- ESPN matches feature the 2019 MLS Cup champion, 2019 Supporters Shield winner and the debut of Miami’s new MLS franchise
- Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman enter second season as lead MLS on ESPN booth team
- MLS Countdown Live, ESPN’s popular on-location digital pregame show, makes season debut in LA
ESPN and ESPN Deportes’ coverage of Major League Soccer’s 25th season will kick off Sunday, March 1, with a doubleheader: Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire (3 p.m. ET), followed by Los Angeles FC vs. Inter Miami CF (5:30 p.m.). ESPN’s opening matches feature the 2019 MLS Cup champion (Seattle), the 2019 Supporters Shield winner (LAFC), and the debut of one of MLS’s newest franchises, Inter Miami, featuring co-owner/President David Beckham. Both matches will be available in English and Spanish and streamed live on the ESPN App.
ESPN has been Major League Soccer’s national media rights-holder longer than any other network – since the league debuted in 1996. ESPN and ABC will combine to air 31 regular-season matches during MLS’s inaugural 25th season. ESPN Deportes will also offer a Spanish-language presentation of all 31 matches, while 345 MLS out-of-market games will stream live via MLS Live on ESPN+. In all, ESPN platforms and ABC will distribute 376 matches in 2020. The 2020 MLS on ESPN presented by Audi Schedule.
MLS Kickoff Weekend on ESPN:
|Sun, Mar 1||3:30 p.m.||Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire presented by Audi
Adrian Healey, Alejandro Moreno and Sebastian Salazar
Richard Mendez and Alex Pareja
|5 p.m.||MLS Countdown Live
Mike Ryan Ruiz and Susannah Collins
|Twitter / YouTube / Facebook / ESPN App|
|5:30 p.m.||Los Angeles FC vs. Inter Miami CF presented by Audi
Jon Champion, Taylor Twellman and Stefano Fusaro
Mauricio Pedroza and Hérculez Gómez
Captain Nicolas Lodeiro leads reigning MLS champion Seattle Sounders FC, which has captured two of the past four MLS championships. Chicago counters with new designated players Robert Beric (Slovenia) and Ignacio Aliseda (Argentina), who will make their MLS debuts. The late game will showcase LAFC captain and Mexican National Team forward Carlos Vela, the 2019 MLS Most Valuable Player, who scored a league record 34 regular-season goals and propelled LAFC to the Supporters Shield (best regular season record) in 2019. LAFC will be the first MLS opponent for expansion franchise Inter Miami CF, led by Mexican National Team midfielder Rodolfo Pizzaro.
For the second straight season, ESPN’s lead MLS commentator team will be Jon Champion (play-by-play) and Taylor Twellman (analyst). They will make their 2020 debut in Los Angeles with reporter Stefano Fusaro, while Adrian Healey, MLS Cup champion Alejandro Moreno and reporter Sebastian Salazar will call the Seattle opener. The ESPN Deportes Spanish-language teams include Mauricio Pedroza and former U.S. National Team player and three-time MLS champion Hérculez Gómez in LA, while Richard Mendez and Alex Pareja will be in Seattle.
Studio coverage on ESPN will include Salazar hosting with Moreno, Kasey Keller, Twellman and Gomez.
Pregame studio segments for the opening doubleheader will highlight Vela, Pizzaro and LA Galaxy’s Chicharito – three of the most celebrated Mexican National Team stars currently playing in MLS. Throughout the season, ESPN Deportes will present “25 Momentos de la MLS” – vignettes highlighting 25 former Latin MLS players and their signature moments in the league. Features will air on match days on ESPN Deportes and live on www.ESPNDeportes.com. Throughout the season, ESPN Deportes will use three Spanish-language commentator teams: Pedroza and Gomez, Mendez and Pareja, as well as Jorge Ramos and Hernan Pereyra.
MLS Countdown Live – 2020 Season Opening Special from LA
MLS Countdown Live, ESPN’s popular digital pregame show, will kick off its coverage of Major League Soccer’s 25th season streaming live at 5 p.m. ET from Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles with hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Susannah Collins, featuring appearances by Twellman and Champion. The 30-minute show will be available on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and the ESPN App. MLS Countdown Live features matchup previews, player interviews, up-to-the-minute team news, special guests and more. The program will originate from site of select MLS matchups throughout the season.
ESPN FC, the daily soccer news and information, highlights and analysis program exclusively on ESPN+, will feature MLS-themed segments throughout the season, including match previews; highlights and recaps; analysis of key storylines; interviews with players, coaches and newsmakers. The popular soccer studio show features host Dan Thomas and a rotating roster of pundits. Additionally, pundit Alejandro Moreno will present his self-titled MLS awards segment each week.
SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship news program, will include MLS highlights, interviews, analysis, features and more throughout MLS’s 25th anniversary season.
Writer Jeff Carlisle leads ESPNFC.com’s expansive coverage of Major League Soccer’s 25th season with contributions from Arch Bell, Noah Davis, Tom Marshall and others. Highlights:
- An Oral history of Major League Soccer’s inaugural season in 1996 by Carlisle and Davis
- 25 Big Predictions ahead of MLS’s 25th season
- One Big Question for each of Major League Soccer’s 26 teams as the 2020 season unfolds
- Expanded coverage of tent-pole events – Opening Weekend, 2020 MLS All-Star Game, El Tráfico Derby, Heineken Rivalry Week, MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup, and more
- ESPN’s Sam Borden profiles David Beckham as the international icon becomes an active club owner with the launch of his new MLS team, Inter Miami CF
- Bruce Schoenfield profiles new Montreal Impact manager and 1998 France World Cup champion Thierry Henry.
MLS on ESPN+
MLS Live on ESPN+ will stream all MLS out-of-market games, as well as Chicago Fire local-market games, live in 2020 to fans in the U.S., exclusively on ESPN+, the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service. ESPN+ is also the exclusive home of ESPN FC Daily. Additionally, the weekly MLS Review show will be available in English and Spanish on ESPN+.
MLS Live on ESPN+ Games for Week 1:
|Sat, Feb 29||1 p.m.||DC United vs. Colorado Rapids|
|3 p.m.||Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution|
|5:30 p.m.||San Jose Earthquakes vs. Toronto FC|
|6 p.m.||FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union|
|6 p.m.||Orlando City SC vs. Real Salt Lake|
|10:30 p.m.||Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Sporting Kansas City|
|Sun, Mar 1||12:30 p.m.||Columbus Crew SC vs. New York City FC|
|1 p.m.||New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati|
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