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Former Ipswich Town and England National Team forward Paul Mariner is a regular contributor on ESPN FC. He serves as one of the recurring pundits on the daily soccer news, analysis and highlights program, available exclusively on ESPN+. He has also served as a color commentator for several international matches on ESPN and ESPN International, including working alongside play-by-play commentator Mark Donaldson during the UEFA European Football Championship 2016.
Mariner began making guest appearances on ESPN FC in 2009 after spending four years as an assistant coach with the Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution under then-head coach Steve Nicols. From 2011-2013, Mariner returned to coaching at Toronto FC, first as the director of player development and later had a short run as the team’s head coach from June 2012 – January 2013.
Following his brief coaching stint with Toronto FC, Mariner returned to ESPN FC in a recurring role as one of the show’s analysts. His contributions, along with host Dan Thomas and primary analysts Steve Nicols (Liverpool FC legend, Scotland national team), Craig Burley (Chelsea, Scotland), Alejandro Moreno (Columbus Crew, Venezuela), and Shaka Hislop (West Ham, Trinidad and Tobago), make ESPN FC one of global soccer’s top English language studio programs.
In a career that spanned 15 years (1973 – 1988) in England, Mariner played for four teams – Plymouth Argyle F.C., Ipswich Town, Arsenal, and Portsmouth.
Mariner’s best years as a professional player were with Ipswich Town (1976-1984), where he helped the team win the FA Cup trophy in 1978 and its only European title – UEFA Cup in 1981 – following a 5-4 home-and-away goals aggregate victory over Dutch Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar. He was inducted into the Ipswich Town F.C. Hall of Fame in 2011.
Legendary football manager Sir Bobby Robson scouted and brought Mariner to Ipswich Town in 1976 from Plymouth Argyle F.C. The forward repaid the manager for his trust by helping lead Ipswich Town through its most successful decade. He also played for Arsenal FC from 1984-1986 and Portsmouth FC from 1986-1988.
Barely six months after joining Ipswich Town in 1976, Mariner made his England National Team debut on March 30, 1977, during a 5-0 victory over Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifying match at Wembley Stadium. His last game for England was in a World Cup qualifying match in January 1985. Mariner scored 13 goals in 35 matches for England, including the UEFA European Football Championship in 1980 in Italy and the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain.
A native of Bolton in North West England, Mariner moved to the United States to join the Albany Capitals in 1988. He was a player-coach for the American Soccer League team from 1988-1992, before moving to the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks (1992-93).
Mariner began his foray into coaching following his 1988 move to the United States. His coaching credits include one year as an assistant coach with the Harvard Crimson.
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