ESPN will conclude its 19th straight season of Major League Soccer coverage with the live presentation of MLS Cup 2014 on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. ET, when the Los Angeles Galaxy hosts the New England Revolution at the Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif.
Commentator Adrian Healey, analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Mónica Gónzalez will call the match with host Max Bretos, Alexi Lalas and Kasey Keller, providing pregame, halftime and post-game studio coverage from site. Additionally, the match will be available on WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes Radio.
MLS Cup 2014 storylines:
- MLS Cup 2014 will be Landon Donovan’s final game. Arguably the best U.S.-born soccer player, Donovan is Major League Soccer’s career leader in goals scored (144), assists (136), post-season goals (25), and is tied for first in MLS Cup titles with five;
- The matchup will feature two of the top-three teams in MLS Cup appearances in the league’s 19-year history: Los Angeles (nine appearances, four titles) and New England (five appearances, no title)
- MLS Cup 2014 pits two of the three MLS 2014 Volkswagen MVP award finalists – Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy) vs. Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution);
- Los Angeles-New England will be facing each other for a record third time in the MLS Cup– Los Angeles won 1-0 in overtime in their two previous meetings (2002 and 2005);
- New England has a record of 11 wins, one loss and two ties (11-1-2) in games midfielder Jermaine Jones has played since joining the team as a designated player in August after his breakout 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign with the U.S. Men’s National Team;
- Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is seeking his record fifth MLS Cup title. Also won in 1996, 1997, 2011 and 2012;
- ESPN’s match analyst Taylor Twellman led the New England Revolution during the team’s four MLS Cup appearances in six years (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007);
- ESPN’s studio analyst Alexi Lalas played for the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2001-2003, and returned as the team’s president and general manager from 2006-2008.
- Virtual player tracking graphics – During MLS Cup 2014, ESPN will debut a graphic telestration system that tracks the movement of players in real-time. The visual graphic, created by ChryonHego, is displayed on-screen, either during live play or in a replay, spotlighting key players and enabling viewers a better grasp of the strategy and in-game spatial movements used by the teams;
- On-site studio set with Bretos, Lalas and Keller;
- Don Garber conversation – MLS commissioner Don Garber will be interviewed on the ESPN set at halftime;
- 11 commentators – In all, ESPN will have 12 commentators at MLS Cup: Bretos, Gonzalez, Healey, Keller, Lalas, Twellman, Stuart Holden (English); and Kenneth Garay, Elmer Polanco, Diego Cora, Richard Mendez and Giovanni Savarese (Spanish).
ESPN FC – MLS Cup 2014 Special:
On Friday, Dec. 5, ESPN FC on TV, the daily soccer news highlights, analysis and information program, will dedicate the entire program to MLS Cup 2014. The 30-minute edition on ESPNEWS at 6 p.m. will originate from the StubHub Center with host Adrian Healey and analysts Taylor Twellman, Alexi Lalas and Stuart Holden, U.S. Men’s National Team player currently rehabbing a knee injury.
- Wednesday, Dec. 3 (6 p.m., ESPNEWS) – Max Bretos (host), Shaka Hislop, Alejandro Moreno and Steve Nicol will discuss MLS Cup 2014 from the ESPN studios in Bristol. The 2014 Major League Soccer MVP, announced earlier in the day, will appear as a guest on the program from Los Angeles as well as New England Revolution’s Charlie Davies, the team’s leading goal-scorer in the playoffs;
- Thursday, Dec. 4 (6 p.m., ESPNEWS) – Bretos, Craig Burley, Hislop, Moreno and Nicol will preview the MLS Cup matchup;
- Friday, Dec. 5 (6 p.m., ESPNEWS) – Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, the most successful men’s soccer team manager ever in the United States, will be a guest on the MLS Cup 2014 special edition.
Beginning Saturday through kickoff on Sunday, Dec. 7, editions of ESPN’s flagship news program SportsCenter (ESPN and ESPNEWS) will feature MLS Cup 2014 segments including reports and analysis from the StubHub Center.
ESPN Deportes Studio:
ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language network will provide surround studio coverage of MLS Cup 2014. Highlights:
- ESPN Deportes SportsCenter: The flagship news, highlights and information program will present pre-game analysis of MLS Cup 2014.
- ESPN Fútbol Center: Special post-game analysis presenting in-depth “game around the game” reports, highlights and recaps.
ESPN Deportes Radio:
ESPN Deportes Radio will provide live coverage of MLS Cup 2014 on Sunday, Dec. 7, beginning at 2 p.m. ET with a 90-minute pre-match program. Soccer experts Kenneth Garay (play-by-play) and Elmer Polanco (analysis) will call the match live from the StubHub Center. Diego Cora will report pitch-side. The radio network will also provide live reports from site throughout the weekend leading up to the match.
Jeff Carlisle and Doug McIntyre headline ESPNFC.com’s weeklong coverage of MLS Cup 2014 with daily reporting from Carson, Calif., beginning Thursday through Sunday. On match day, the global soccer information digital hub, will feature a live Boot Room chat beginning at 2:30 p.m. through completion of the match, comprehensive pre- and postgame coverage, as well as updated clips from the match. Additional ESPNFC.com content:
- Carlisle previews Landon Donovan’s last match and wonders if the former U.S. National Team star and the Los Angeles Galaxy can handle the occasion;
- McIntyre profiles head coach Jay Heaps, who lost four MLS Cup matches in six years as a player with the same New England Revolution team;
- Graham Parker profiles Los Angeles Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers; and
- Jason Davis on the resurgence of Revolution striker Charlie Davies, who is regaining his top-form after a devastating car crash detoured his promising career nearly five years ago.
- ESPNDeportes.com will also provide extensive coverage with Gonzalo Aguirregomezcorta reporting from site starting with the training session. The site will present live updates through the match and will feature video highlights and post-game analysis.
ESPN International will televise MLS Cup 2014 on ESPN networks in 59 countries and territories covering more than 38.8 million television homes, including coverage in Australia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, New Zealand and South America.
Richard Mendez and Giovanni Savarese will call the game for ESPN International networks in Spanish.
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