Los Angeles – John Strong, who was recently named FOX Sports 1’s lead Major League Soccer play-by-play announcer, is teaming with analyst Alexi Lalas, a National Soccer Hall of Famer, to form the channel’s top MLS broadcast team. The pair is joined by award-winning reporter Grant Wahl serving as sideline reporter. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports’ Executive Producer, John Entz. The trio makes its network MLS debut calling the night-cap of FOX Sports 1’s season-opening doubleheader, Sunday, March 8 (9:30 PM ET), as the Seattle Sounders FC hosts the defending Eastern Conference Champion New England Revolution at CenturyLink Field.
In the first game of the March 8 doubleheader, the first of three twin-bills slated on FOX Sports 1 during the network’s inaugural MLS season, Sporting KC faces the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park in Kansas City (7:00 PM ET). Calling the action is veteran soccer announcer JP Dellacamera alongside match analyst and current Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who makes his network television booth debut, while Julie Stewart-Binks joins on the sidelines. Friedel is expected to become a regular member of FOX Sports 1’s MLS game coverage once his season with Spurs ends later this year.
“We’re extremely excited to introduce John and Alexi as FOX Sports 1’s lead MLS broadcast team, with Grant reporting from the pitch,” said Entz. “Each has been around the game for some time, but there’s an energy to this combination that fits perfectly with energy generated by today’s MLS. Fans are going to find them to be an entertaining and informative listen.”
Both Strong, who has earned acclaim as one of the top voices in American soccer, and Lalas have covered MLS extensively on television with different networks. Lalas was also pioneering as a player and general manager for several teams within the league. The Strong – Lalas – Wahl trio calls most Sunday prime-time matches.
Rob Stone hosts FOX Sports 1’s season-opening pregame, halftime and postgame coverage live from the Fox Network Center in Los Angeles with National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda, who scored MLS’ first-ever goal 20 years ago, former USMNT midfielder Stuart Holden and guest analyst and U.S. Soccer legend Landon Donovan, who just recently ended his stellar playing career by lifting the MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy.
All MLS games televised by FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 are simulcast on Spanish language network, FOX Deportes, and streamed on FOX Sports GO in Spanish. FOX Deportes’ lead broadcast team features a three-man booth with play-by-play announcer John Laguna and analysis from Mariano Trujillo and Claudio Suarez, both former MLS players.
All matches on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 are available to customers of participating pay-TV providers via the FOX Sports GO and FOX Soccer 2Go apps, and on the web through FOXSportsGO.com. FOX Sports GO is currently available for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire tablets and Fire phones and select Windows devices. Fans can download the mobile app for free from the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store and Windows Store. Fans can also follow minute-by-minute commentary via @FOXSoccer and @FOXSoccerTrax Twitter accounts using #MLSonFOX.
FOX Sports’ MLS schedule, which runs from March through October, consists of 34 matches, with 33 games scheduled for FOX Sports 1, one on FOX Sports 2, and most kicking off in prime time at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday evenings. Last May, FOX Sports 1 reached an eight-year, multi-platform media rights agreement with MLS, marking the league’s return to FOX Sports in 2015 after a four-year absence.