[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Veteran ESPN broadcasters Bob Ley and Mike Tirico be joined by UK-based sports presenter Lynsey Hipgrave of BT Sport as the anchors of ESPN English-language studio shows during the World Cup.
Hipgrave joined London-based BT Sport as a studio host in August 2013, having covered the Premier League and other top-flight soccer in Europe for the London-based sports network and the UEFA Champions League for Al Jazeera Sport. She is also a co-presenter on the Saturday morning show on BBC’s Radio 5 Live with Danny Baker.
“We are thrilled to have Mike and Bob anchor our FIFA World Cup coverage once again," said ESPN senior vice president and executive producer Jed Drake in a statement. "They were a key part of our success in South Africa, and we expect much the same from them in Brazil. Lynsey is a proven soccer host, coming from BT Sport in the UK. Her knowledge of soccer is at the highest level, as are her skills as a host. She's very smart, engaging and dynamic -- a perfect addition to our team."
Tirico, Ley and Hipgrave will work with an analyst team that features Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman, Kasey Keller(USA); Steve McManaman, Stewart Robson (England); Michael Ballack (Germany); Efan Ekoku (Nigeria); Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela); Gilberto Silva (Brazil); Santiago Solari(Argentina); and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands).
Ley, the host of Outside the Lines since the program’s inception in May 1990 and ESPN’s most-tenured commentator, has been a part of four FIFA World Cup events on ESPN, including 1982, 1994, 1998 (as top match commentator) and in 2010, when he served as studio host.
Tirico, one of ESPN’s most versatile commentators, was one of ESPN’s primary hosts for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He's also worked on Monday Night Football and covered major gold and tennis tournaments for ESPN and ABC.