Network’s 2018 MLS Presentation Features More Matches on Broadcast Television Than Ever Before, Including Five with 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Lead-Ins
Los Angeles – FOX Sports, home of the 2018 MLS Cup, kicks off its fourth MLS season with an action-packed doubleheader featuring Sporting Kansas City-New York City FC and LA Galaxy-Portland Timbers Sunday, March 4 at 7:30 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes.
FOX Sports’ 2018 MLS slate features 41 matches, including the postseason. An unprecedented eight matches air on English-language broadcast television, five of which will be televised immediately after FOX Sports 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ presentations. A total of 33 matches are televised on FS1, with 40 simulcast in Spanish on FOX Deportes.
David Villa and New York City FC open their 2018 campaign against Sporting Kansas City Sunday, March 4 at 7:30 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes. Renowned play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera calls the match live from Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan., alongside former MLS and World Cup™ veteran goalkeeper Tony Meola, with Danielle Slaton reporting from the sideline. John Laguna and Alvaro Izquierdo call the action in Spanish on FOX Deportes.
Immediately following, Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos, of World Cup™ participant Mexico, and their Los Angeles Galaxy host Diego Valeri and the Portland Timbers at 10:00 PM ET. Lead play-by-play announcer John Strong calls the match live from Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif., alongside former Houston Dynamo star Stu Holden, with Katie Witham reporting from the sideline. Rob Stone hosts pregame, halftime and postgame coverage for both matches live from Stubhub Center alongside MLS legend Alexi Lalas. Rodolfo Landeros and Mariano Trujillo are on the call in Spanish on FOX Deportes, with Jaime Motta reporting from the sideline.
Highlights for FOX Sports’ 2018 MLS presentation include:
- The first Los Angeles Derby, as Sigi Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history, and the LA Galaxy host former U.S. MNT coach Bob Bradley and LAFC (Saturday, March 31 at 2:30 PM ET on FOX and FOX Deportes)
- LAFC’s home opener at Banc of America against the 2016 MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC (Sunday, April 29 at 9:00 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes)
- A rematch of the 2017 MLS Cup between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders FC (Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes)
FOX Sports’ 2018 MLS regular season schedule features seven appearances by the Seattle Sounders FC, and six appearances each by New York City FC, Portland Timbers, LAFC, Atlanta United FC and the New York Red Bulls. The 2018 slate also includes a nine-day hiatus during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ group phase between June 14-22. FOX Sports’ World Cup™ presentation runs from June 14-July 15. FOX Sports’ full MLS regular season schedule can be found here.
Ahead of the MLS season opener, FOX Sports’ Dellacamera, Holden, Lalas, Meola, Stone, Strong and Witham preview the 2018 season:
Dellacamera is interested to see how Toronto FC defends its MLS Cup title and how the new MLS coaches will perform under pressure:
“Toronto FC has a target on its back as defending champions, and now have additional games to play because of their participation in the CONCACAF Champions League. I’m also interested in seeing how some of the new MLS coaches do, like our former FOX colleague Brad Friedel with the New England Revolution and Giovanni Savarese with the Portland Timbers.”
Holden says Bob Bradley has a big task ahead and believes LAFC will struggle early in the season:
“‘Bob the Builder’ is back in MLS and is looking to replicate the MLS Cup success he had with the expansion Chicago Fire in 1998. New club, state-of-the-art stadium, new players and high expectations – Bradley has a big task ahead of him. I believe LAFC will struggle early in the season. It took time to put the squad together, and it will take time before we see them playing their best soccer. They will be well organized under Bradley, and if they can get some big performances from stars like Carlos Vela and Benny Feilhaber, they might sneak into one of the lower playoff spots. Whatever happens on the field, there is no mistaking LAFC will be looking to make their mark on this league.”
Lalas says MLS is a truly international league:
“With players from 72 countries, MLS is a truly international league. Potentially more than 40 MLS players will be competing in this summer’s biggest sporting event, the 2018 FIFA World Cup ™. These players will not only represent their countries, but their league and team. We are excited and proud to highlight the incredible international talent this summer on FOX.”
Stone says MLS is now where the next set of star players are being afforded the opportunity to shine on a bigger stage:
“Never before has there been such a collection of dynamic, franchise-changing, young talent in MLS. And a majority of them have already represented their country at the Senior level. The average age of the 12 added Designated Players from outside MLS is 23 years old. Lose the tired ‘retirement league’ handle, MLS is now where the next set of star players is being afforded the opportunity to shine on a bigger stage.”
Strong says don’t sleep on the LA Galaxy:
“With all the excitement around LAFC, don’t sleep on the Galaxy. They’ve re-tooled in a big way after a worst-ever season in 2017. The club have one of the best coaches in league history in Sigi Schmid, a pair of World Cup-bound El Tri stars in the dos Santos brothers, and let’s not forget, this is the club that changed the direction of MLS with the signing of David Beckham in 2007. Don’t put it past them to make another significant splash in 2018.”
Witham says Orlando City SC have the talent and depth to be a contender this season:
“Orlando City SC had an A+ offseason, investing in their roster, bringing a combination of experienced and eager, young players. They lost Kaka and Cyle Larin but brought in Sacha Kljestan, Justin Meram, Uri Rosell and Josue Colman. Let’s not forget Dom Dwyer. They have the talent and depth to be a contender this season. The biggest questions are how quickly can we see chemistry on the field and will they be able to stay healthy? Regardless, Orlando’s all-in this year.”
All FOX soccer matches can be live streamed via FOX Sports GO at FOXSports.com, through the FOX Sports and FOX Sports GO apps on iOS and Android, and on connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, FireTV, Roku, Chromecast and Xbox One.