John Harkes, Alexi Lalas, Max Bretos, Rob Stone and Taylor Twellman Return
ESPN has named Adrian Healey, a play-by-play commentator from the network’s critically acclaimed 2010 FIFA World Cup team, as its primary voice for Major League Soccer telecasts beginning this season. Healey will pair with former U.S. Men’s National Team captain and ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup match analyst John Harkes in the booth.
Healey will make his debut in the 2011 Major League Soccer season-opener – Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC – Tuesday, March 15, at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.
Healey joined ESPN in 2003 as a play-by-play commentator for ESPN International’s coverage of several European leagues, including UEFA Champions League. He also hosts ESPN Soccernet Press Pass, the popular soccer opinion and debate program aired on ESPN International’s English-language networks around the world, and seen online at ESPN.com/soccer.
The new role is a return to Major League Soccer for Healey, who began his sports television career in the United States calling New England Revolution matches on regional networks.
South Africa 2010 was Healey’s second straight FIFA World Cup as a play-by-play commentator for ESPN and ABC, having been a commentator for Germany 2006. He was also a part of ESPN’s UEFA European Football ChampionshipTM 2008 (Euro 2008) coverage, including commentating on the title match – a 1–0 Spain victory over Germany.
Alexi Lalas, former U.S. Men’s National Team defender and a pioneer MLS player who became a team general manager/president with three league clubs, returns as analyst on ESPN’s MLS studio coverage. Lalas was one of the lead studio analysts for ESPN during South Africa 2010.
Former Fox Soccer Channel studio host and play-by-play commentator Max Bretos, who hosted the 2010 MLS Cup in Toronto, returns as studio host and play-by-play commentator for select matches. Veteran soccer reporter Rob Stone will continue to host MLS events and serve as a reporter. After his debut on ESPN in 2010, former Revolution striker Taylor Twellman will also serve as match and studio analyst.
The ESPN Deportes Spanish-language commentator team will include Richard Méndez (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 Álvaro Riet; and Marcelo Masanti (play-by-play) and analysts Manuel Kun and Giovanni Scavia.
ESPN’s 2011 Major League Soccer Schedule
ESPN’s coverage of Major League Soccer’s 16th season will begin Tuesday, March 15, at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPN Mobile TV with a live telecast of the Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC from Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash. The conference rivalry match will be part of Major League Soccer’s First Kick 2011, a series of 10 season-opening week matches (March 15-20). Highlights:
- All 21 (17 on ESPN2, four on ESPN) regular season matches will be available in high definition, simulcast on ESPN3.com, and aired on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPN Mobile TV;
- The two regular season meetings between New York Red Bulls, featuring France 1998 winning striker Thierry Henry and Mexico’s National Team captain Rafael Márquez, and Los Angeles Galaxy, with David Beckham, U.S. National Team star Landon Donovan and former Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Ángel, acquired by Los Angeles in the off-season (Sat., May 7, and Sun., Aug. 28);
- Nine matches featuring matchups between regional rivals – New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. in the East, Portland and Seattle in the Northwest, the Galaxy and Chivas USA in the West, and more;
- The SuperClásico between the Galaxy and Chivas USA, Major League Soccer’s only intra-city rivalry (derby) matches in 2011, exclusively on ESPN2 (May 21 on ESPN2 and Oct. 16 on ESPN);
- ESPN2 will feature the expansion Portland Timbers’ first home match in renovated PGE Park (Thurs., April 14 at 11 p.m. vs. Chicago Fire), and the grand opening of Sporting Park, home for Sporting Kansas City (Thur., June 9 at 10 p.m. vs. Chicago Fire);
- A special “Independence Day” primetime doubleheader Monday, July 4, on ESPN2: New England Revolution at Real Salt Lake (8:30 p.m.) and Seattle Sounders FC at Los Angeles Galaxy (10:30 p.m.);
- Top three teams by appearances – New York Red Bulls (eight), Los Angeles Galaxy (six), and Seattle Sounders with Swiss national team striker Blaise Nkufo and former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller (five);
- ESPN’s 2011 MLS season includes eight international matches featuring MLS clubs;
- The 2011 MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup Playoffs schedule will be announced at a later date.
2011 MLS Schedule on ESPN
Schedule Subject to Change
|Tu 3/15||9:30 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC|
|Sa 4/9||7 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union|
|Th 4/14||11 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Chicago Fire at Portland Timbers|
|Th 4/21||8 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||New York Red Bulls at DC United|
|Sa 5/7||11 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||New York Red Bulls at Los Angeles Galaxy|
|Sa 5/14||11 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders FC|
|Sa 5/21||10 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Los Angeles Galaxy at Chivas USA|
|Th 6/9||10 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Chicago Fire at Sporting Kansas City|
|Th 6/23||10 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||New York Red Bulls at Seattle Sounders FC|
|Su 6/26||2 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire|
|Sa 7/2||10:30 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||New York Red Bulls at San Jose Earthquakes|
|Su 7/3||9 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Houston Dynamo at Colorado Rapids|
|Mo 7/4||8:30 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||New England Revolution at Real Salt Lake|
|Mo 7/4||10:30 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Seattle Sounders FC at Los Angeles Galaxy|
|Su 7/10||5 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Seattle Sounders FC at Portland Timbers|
|Th 8/18||9 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||D.C. United at Chicago Fire|
|Su 8/28||7 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Los Angeles Galaxy at New York Red Bulls|
|Th 9/29||8 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||DC United at Philadelphia Union|
|Fr 10/14||10:30 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids|
|Su 10/16||9 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Chivas USA at Los Angeles Galaxy|
|Th 10/20||8 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes||Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls|
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