ESPN’s extensive coverage of the 2018 Major League Soccer season begins Sunday, March 4, with Western Conference champion Seattle Sounders FC vs. LAFC, the league’s newest franchise. Live coverage from Seattle’s CenturyLink Field begins at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and streamed live on the ESPN App.
LAFC, coached by former U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bob Bradley, features top-tier players like Mexico’s Carlos Vela and 19-year-old Uruguayan striker Diego Rossi. Sounders FC, the MLS Cup champion in 2016 and runner-up in 2017, counters with Uruguayan midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro, U.S. Men’s National Team star Clint Dempsey and Panamanian defender Román Torres.
ESPN is Major League Soccer’s longest-tenured national media partner. This is the company’s 23rd season presenting MLS matches, each year since the league debuted in 1996.
Date Time (ET) Event Platforms
Sun, Mar 4 5 p.m. Pregame – Seattle Sounders FC vs. LAFC
Max Bretos and Alejandro Moreno
ESPN / ESPN Deportes
5:20 p.m. Seattle Sounders FC vs. LAFC
Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and Sebastian Salazar
Richard Mendez and Herculez Gomez
ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Highlights of ESPN’s 2018 MLS Season:
31 regular-season games – 28 on ESPN / three on ESPN2
All 31 matches on ESPN Deportes
27 of the 29 scheduled MLS games involve at least one 2017 playoff team or expansion LAFC
Atlanta United, LAFC, Orlando City SC and Seattle Sounders FC are scheduled for the most appearances on ESPN this season (six matches each)
ESPN will air the 2018 MLS All-Star Game Presented by Target from Atlanta on August 1
ESPN – Play-by-play voice Adrian Healey and analyst Taylor Twellman return for their seventh consecutive season, MLS’s longest-tenured commentator team. Sebastian Salazar will serve as sideline reporter.
ESPN Deportes – Richard Méndez (Spanish-language play-by-play) and former U.S. National Team player and three-time MLS champion Hérculez Gómez, making his debut this season as match analyst. Gomez replaces Giovanni Savarese, who left to manage Portland Timbers.
ESPN Studio – Max Bretos, Alejandro Moreno, Kasey Keller, Twellman, Gomez and Salazar.
Throughout the season, editions of ESPN’s flagship news program, SportsCenter, will include MLS highlights, interviews, analysis, features and more.
ESPN FC, the daily soccer news and information, highlights and analysis program, will feature MLS content throughout the season, including match highlights and recaps; analysis of key storylines; interviews with players, coaches and newsmakers; as well as Heineken Boot Room-branded interviews. Additionally, ESPN FC will originate from the 2018 MLS All Star Game in Atlanta and from select matches during the season.
Writer Jeff Carlisle leads ESPNFC.com’s coverage of the 2018 MLS season. Other top writers who will cover the league include Arch Bell, Matt Pentz, Jason Davis and Graham Parker. Highlights:
Weekly features such as MLS Power Rankings and Alejandro Moreno’s MLS weekly awards (video)
Expanded coverage of key events – Opening Weekend, 2018 MLS All-Star Week, Rivalry Week, MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup
Other planned features include ESPNFC.com’s annual MLS players survey and a multimedia behind-the-scenes piece on the expansion LAFC.
Writer Denny Alfonso will lead ESPNDeportes.com 2018 MLS coverage. Highlights:
Complete game highlight, Best Plays of the Week and video segments featuring Hispanic players in MLS, and play of the day recap for each of the games
The site will feature Eleven Latinos to follow in the new season, a series of short-form interviews featuring Latino players in the league. The series will feature interviews with Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Román Torres (Seattle Sounders), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew), Nicolás Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) and Carlos Vela (LAFC).
MLS on ESPN+
All MLS out of market games will be available to fans exclusively on ESPN+, the new direct-to-consumer streaming product launching this spring from ESPN and BAMTECH MEDIA. In addition to MLS games, fans will have access to a lineup of thousands of other live professional and college sports, original films, series and shows and an unmatched library of on-demand sports content – all for just $4.99 per month.
From the start of the MLS season (March 3) until the launch of ESPN+ later this spring, MLS, ESPN and BAMTECH have teamed up to give fans free access to all MLS out of market games via MLSsoccer.com and the MLS App. Once ESPN+ launches, it will become the exclusive home for all MLS out of market games for the rest of the season and in future seasons. ESPN+ will be available via a redesigned and re-imagined ESPN App.