via press release:
NBC Sports Network Coverage Starts at 4 p.m. ET
NEW YORK –March 14, 2012 –The NBC Sports Group’s second MLS match of the season kicks-off this Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network when the Philadelphia Union host the Colorado Rapids. The Union experienced a tough 3-1 loss in their opening game in Portland against the Timbers on Monday, while the Rapids are coming off a 2-0 win in their season-opening game against the Columbus Crew at home on Saturday.
COMMENTATORS: The team of Arlo White (@arlowhite, play-by-play), and Kyle Martino (@kylemartino, “Between the Benches” analyst) will call the game from PPL Park in Chester, Pa. NBC SportsTalk host Russ Thaler (@RussThaler) and Portland Timbers analyst Robbie Earle will host the pre-game, halftime and post-game segments live from the game site, with contributions from White and Martino.
White and Martino received praise for their work in last Sunday’s opening game (FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls on NBC Sports Network). Soccer America said White is “one of the best MLS commentators around” and called Martino, “NBC’s insider analyst, not simply a guy with a mike.” Additionally, The Tampa Times said of NBC Sports Network’s first match coverage last Sunday, “It looked great and sounded even better with Kyle Martino between the benches, just like you might see on NBC's hockey coverage.”
WHITE AND MARTINO BREAK DOWN THE MATCHUP:
The Philadelphia Union are backed by their supporter group, the ‘Sons of Ben.’ Both Arlo and Kyle believe they will play a huge role in this game.
WHITE: "Philly had a tough start to the season in Portland, but with the raucous ‘Sons of Ben’ fan group behind them, they will be fired up. Colorado is in the ultra-tough Western Conference, but new coach Oscar Pareja wants them to play entertaining attacking Soccer, so we are in for a treat."
MARTINO: "A poor result from Philly in their first match could quickly be forgotten with a great performance in their home opener. The good news is they will have the amazing ‘Sons of Ben’ behind them. The bad news is they are facing the most dynamic Colorado team we have seen in years, coming off a confident home win to start their campaign."
UPCOMING MLS GAMES ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK: (All Times ET, Home Team Listed First)
Fri. Mar. 23, Seattle vs. Houston, 10 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 30, D.C United vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 31, LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution, 11 p.m.
For the full NBC Sports Group 2012 MLS Schedule visit www.NBCSports.com.
ProSoccerTalk on NBCSports.com: Steve Davis (@SteveDavis90), a respected soccer journalist for more than two decades, is the featured writer for ProSoccerTalk on NBCSports.com. Davis, who has covered Major League Soccer, since its inception in 1996 contributes regular posts and will provide video reports to NBCSports.com, and is expected to be an occasional guest on NBC SportsTalk, the daily hour-long news and information show the new NBC Sports Network.