By RYAN TOLMICH
Ahead of this summer’s World Cup, ESPN will produce a five-part series on the U.S. Men’s National Team titled “Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil.” The series, which debuts in May, will air weekly on ESPN and will offer fans a look into the preparations leading up to this summer’s tournament in Brazil.
ESPN, which also produce the acclaimed 30 for 30 series, will follow Jurgen Klinsmann, Clint Dempsey and company through training and a series of friendlies in the build up to the World Cup.
“We know there will be enormous interest surrounding this team as the World Cup approaches, so we’re focused on providing an in-depth look at how the players deal with the stakes of preparing for soccer’s biggest stage,” said Connor Schell, VP and executive producer of ESPN Films and Original Content, in a press release. “The breadth and variety of content offerings across ESPN platforms leading up to and during the tournament will give soccer fans a chance to feel close to the action, and ‘Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil’ is intended to capture the mental and physical demands of the U.S. players giving viewers a truly unique perspective.”
The series will be produced by Jonathan Hock and Roger Bennett, the latter of whom is best known for his soccer work with “Men in Blazers” and his extensive coverage of the USMNT for ESPN.
“Since 1994, I have watched with wonder as the U.S. National Team’s profile has risen in this country after every World Cup,” said Bennett. “The American players are hungry not just for victory, but for respect. That quest gives Jonathan and me an opportunity to capture true human drama, on the pitch and off.”
Fans will get to see the inner workings that go into preparing a top international side for the world’s biggest tournament, which is something Klinsmann is excited to offer American supporters.
“We have always said that the National Team should represent the culture of the country, and the fans play a big part in that,” said Klinsmann. “We are going to work extremely hard to get this group prepared to do something special in Brazil, and we are excited to work with ESPN to allow our supporters the opportunity to see the tremendous effort our players and staff will put in to get ready.”
ESPN will supplement the series with original content to be aired on SportsCenter and ESPNFC.com, while the actual series will premiere May 13 on ESPN, with reruns to be aired on ABC.