on American television. They will be joined by ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar, Kay Murray and Dalen Cuff.
The group of EURO 2020 analysts – representing England, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Wales and the United States – is as talented as any team ESPN has brought together for a global football event the past decade. England National Team star Steve McManaman, a staple of ESPN soccer coverage since 2010, returns to the studio, as does two-time Women’s World Cup champion Julie Foudy. Newcomers include Italian star forward Alessandro Del Piero, who joined ESPN FC in March; U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard; German National Team midfielder Sami Khedira; Wales coach Chris Coleman, who led his home nation to its first-ever UEFA EURO appearance in 2016; and Premier League center back Nedum Onuoha.
Former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller and Scotland National Team player Craig Burley, both current ESPN analysts, return for their second straight European Championship. Also, English referee Mark Clattenburg, who refereed the EURO 2016 Final, will serve as ESPN’s officiating and VAR expert.
Four ESPN reporters will be on-site in Europe for EURO 2020, led by global correspondent Sam Borden, who will cover the opening match in Rome and be headquartered in London with visits to key matches and other nations throughout the month. In addition, Martin Ainstein will be based in Spain, Archie Rhind-Tutt will focus on matches in Germany, and Alexis Nunes will report from London.
“Every time ESPN hosts a major soccer tournament, the goal is to assemble an authentic, diverse and accomplished talent roster that can draw from experiences in this tournament, and offer smart analysis based on that perspective. We are thrilled to welcome back teammates who have been with us since EURO 2008, and excited to introduce some new names to ESPN’s presentation,” said ESPN coordinating producer Chris Alexopoulos.
ESPN’s studio voices will be based in Bristol, Conn., and will appear on a variety of programs, beginning with a special 30-minute EURO 2020 preview show on Tuesday, June 9 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Throughout the month-long tournament, pregame, halftime and postgame studio segments will air across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, while EURO Today will air in-between matches, and EURO Tonight will air on match-days immediately following the last match. Beyond ESPN’s EURO-themed programming, EURO 2020 analysts and other voices will contribute to news and information programs across ESPN networks, including editions of SportsCenter.
ESPN’s EURO 2020 studio shows will also feature regular guests, including current and former players and coaches – even participants in this summer’s European Championship. In addition, ESPN FC on ESPN+ will offer daily coverage of EURO 2020 with host Dan Thomas and analysts Burley, Shaka Hislop, Frank Leboeuf, Jurgen Klinsmann, Alejandro Moreno, Steve Nicol, Steve Cherundulo, and more.
The EURO 2020 studio team joins ESPN’s accomplished group of match commentators, announced last week.
Brief bios for ESPN’s EURO 2020 studio commentators:
Rece Davis – The 25-year company veteran, who just signed a new contract in March, is the face of ESPN’s College GameDay franchise for both football and basketball, and he recently hosted all three days of the 2021 NFL Draft. Lead host for this summer’s UEFA European Championship, Davis previously hosted soccer coverage for ESPN during EURO 2008 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Kelly Cates – A UK television and radio host for more than a decade, Cates hosts Premier League matches for Sky Sports, most notably Friday Night Football and Premier League Live on Saturday mornings. Also a host for BBC Radio 5 Live, Cates was part of ESPN’s Premier League coverage during the 2009-10 season in the UK. A native of Scotland, Cates’ father is former Liverpool player and manager Sir Kenny Daglish.
Sebastian Salazar – Salazar has been a host, reporter and play-by-play voice for soccer since joining ESPN in 2016. He regularly appears on ESPN FC in addition to co-hosting the new series Futbol Americas on ESPN+. Salazar covered the Mexican National Team for ESPN during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and his many other soccer assignments have included MLS, the International Champions Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team, and more.
Kay Murray – An ESPN soccer host since 2019, Murray appears regularly on coverage of major soccer events, including the FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, Bundesliga, and more. Murray has covered global football for years, previously working for BeIN Sports, Real Madrid TV and Boro TV, the official channel of her hometown club, Middlesbrough FC, in the UK. In addition to television, Murray co-hosts the CalcioCast podcast about Italian Serie A with her husband, ESPN match commentator Matteo Bonetti.
Dalen Cuff – An ACC Network host, analyst and play-by-play voice, Cuff joined ESPN in 2016 and helped launch ACCN in 2019. Cuff is ACC Network’s primary men’s soccer play-by-play voice and he just called the NCAA College Cup National Championship for ESPN.
Steve McManaman – The former England National Team standout has worked as an ESPN analyst since 2010 – both in-studio and calling matches. While contributing to two FIFA World Cups (2010 and 2014) and the past two European Championships (2012 and 2016), McManaman called the Final at the 2012 and 2014 events alongside Ian Darke. As a player, McManaman was named to the UEFA Team of the Tournament at EURO 1996 when he helped lead England to the semifinals. He also played at EURO 2000, scoring a goal against Portugal. McManaman’s club career spanned 16 seasons with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City, and he won two UEFA Champions League titles with Real (2000 and 2002).
Alessandro Del Piero – An Italian National Team standout and one of the greatest players of his generation, Del Piero joined ESPN FC as a studio analyst in March. From 1995-2008, Del Piero appeared in more than 90 matches for Italy and he ranks fourth in team history with 27 goals. He represented the Azzurri in three FIFA World Cups and four European Championships. When Italy won the 2006 World Cup, Del Piero scored an unforgettable 92nd minute goal in the semifinal against host Germany. His 23-year professional career included 19 seasons with Juventus, where he holds club records for most appearances, goals scored and more.
Julie Foudy – One of the most accomplished players in U.S. Women’s Soccer history, Foudy is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion (1991 and 1994) and two-time Olympic gold medalist (1996 and 2004). A 2007 inductee in the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Foudy captained the USWNT from 2000-04 and her 274 appearances from 1988-2004 rank fifth in U.S. Soccer history. Foudy joined ESPN in 2005 as a soccer analyst and her role has significantly expanded through the years to include feature reporting, commentary, podcasting and more, while serving as one of espnW’s primary voices. Foudy has contributed to every major soccer event at ESPN – including the World Cup, Wormen’s World Cup and EUROS – since she made her analyst debut during the 1998 FIFA World Cup as an active player. This summer, Foudy is also the lead analyst for NBC’s women’s soccer coverage during the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Tim Howard – A member of the United States National Team for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, Howard leads all U.S. goalkeepers with 121 career appearances. He also set a World Cup record for saves in a match with 15 against Belgium during the knockout round in 2014. Howard played 10 club seasons in MLS and 13 seasons in the Premier League with Everton and Manchester United. A Premier League studio analyst for NBC Sports since 2020, this is Howard’s first event for ESPN.
Chris Coleman – Coleman, who managed Wales from 2012-17, will provide important coaching and tactical perspective to ESPN’s EURO 2020 coverage. Coleman guided Wales to its first ever UEFA EURO appearance in 2016 – and first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup – when the Dragons reached the semifinals. A native of Swansea, Coleman has managed clubs in England, Spain, Greece and China, including more than 150 matches in the Premier League. As a player, Coleman made 32 international appearances for Wales from 1992-2002 and played more than 100 Premier League matches as a defender for Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham.
Sami Khedira – A 2014 World Cup champion, Khedira made 77 international appearances for Germany from 2009-18, including three World Cups from 2010-18 and the 2012 and 2016 European Championships. Khedira was named to the EURO 2012 Team of the Tournament and he scored a goal in Germany’s win against Greece in the quarterfinals. During his professional career, he played for Stuttgart, Real Madrid, Juventus and Hertha Berlin, winning league titles in Germany, Spain and Italy, including five consecutive Serie A crowns with Juventus (2016-20).
Nedum Onuoha – Born in Nigeria and raised in the UK, Onuoha played nine professional seasons in the Premier League with Manchester City, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers before finishing his final three years with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake. After retiring in 2020, Onuoha joined ESPN as a UK-based analyst and he recently covered the FA Cup Final from Wembley Stadium for ESPN FC. The former center back also hosts the music, football and life-themed podcast Kickback with Needum.
Kasey Keller – Keller, a former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper and three-time U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, joined ESPN as an analyst in February 2012. The major events he’s covered include EURO 2012 and 2016, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, among others. Keller made 102 appearances with the USMNT, including matches during the 1998 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, including a 1-1 tie versus Italy in ‘06. Keller’s professional career spanned 20 seasons (1992-2011) and 609 matches played in four leagues – Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga and MLS.
Craig Burley – A former Scottish National Team player, Burley has been a consistent voice in ESPN’s year-round soccer coverage since he moved to the United States for an analyst role in 2013. He was part of World Cup 2014 and EURO 2016, and he appears regularly in-studio on ESPN FC on ESPN+ in addition to calling matches and contributing to major events. As a player, Burley made 46 appearances for Scotland from 1995-2003, including its last World Cup in 1998 when he scored a goal. As a professional, Burley played with Chelsea, Celtic and four other clubs from 1991-04.
Mark Clattenburg – A former English referee, Clattenburg will serve as ESPN’s officiating and VAR expert during EURO 2020. From 2004-17, he was a Premier League referee for 292 matches. One of the most highly-rated European referees of his generation, Clattenburg has refereed many notable matches, including the EURO 2016 Final, the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2016 FA Cup Final.
Author: World Soccer Talk