NWSL Names Star-Studded Broadcast Lineup for 2021 Challenge Cup
The 2021 NWSL Season is set to kick off with the second edition of the Challenge Cup. The opening match is scheduled for Friday, April 9, with Houston Dash hosting the Chicago Red Stars in a rematch of the 2020 Challenge Cup Championship. The tournament will consist of an East and West Division format, with winners of the four-match group stage advancing to the final.
The NWSL recently assigned experienced personalities to cover the 2021 Challenge Cup. The announcers will vocalize the women’s soccer talent that returns to American pitches for another season.
NWSL News: The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has announced the broadcast announcers for the 2021 Challenge Cup presented by Secret Deodorant.
The 21-match tournament will be covered by the CBS Television Network, CBS Sports Network, Paramount+ and Twitch. The May 8th championship match will be nationally televised on CBS.
“I want to thank Secret for once again helping us put on this incredible event, and for their continued commitment to the NWSL and our players, including the NWSL’s 2021 rookie class.”Lisa Baird – NWSL Commissioner
“We’re ready to build on our success of the last year and I couldn’t be more excited to open the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by Secret the same way we left off in the summer of 2020, watching Houston and Chicago showcase the very best in women’s professional soccer,” said Lisa Baird, NWSL Commissioner.
Broadcast veteran JP Dellacamera will join two-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Wagner for the opening game in a rematch of last year’s Challenge Cup final featuring the Chicago Red Stars and the Houston Dash. The duo will also call the final on May 8th at a site to be announced at a later date.
Dellacamera joins the NWSL for his first season as play-by-play announcer. Dellacamera, the Philadelphia Union announcer since 2010, is a veteran in sports broadcasting, having called countless soccer events during his 30-year career.
The Massachusetts native covered three Summer Olympic Games and 15 FIFA World Cups, including his lead play-by-play announcer role on Fox’s coverage of both the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups. Dellacamera was a recipient of the Colin Jose Media Award and was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in 2019.
Wagner is a former U.S. Women’s National Team player who won two Olympic gold medals and two FIFA Women’s World Cup bronze medals during her 10-year career. In 2003, Wagner began her professional club career after being selected as the number one pick at the Women’s United Soccer Association Draft by the San Diego Spirit.
She was in the first group of international players brought over by Olympique Lyonnais. She finished her career with Los Angeles Sol. After retirement, Wagner served as a Fox Sports analyst for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She was the lead analyst for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, she made U.S. English-language television history as the first woman to call a men’s FIFA World Cup game.
Wagner also worked as the lead analyst for the NWSL Game of the Week broadcasts on Lifetime and ESPN from 2017-2019.
Play-by-play announcer Jenn Hildreth and analyst Lori Lindsey return to the Challenge Cup broadcasting booth for the second season. They will provide commentary during three CBS Sports Network contests.
Hildreth is in her seventh season as play-by-play announcer for the NWSL. She is the only female play-by-play announcer to work on Fox Sports’ coverage of the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups. Hildreth called the last four NCAA Women’s College Cup Championships for ESPN. She currently serves as a play-by-play announcer for ESPN/ACC Network, covering women’s college soccer, basketball and softball.
Lindsey is a former USWNT player whose professional playing career spanned 13 years. She is one of four players to have competed in all three of the U.S. professional women’s soccer leagues. Lindsey now works in broadcast, calling NWSL, Nashville SC of MLS, the USL, along with ACC and SEC games.
Marisa Pilla returns for her second season as Challenge Cup sideline reporter. Pilla is a sports broadcaster from Philadelphia who most recently served as the host of the NWSL Draft for the fourth time. Pilla also worked as a sideline reporter covering MLS on FS1. For the last five seasons, she has served as the pregame/postgame show host for the Philadelphia Union.
Paramount+ and Twitch coverage will be led by Mike Watts, who has been a voice for the league since 2014 and is back for his second Challenge Cup. He will be joined by play-by-play announcers Jordan Angeli, Josh Eastern, Joe Malfa and Josh Tolle, and analysts Lori Lindsey, Jen Cooper, Kaylyn Kyle, Lisa Roman and Kacey White.
SoccerToday looks forward to the 2021 NWSL Season. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage.
For the full 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup schedule visit here.
Photo Credit: NWSL