ESPN Women’s World Cup commentators play pick-up soccer with local kids on the banks of the Main River in Frankfurt.
For her second Women’s World Cup assignment, Beth Mowins put down bat and glove to travel to Bochum, Leverkusen and Augsburg, Germany.
Mowins, one of ESPN’s leading play-by-play commentators for college sports, along with analyst and former U.S. Women’s National Team player Cat Whitehill, called six matches and raved about Germany’s local cuisine, 11 p.m. sunsets and the warm welcome by German fans.
“It’s been more that we could have imagined,” said Mowins.
She and her colleagues started out in Frankfurt, where the team spent a few days to bond and get acclimated. After a long day at work, the ESPN crew – several of them Olympic medalists and World Cup champions – unwound by buying a soccer ball, finding a park in an idyllic setting on the banks of the river Main and knocking the ball around with local children.
“To see some of the women that were 12 years ago playing in the Rose Bowl in the World Cup Final in front of 90,000 people, now playing under this bridge overpass next to the river when nobody was watching and still having the time of our lives … it was really neat to see and I think a lot of fun for the kids that were there, too.
“It just goes to show you. No matter who you are, or what your resume is, it’s still a game of soccer.”
Another memorable moment of the past few weeks was witnessing the emotions in the stands while calling the Equatorial Guinea matches. The lowest-ranked team to ever have played in a World Cup quickly became a crowd favorite among German fans who knew about the team’s history.
On the tournament overall, Mowins added: “It’s so rewarding to see these women get a chance to play on such a big stage in front of 15- or 20- or 70,000 people like they had in Berlin for the opener.”
Her prediction of the U.S. winning the title match 3-1 will be put to the test when the U.S. faces Brazil in the quarterfinals on Sunday at 11 a.m ET on ESPN and ESPN3.com.
After completing her World Cup assignment and returning back to U.S. soil this week, Mowins is sure to be watching at home where it’s time to relax before a busy college football season takes her on the road once again.