[SOCCER ON THE AIR]Ian Darke, Adrian Healey and Derek Raereturn as part of ESPN's team of play-by-play announcers for the World Cup, and they'll be joined by two other British announcers, veteran Jon Champion and Daniel Mann, currently with Sky Sports, and Salvadoran Fernando Palomo, who is play-by-play voice for the English-language Mexican national team matches on ESPN.
This will be the third World Cup for Healey with ESPN and second with Darke, who was named ESPN’s lead play-by-play commentator in January, and Rae, who was voice of ESPN when it held the UEFA Champions League rights.
Champion, 48, worked for ESPN UK until it lost its EPL rights and shut down last summer. He now works on the world feed used like NBC for some of its EPL games. The Scottish-born Mann, 33, does the Premier League, Champions League and World Cup qualifiers for Sky Sports.
Palomo, who came to the USA from El Salvador to attend Texas A&M, where he threw the javelin, has been host of Fuera de Juego, ESPN Deportes and ESPN International’s highest-rated soccer program since 2006. He is also a former anchor of SportsCenter on ESPN Deportes.
"The commentator team we have assembled for the 2014 FIFA World Cup has the strong potential to be even better than the celebrated team of 2010,” said Jed Drake, ESPN’s executive producer for its World Cup coverage, in a statement. “Individually and collectively, they rank among the top commentator teams on any event we have ever televised.”
This will be the last World Cup for ESPN before the broadcast rights move to Fox for the 2018 and 2022 finals.