via press release:
Former MLS Midfielder and U.S. National Team Member to Call Games with Arlo White on NBC and NBC Sports Network
Portland Timbers Analyst Robbie Earle to Serve as Pre-Game, Halftime, Post-Game and Game Analyst Throughout the Season
NEW YORK – March 5, 2012 – Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) will be the lead analyst for the NBC Sports Group’s coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS), teaming with play-by-play voice Arlo White (@arlowhite), it was announced today. Martino and White make their debut on Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network as FC Dallas hosts the New York Red Bulls. In addition, Robbie Earle, an analyst for the MLS Portland Timbers will serve as a pre-game, halftime, post-game and game analyst throughout the season.
Taking a page from NBC Sports Group’s hockey coverage, which employs an “Inside the Glass” analyst, Martino will be stationed “Between the Benches” during the games with White in the broadcast booth. From this vantage point, Martino will provide the fans with unique field level insight in addition to game analysis.
Martino, who spent seven seasons as a midfielder for the Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy, and was a member of the U.S. National Team, was most recently the lead analyst for Fox Soccer’s broadcasts of MLS and U.S. National Team games, in addition to serving as the color commentator for Philadelphia Union games in 2010. Prior to that, Martino served as an analyst for MLS on ESPN2.
“I am very excited to be joining a company with such a rich sports history,” said Martino. “To be a part of that tradition by covering Major League Soccer is a tremendous honor. I look forward to being a part of the NBC Sports Group team.”
Pierre Moossa, a 10-time Emmy Award-winner and a 13-year veteran of NBC Sports, will serve as the coordinating producer and director of NBC Sports Group’s MLS coverage. Moossa most recently served as one of the production leaders of NBC Sports’ Emmy Award-winning Sunday Night Football.
“When we first obtained the MLS rights last year, we identified Kyle as an analyst we’d like to be a part of our broadcasts,” said Moossa. “Teaming him with Arlo White gives us two premier soccer announcers that fans will thoroughly enjoy. With the addition of Robbie Earle, we have added another exceptional soccer commentator to our team.”
A native of Westport, Conn., Martino played at the University of Virginia before being drafted in the first round by the Columbus Crew in 2002. That year he played in 22 games and won the MLS Rookie of the Year award. Martino went on to play in 141 MLS games and tallied 14 goals. Additionally, Martino played eight games with the U.S. National Team and scored a goal against Panama in a key World Cup qualifying win in October 2005.
Earle, a former member of the Jamaican National Team, played 19 years professionally in England including 10 years with Wimbledon of the Premier League. He is currently the lead analyst for the MLS Portland Timbers. The Timbers have allowed him to work on the NBC Sports Network’s MLS coverage as a pre-game, halftime, post-game and game analyst throughout the season.
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NBC begins its live MLS coverage, the first under the new three-year media rights partnership, on Sunday, March 11, when FC Dallas host the New York Red Bulls on the new NBC Sports Network, which will air a total of 38 regular-season games this year. The NBC Sports Group will offer live coverage of 41 regular season matches, the most of any MLS broadcast partner, in addition to five MLS Cup playoff games.
The defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy make seven appearances on NBC Sports Network, including a rematch of MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo on May 26. The LA Galaxy’s first appearance is March 31 as they host the New England Revolution. MLS Cup runners-up Houston Dynamo also appear seven times including the unveiling of their new stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium, on May 12 as they host D.C. United.
NBC will broadcast three regular-season games: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sept. 15, New York vs. Chicago Fire on Oct. 6, and Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls on Oct. 27 – the first game of a tripleheader on the last Saturday of the regular season that includes Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United and Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes on NBC Sports Network. The three matches this season on NBC are the most regular-season MLS games on an English-language broadcast network since 2002.
Highlights of 2012 NBC Sports Group MLS Schedule:
- NBC Sports Group broadcasts 41 games, most of any MLS broadcast partner in 2012;
- Three games on NBC are the most regular-season MLS games on an English-language broadcast network since 2002;
- Rematch of MLS Cup on May 26 – Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy on NBC Sports Network;
- Seven games featuring MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy;
- Opening of BBVA Compass Stadium, the new home of the Houston Dynamo, on May 12 on NBC Sports Network.