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ESPN announces Confederations Cup telecast plans

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The Confederations Cup begins this weekend, and ESPN will have extensive coverage of the tournament. Saturday's MLS match of the week will have the Confederations Cup opener between Brazil and Japan as a lead in.

Michael Regan

On the heels of strong ratings for FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday, ESPN has announced their commentary plans for the upcoming Confederations Cup in Brazil. The tournament begins in two days, and it's the reason why Mexico and Jamaica have played one more qualifier than the rest of the CONCACAF field.

Ian Darke and Scott Robson will be the A-team for the event, with former New England Revolution star Taylor Twellman staying stateside. It's likely that Darke won't fly down until the final, instead covering this weekends events from a studio in Connecticut. That's because Darke has to cover the USMNT qualifier in Sandy, Utah live on Tuesday. He'll then fly back to do more Confederations Cup coverage on Thursday.

The second broadcast team will focus on Mexico's matches in the tournament. Fernando Palomo and former Chivas USA forward Alejandro Moreno are on the job there. Adrian Healey and former Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller make up the C-team.

Bob Ley will lead studio coverage, as happened in last year's Euro tournament, alongside Alexi Lalas, Kasey Keller, and EPL reporter Steve McManaman.

ESPN also has an MLS match of the week this Saturday, Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas. Should be a solid competitive match for the cable sports network. Confederations Cup coverage will lead directly into MLS which should be a good boon for MLS TV ratings.

With all the praise Seattle got for the atmosphere created in this week's World Cup Qualifier, it's a safe bet the fans in Portland will want to show just how good a show they can put on with national TV cameras on them.