via press release:
MLS Cup 2012 on ESPN HD and WatchESPN
Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET
David Beckham’s Last Competitive Match with Los Angeles Galaxy; SportsCenter Conversation with Beckham
ESPN’s 17th season of televising Major League Soccer action will conclude with the live presentation of MLS Cup 2012 featuring three of the league’s best known stars – David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane – leading the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo, led by Brad Davis, on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 4:30 p.m. ET, from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match will also be available on WatchESPN.
MLS Cup will be David Beckham’s last competitive match with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The former England National Team captain joined MLS and the Galaxy in July 2007. He will try to go out on top for the third time after leading Manchester United and Real Madrid FC to league titles in his final seasons in England and Spain, respectively. Beckham sat down this week for a one-on-one interview with ESPN’s Julie Foudy that will air on several editions of SportsCenter, beginning Thursday, Nov. 29, at 9 a.m.
Other MLS Cup 2012 Storylines:
- MLS Cup 2012 is a rematch of last year’s Cup in a 1-0 Galaxy victory over the Houston Dynamo;
- The Dynamo and the Galaxy are two of four Major League Soccer (MLS) teams with multiple championships;
- Los Angeles, in its record eighth MLS Cup, is seeking to be the second team with four MLS titles (joining DC United) and the third team to win consecutive MLS Cups (DC in 1996 and 1997; and Houston in 2006 and 2007);
- Alexi Lalas was Galaxy president and GM when Beckham arrived at the club from Real Madrid in 2007 – the first move by AEG (Galaxy’s parent company) to turn the Galaxy into what Lalas calls the “SuperClub;”
- ESPN’s lead match analyst Taylor Twellman, in his first MLS Cup TV booth role, was a leading MLS striker in the 2000s. Twellman and the New England Revolution played in the MLS Cup four times (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007) – losing two times each to the Galaxy and Dynamo;
- Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is seeking his fourth title after becoming the only manager in the MLS to win three championships last year;
- Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear will join Arena with his third title if Houston wins on Sunday.
- In the booth: Adrian Healey (play-by-play) and Taylor Twellman (analyst), both making their MLS Cup debut;
- Sideline reporter: Mónica González;
- Studio (from site): Host Max Bretos with analysts Alexi Lalas and Kasey Keller, joined by Chivas USA striker Alejandro Moreno.
MLS Cup 2012 TV highlights:
- 19 cameras, including two super slo-mo cameras, a steadicam, a Jib cam, two POV cameras, and the Goodyear blimp;
- Offside Line, which displays a virtual line affixed to the last defender on replays to show viewers whether the referee’s offside decision is accurate;
- On-site studio set with Bretos, Lalas, Keller and guest analyst Moreno;
- A David Beckham conversation – The former England captain and one of the most-popular stars in soccer sat down this week for an in-depth interview with ESPN’s Julie Foudy. Excerpts from the conversation will air pre-game;
- 12 commentators – In all, ESPN will have 12 commentators at the MLS Cup: Bretos, Gonzalez, Healey, Keller, Lalas, Moreno, Steve Nicol and Twellman (English); and Richard Mendez, Hernan Pereyra, Elmer Polanco, Jorge Ramos and Giovanni Savarese (Spanish)
ESPN Deportes Radio
ESPN Deportes Radio will provide live coverage of MLS Cup 2012 on Saturday, Dec. 1, beginning at 4 p.m. ET with a one-hour pre-match program. Soccer experts Jorge Ramos (play-by-play) and Hernan Pereyra (analysis) will call the match from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Elmer Polanco and Noe Vasquez will report pitch-side. Ramos and Pereyra will kick off coverage on Friday, Nov. 30, with a special Jorge Ramos y Su Banda live show from the stadium at 4 p.m.
On Thursday, Nov. 29, beginning with the 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET edition, SportsCenter will air a conversation with David Beckham – the former England National Team captain’s first extensive, one-on-one television interview since he announced last week that Saturday’s MLS Cup will be his last competitive match with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The interview was conducted by ESPN’s Julie Foudy, former U.S. Women’s National Team Captain and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup and Olympic Gold winner.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m., through kickoff on Saturday, Dec. 1, all editions of ESPN’s flagship news program SportsCenter (ESPN and ESPNEWS) will feature MLS Cup 2012 segments – matchup previews, interviews with key players, et al – including reports and analysis from Carson, Calif., by booth commentators Healey and Twellman, as well as contributions by the studio team of Bretos, Lalas, Keller and Moreno.
ESPN Deportes Studio
ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language network will provide surround studio coverage of MLS Cup 2012. Highlights:
- ESPN Fútbol Center: ESPN Deportes’ program which provides in-depth “game around the game” reports, previews and analysis of marquee international soccer events, will feature MLS Cup 2012.
- ESPN Deportes SportsCenter: The flagship news, highlights and information program will present post-game analysis of MLS Cup 2012.
- ESPNFC Press Pass (ESPNEWS, weekdays at 2 a.m. ET overnight): The ESPN international soccer debate and opinion program will feature a special MLS Cup edition on Friday. International versions of the program will also air on ESPN International networks across several regions.
- ESPN Deportes’ NACION ESPN, Spanish-language specific version of SportsNation, and Cronometro, the Spanish-language version of Around the Horn, will feature MLS Cup 2012 branded segments.
ESPN International will televise MLS Cup 2012 on ESPN networks in 120 countries and territories covering more than 47.8 million television homes including coverage Africa, Australia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand, South America and the United Kingdom. The will also be simulcast on ESPN's international broadband platforms in the U.S., Australia, Brazil and Latin America.
ESPN Deportes’ MLS Spanish-language commentators Richard Mendez and Giovanni Savarese will be on-site to provide match commentaries for the MLS Cup 2012 on ESPN International’s Latin America networks. Other highlights:
- ESPNFC Press Pass Special – “Beckham’s Goodbye to Hollywood” (ESPN UK, Friday at 10 p.m. GMT): ESPN UK will air a one-hour special examining the midfielder’s six years with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Adrian Healey will host with former New England Revolution manager Steve Nicol, and guest appearances by Twellman, Lalas, and others. (The special will also air in more than 100 countries);
- International Studio Programming: Several ESPN International programs Capitanes en ESPN and SportsCenter (Latin America), ESPN Radio Formula (Dos Mexico), will provide coverage.
ESPN Digital Media
- ESPNFC.com soccer writers Jeff Carlisle and Roger Bennett will anchor the site’s coverage featuring key MLS Cup 2012 stories, including match previews, player profiles, matchup analysis and “Cover it Live” during the MLS Cup match. The digital service will also provide users with highlights and analysis, using the Match HQ as the definitive digital destination for the live event.