SPORTS

ESPN To Have First Female Analyst Call Top Soccer Tournament On U.S. TV

A former U.S. Women's National Team star will make history as part of ESPN's broadcast team for this summer's European Championships.
Former U.S. Women's National Team defender Kate Markgraf will become the first woman to call a major men's soccer tournament
Former U.S. Women's National Team defender Kate Markgraf will become the first woman to call a major men's soccer tournament during the 2016 European Championships this summer.

ESPN's broadcast commentator team for this summer's 2016 European Championships, will include the first woman analyst to work a major men's soccer tournament for an American television audience.

The network announced Tuesday that Kate Markgraf, a former defender for the U.S. Women's National Team, will join ESPN stalwarts -- like play-by-play announcer Ian Darke and analyst and former U.S. Men's National Teamer Taylor Twellman -- on the broadcast team for one of the world's biggest soccer competitions.

Markgraf played in 201 matches for the USWNT, appearing in three Olympics and three Women's World Cups. She was a member of the team that won the 1999 WWC.

After retiring from soccer in 2010, she joined ESPN for its coverage of the 2011 Women's World Cup. Markgraf "has become one of the leading analysts for women’s soccer in the United States," ESPN said in its release.

Markgraf's former USWNT teammate Julie Foudy will also contribute to ESPN's coverage of the tournament, according to the release. Foudy is a contributor to espnW and has worked on ESPN's previous broadcasts of Women's World Cups.

ESPN made history last fall when former Olympic softball star Jessica Mendoza became the first woman to broadcast a Major League Baseball game for the network. It later promoted Mendoza to its Sunday Night Baseball booth near the end of the season, then made her a full-time member of the Sunday night team for the 2016 season. Mendoza became the first woman to call a nationally-televised MLB playoff game last year.

Euro 2016, which will feature 24 of the continent's top teams, begins June 10 in France.

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