Champions League Returns Tuesday

Gus Johnson, Fox SportsThe Champions League returns Tuesday and there is a story overshadowing the games

FOX’s decision to throw Gus Johnson into the deep end next week with the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Manchester United sends a strong message to its hardcore soccer base who have been watching the Premier League on FOX Soccer for 15 consecutive years — we don’t care about you anymore. We’ve lost the EPL rights for the next 3 years so instead of Martin Tyler, let’s put Johnson into the pressure cooker and sees how he copes with one of the biggest matches of the European season.

Read more at EPL Talk and below. In the meantime, here’s the game schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday Feb 12
13:30 UEFA Champions League: Celtic FC (SCO) v Juventus (ITA) – Fox Soccer
16:00 UEFA Champions League: Valencia CF (ESP) v Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) DELAY – Fox Soccer

Wednesday Feb 13
13:30 UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid CF (ESP) v Manchester Utd. FC (ENG) – Fox Soccer
Ferdinand and United ready for Ronaldo reunion
16:00 UEFA Champions League: FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) v Borussia Dortmund (GER) DELAY – Fox Soccer
Lucas Moura’s star shines brighter than Beckham’s at Paris St-Germain, especially now that Beckham is not included in the Final 22 for Wednesday’s match.

Sports Illustrated takes a longer look at Fox Sports and Gus’ plans

The radical idea was hatched in October 2011, shortly after FIFA awarded the U.S. broadcast rights to Fox Sports for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Fox Sports president Eric Shanks wanted to do something bold with his soccer coverage. Most importantly, he wanted to brand it with something unique to Fox. So he called up broadcaster Gus Johnson, who had joined Fox only five months earlier, and asked him a question: Would you be willing to work for the next six years to become the American voice of soccer?
Johnson was stunned. But he was also interested.

Read More at SI.com.

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