Moving Ahead In The Action With . . . Stefano Fusaro
As more live sports return to ESPN platforms, meet some of the people working to deliver these events to fans
EDITOR’S NOTE: ESPN’s MLS Is Back Tournament coverage continues with three matches tonight – D.C. United vs. New England Revolution (ESPN, ESPN3) and Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes) at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Real Salt Lake versus Minnesota United FC (ESPN, ESPN Deportes) at 10:30 p.m. Full Schedule.
Houston-based bureau reporter Stefano Fusaro arrived in Orlando on June 30 and is covering the MLS Is Back Tournament for ESPN through the Final on Aug. 11.
Fusaro is ESPN’s lone reporter embedded within the ‘MLS bubble. He is covering the sidelines during the 28 matches on ESPN in addition to providing regular updates in both English and Spanish on a variety of ESPN and ESPN Deportes programs, including SportsCenter, Get Up, ESPN FC, Banter with Taylor Twellman, and Jorge Ramos Y Su Banda.
Fusaro calls the experience “surreal”: “Never did I expect to be in a situation like this where I’m ostensibly living under the same roof as the entire MLS delegation – players, coaches, officials, staff, etc. It’s just a different experience that I would never have expected to be in.”
Along with veteran producer Jim Witalka and a cameraman, Fusaro has been working long days.
“It’s been wild but in a good way,” he says.
When ESPN airs a 9 a.m. match, he typically gets up at 6 a.m. to go to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. With evening doubleheaders at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Fusaro is also working late nights. When he’s not covering matches, Fusaro is behind the scenes securing interviews with coaches and players, like his conversation today with LA Galaxy and Mexico National Team star Chicharito.
A native of South Florida, Fusaro, is glad to be back in his home state even if he can’t get to Miami to see family and friends during this assignment. Speaking of family, he is very thankful for Facetime which has allowed him to stay in touch with his wife and six-month-old daughter.
Name: Stefano Fusaro
Hometown: Born in Miami, he now lives in Houston
Role/Dept./Years at ESPN: National Correspondent/3.5 years at ESPN
Favorite Team: Liverpool FC
The thing I missed most about live sports was . . . “The competition. But I still miss one thing about live sports: the sound of the fans during those massive moments in the game.”
The ESPN game/studio personality I want to see back in action most is . . . “All of the SportsCenter anchors I do talkbacks with live from the MLS bubble!”
The sports highlight of our time away from regular, daily live sports was . . . “Getting to play golf more than I normally would . . . socially-distanced, of course.”
FUSARO: SOME MLS BALLERS ARE SERIOUS GAMERS
During the first week of the MLS Is Back tournament in Orlando, Stefano Fusaro filed the story above about how Major League Soccer players are spending their downtime ‘in the bubble’. One activity that caught his attention: video games.
“A lot of people have brought their gaming systems,” said Fusaro. “I’m a gamer. I also brought my PlayStation. During some of my downtime, I’ve been playing FIFA and Call of Duty in my room before going to bed, and I’ve played with some players.”
He adds: “So many players have brought their games, and I think that’s really interesting, how people are passing the time.”