ESPN’s coverage of the first FIFA International Match Week in 2017 will begin Wednesday, March 22, with back-to-back international friendly matches – Czech Republic vs. Lithuania at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN3, and Scotland vs. Canada at 3:45 p.m. on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3. In all, ESPN networks will carry 26 matches live during the week, including FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in Europe and Asia.
ESPN’s season-opening Major League Soccer telecast on Sunday – Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC in the first match at Orlando’s new downtown stadium – averaged 411,000 viewers, up 14 percent compared to the Portland-Columbus opener in 2016 (362,000 viewers).
ESPN’s 22nd straight season of Major League Soccer will kick off Sunday, March 5, at 5 p.m. ET with Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC – the 2017 MLS season- opener for both teams and the first match at Orlando City SC’s new downtown stadium. The game features some of the league’s top international stars, such as Brazil’s Kaká and Italy’s Antonio Nocerino (Orlando), and Spain’s David Villa and Italy’s Andrea Pirlo (NYC FC).
Gómez will primarily serve as a pundit on ESPN FC, ESPN’s daily soccer news, highlights and information program, as well as a studio analyst for the network’s coverage of Major League Soccer, U.S. Men’s National Team, and other international soccer competitions. On ESPN Deportes, he will appear on signature soccer studio programs Fuera de Juego and Futbol Picante.
ESPN networks will televise 31 regular-season Major League Soccer matches in 2017, beginning Sunday, March 5 at 5 p.m. ET with Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC, the 2017 MLS season- opener for the two clubs and the first match at the new Orlando City Stadium. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will televise the Orlando-NYC FC clash, which will feature some of the league’s top international stars such as Brazil’s Kaká and Italy’s Antonio Nocerino (Orlando), and Spain’s David Villa and Italy’s Andrea Pirlo (New York City).
ESPN has added Julie Stewart-Binks as sideline reporter for Major League Soccer and U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team games. Stewart-Binks, a versatile reporter and host who is emerging as one of soccer’s best sideline reporters, will make her ESPN debut in March 2017 during ESPN’s MLS season-opening telecast.
ESPNFC.com, ESPN’s global multiplatform soccer brand, will provide week-long coverage of the 2016 MLS Conference Championships culminating on game day with coverage by its national soccer reporters – Doug McIntyre in Montreal for the Eastern Conference Championship and Jeff Carlisle in Commerce City covering the Western Conference Championship. Highlights:
The Liga MX returns to ESPN Deportes Television beginning this Saturday, October 22 with Necaxa vs. Veracruz, live coverage starting at 9:30 p.m. ET. Throughout the Apertura and Clausura seasons, the network will carry a live match every weekend on TV and WatchESPN via an agreement with Univision Deportes.
ESPN will provide unprecedented coverage of the last two match days of the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season beginning Sunday, Oct. 16, with back-to-back telecasts of Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC at 3 p.m. ET and MLS Cup reigning champions Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids at 5:15 p.m. The matches on Major League Soccer’s “Final Push to the Playoffs” will also be carried on ESPN Deportes and streamed on WatchESPN.
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3 will combine to televise 35 matches during the second FIFA International Match Week of the 2016-2017 soccer calendar year (Thursday, Oct. 6, through Tuesday, Oct. 11). Thirty-two of the 35 matches will feature 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from two FIFA confederations: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).