ESPN coverage of Major League Soccer’s 15th season will begin Thursday, March 25 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN360.com, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Deportes Radio with a live telecast of the Philadelphia Union at Seattle Sounders FC from Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash. The ESPN MLS Game of the Week will be the inaugural MLS match for Philadelphia as it faces the breakout expansion franchise from a year ago that opened the 2009 season on ESPN. The Union-Sounders FC match will be part of MLS First Kick presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, a series of eight season-opening weekend matches March 25-27.
MLS First Kick will continue Saturday, March 27 at 7 p.m., on ESPN, ESPN360.com, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio, with the first league match at the new, state-of-the-art Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., when the New York Red Bulls host Chicago Fire.
MLS season highlights
All 26 regular season matches will be available in high definition, simulcast on ESPN360.com and aired on ESPN Deportes. In addition, ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast regular season matches and the 2010 MLS All-Star Game;
Opening night will feature Seattle Sounders FC, one of the biggest stories from 2009. The Sounders set a league attendance record in its inaugural MLS season (2009);
ESPN will televise two matches – first league match at the Red Bull Arena, Saturday, March 27 at 7 p.m. ET (Chicago Fire at NY Red Bulls); and the 2010 MLS Cup, Sunday, Nov. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET;
D.C. United visits Seattle Sounders FC (Thursday, June 10 at 10 p.m.ET ) in the last match before the league’s first two-week, in-season break for the group phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa;
The SuperClásico, Major League Soccer’s only intra-city rivalry (derby) matches in 2010, exclusively on ESPN2, ESPN360.com and ESPN Deportes (Thursday, April 1 and Sunday, Oct. 3);
A special MLS Game of the Week primetime doubleheader on Thursday, April 1 on ESPN2, ESPN360.com, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Deportes Radio: 2009 MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake at Houston Dynamo (9 p.m. ET) and this season’s first SuperClásico – Chivas USA at Los Angeles Galaxy (11 p.m. ET);
ESPN2 will televise the grand opening of the ninth soccer stadium built for an MLS team – PPL Park in Chester, Pa., when Philadelphia Union host Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, June 27 at 5 p.m. ET.
JP Dellacamera (play-by-play) and John Harkes (analyst) return as the lead commentator team for MLS matches on the ESPN networks. Glenn Davis and Kyle Martino will also be featured as match commentators. Alexi Lalas, former U.S. Men’s National team defender and a pioneer MLS player who became a team general manager/president in the league, will anchor ESPN’s studio coverage of the MLS as an analyst. Former Fox Soccer Channel studio host and play-by-play commentator Max Bretos, who joined ESPN as an ESPNEWS anchor in February, will make his ESPN soccer debut Sunday, March 27 (Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m.). Rob Stone, who was named this month as an ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup reporter, will continue to host MLS events and serve as a reporter on select matches. Allen Hopkins, also an ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup reporter, will continue in his role as the primary sideline reporter for MLS matches. For downloadable photos of ESPN’s MLS commentators, click here.
The ESPN Deportes Spanish-language commentator team will include Richard Mendez (play-by-play) and former MetroStars forward Giovanni Savarese (analyst). The ESPN Deportes Radio teams will include Jorge Ramos (play-by-play) and Hernan Pereyra (analyst); Jairo Moncada (play-by-play) and analysts Jorge Ottati and Alvaro Riet; and Marcelo Masanti (play-by-play) and analysts Manuel Kun and Giovanni Scavia.
ESPN’s MLS Game of the Week, the network’s season-long presentation of the top professional soccer league in the United States, returns with most matches on Thursday nights.
2010 “ESPN MLS GAME OF THE WEEK” SCHEDULE
All Times Eastern; Schedule Subject To Change
Date Time (ET) Networks Match
* ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast all regular season matches listed and the 2010 MLS All Star Game