Photos via ESPN Images
ESPN’s presentation of this summer’s UEFA European Football Championship 2020™ will feature some of the most accomplished and familiar voices in the sport, headlined by the announce teams of Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman, and Ian Darke paired with Stewart Robson. ESPN’s talented roster will also include a trio of other veteran broadcaster teams – Derek Rae and Efan Ekoku, Steve Cangialosi with Alejandro Moreno, and Mark Donaldson alongside Matteo Bonetti.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to televise all 51 matches – more than 140 hours – of EURO 2020. Delayed a year due to the COVID pandemic, the quadrennial tournament will be played June 11 – July 11 across 11 European cities.
“Many of the talented and popular voices who have made ESPN’s FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship presentations such a success the past decade will again be part of our EURO 2020 coverage this summer. We can’t wait to reunite with them and add some new voices to our team as well,” said ESPN coordinating producer Chris Alexopoulos. “The European Championship is one of global soccer’s most competitive and thrilling events, and the match commentators we have assembled will deliver a world-class presentation to fans in the U.S.”
Champion and Twellman, who just kicked off their third Major League Soccer season together, will call their first major international tournament as partners during EURO 2020, beginning with the Italy vs. Turkey opening match to be played in Rome on Friday, June 11.
Champion previously called the 2014 FIFA World Cup and EURO 2016 for ESPN. Synonymous with English football around the world for 20 years, Champion was ESPN UK’s lead football announcer, covering the English Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the FA Cup Final from 2009-13. Two years ago, he moved to the United States to become ESPN’s lead play-by-play voice for MLS.
Twellman, the former U.S. Men’s National Team player and Major League Soccer MVP, has been ESPN’s top soccer analyst for a decade. He has called matches and been part of studio coverage for every major event that has aired on ESPN ever since – the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the past two European Championships, including 2016 when he called the Final with Darke. In recent months, Twellman has called the FA Cup and Carabao Cup Finals with Champion, as well as Bundesliga and German Cup matches with Rae.
Darke and Robson, who both live in the UK, will call games together – including a majority of the matches from London’s Wembley Stadium. Darke has been a leading soccer play-by-play voice for ESPN for more than a decade. He called the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, as well as EURO 2012 and 2016 – voicing the Final in three of those events. Darke has also provided the soundtrack for some of the most memorable calls in U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team history.
A 14-year professional who played for Arsenal, West Ham United and Coventry City in the English Premier League (1981-95), Robson has been a match analyst for major events on ESPN since 2013, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup and EURO 2016, where he worked with Champion.
EURO 2020 reunites Rae and Ekoku, who called select matches together for ESPN during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The lead voice for Bundesliga on ESPN networks, Rae is a veteran of nine FIFA World Cup tournaments (including 2010 and 2014 for ESPN), and the past three European Football Championships (2008, 2012 and 2016). Rae was also ESPN’s lead match voice for the UEFA Champions League from 2003-09. Based in the U.S. for ESPN for many years, Rae relocated to London where he was part of the on-air team for ESPN UK and then BT Sport before returning to the U.S. in 2017.
Ekoku, a former Nigerian National Team player who played professionally in England from 1989-2004, worked the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups for ESPN. The analyst on the 2010 World Cup Final – which won the Sports Emmy for Live Sports Special “Game of the Year,” Ekoku currently calls matches for Premier League Productions, in addition to his work on Champions League, Europa League, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga for BT Sport.
Cangialosi, the voice of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls on MSG Network, is working his first major tournament for ESPN. Since 2016, his ESPN assignments have included select MLS, Serie A and International Champions Cup matches.
Moreno, the former Venezuela National Team and Major League Soccer standout, has been a match and studio analyst for ESPN since 2013. A veteran of ESPN’s 2014 FIFA World Cup and EURO 2016 presentations, Moreno regularly calls Major League Soccer and other matches in addition to appearing on the daily soccer news, information and highlights program ESPN FC on ESPN+.
Donaldson and Bonetti have worked together as ESPN’s Serie A match team the past three seasons. Donaldson will be calling his second straight European Championship after debuting in 2016. A versatile play-by-play voice, he has called a variety of soccer events, as well as golf and tennis, since joining ESPN in 2010.
Bonetti, an ESPN soccer analyst since 2018, is covering his first major tournament for ESPN. A leading voice on Italian soccer, he is a regular studio analyst for ESPN FC on ESPN+ in addition to his match commentary. He originally worked as a soccer writer for ESPN.com from 2008-12.
ESPN Commentator Teams for EURO 2020:
|Ian Darke||Stewart Robson|
|Jon Champion||Taylor Twellman|
|Derek Rae||Efan Ekoku|
|Steve Cangialosi||Alejandro Moreno|
|Mark Donaldson||Matteo Bonetti|
UEFA EURO 2020
The UEFA European Football Championship is arguably the most prestigious and competitive international soccer tournament in the world. A field of 24 national teams – 22 of which are currently ranked in the top 50 FIFA World Rankings (April 7, 2021) – have advanced to the championship based on qualifying the past two years for the month-long quadrennial event. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first championship in 1960, UEFA EURO 2020 matches will be played in 11 cities across Europe – Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, St. Petersburg and Seville.
ESPN has been the U.S. home of the UEFA European Football Championship since 2008. Spain (2008 and 2012) and Portugal (2016) have been crowned champions in the past tournaments on ESPN and ABC. The EURO 2020 field also features the last four FIFA World Cup champions – Italy (2006), Spain (2010), Germany (2014) and France (2018).
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