Apple and Major League Soccer unveil on-air announcers for MLS Season Pass
Tuesday January 10, 2023. 05:51 PM , from Mac Daily News
Spearheading the coverage will be a team of talented broadcasters and soccer legends, including Kyndra de St. Aubin (match analyst), Maurice Edu (match analyst), Lori Lindsey (match analyst), Danielle Slaton (match analyst), Taylor Twellman (match analyst), Marcelo Balboa (match analyst), Sébastien Le Toux (match analyst), Sacha Kljestan (studio analyst), Bradley Wright-Phillips (studio analyst), Diego Valeri (studio analyst), Liam McHugh (studio host), Jillian Sakovits (studio host), Tony Cherchi (studio host), Max Bretos (play-by-play), Steve Cangialosi (play-by-play), Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Pablo Ramírez (play-by-play), and Frederic Lord (play-by-play). The complete on-air broadcast team — which represents many of the industry’s most qualified and compelling announcers — and the full production plan for MLS Season Pass will be announced prior to the start of the MLS 2023 season, which begins February 25.
“MLS Season Pass will deliver the best viewing experience that MLS fans have ever had, in large part to these incredible announcers, who will be calling the matches and bringing their passion, energy, and know-how for this league, these clubs, and this sport each and every week,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, in a statement. “Today is a milestone moment for our partnership with MLS, as we begin to unveil some of the faces and voices of this unprecedented streaming service, and we can’t wait for fans to start tuning in next month.”
“We are thrilled to assemble a dynamic, knowledgeable team of broadcasters for MLS Season Pass, individuals who have lived and breathed the beautiful game for many years,” said Don Garber, MLS’s commissioner, in a statement. “This talented group of men and women has taken part in the biggest moments across the soccer and sports landscape for the past decade; whether covering them on air or taking part in them as players, they have been at the center of building our sport in North America. We are excited to see how their diversity of experiences will elevate our coverage and storytelling across our live matches and studio shows, bringing our sport to fans around the globe like never before.”
MLS Season Pass will feature every match of the regular season, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and Leagues Cup1 all in one place, with consistent match times and no blackouts — a first in live sports broadcasting. It will also feature pregame shows, a whip-around show that will provide live look-ins from every match and feature every goal, penalty kick, and big save, as well as analysis and discussion from all the key moments, and a postgame wrap-up to close each night.
All matches will feature commentary in either English or Spanish, while matches involving Canadian teams will also offer commentary in French. Pregame shows and the postgame wrap-up will be available in English and Spanish. Fans in the US and Canada will also have the option to select their home team’s radio for broadcast audio on the Apple TV app where available.
• Kyndra de St. Aubin has been in the broadcast industry since completing her collegiate soccer career at Minnesota in 2003. She has been part of the FOX Sports family since 2011, having worked two FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2015 and 2019. She has spent the last five years as a television analyst for Minnesota United FC.
• Maurice Edu, a member of the 2010 US World Cup team who played 12 seasons in MLS and Europe, has spent the past five years as an analyst with FOX Sports. He also called Atlanta United matches the past two seasons and provides soccer commentary for CBS Sports.
• Lori Lindsey played 14 professional seasons and was a member of the 2011 US Women’s World Cup team prior to serving as a soccer analyst for ESPN and CBS Sports. She has also worked as a sideline reporter for Nashville SC.
• Danielle Slaton, who earned a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games and bronze at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup as a member of the US Women’s National Team, has been a television game analyst for the last 13 years. In 2018, she made history as part of the first all-female broadcast team to cover one of the five major US men’s sports leagues, joining Lisa Byington and Katie Witham on FOX Sports’ broadcast of D.C. United vs. New England Revolution.
• A former MLS MVP and US National Team player, Taylor Twellman joins MLS Season Pass after spending the past 11 years as ABC and ESPN’s lead soccer analyst. During his playing career, he was one of the most prolific scorers in MLS history, recording 101 goals in 174 matches with New England. He was the fastest player ever to reach the 100-goal plateau until his new MLS Season Pass teammate, Bradley Wright-Phillips (159), eclipsed the mark.
• Marcelo Balboa, a former US National Team defender and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, became the first American player to break the 100-cap barrier in 1995. After retiring in 2002, he went into broadcasting, where he was the lead analyst for ESPN/ABC’s coverage of the 2006 World Cup. He has been part of Univision’s MLS and international soccer coverage since 2014, and spent the last 15 years calling Colorado Rapids matches for Altitude TV. Balboa joins the team as a Spanish-language analyst.
• Sébastien Le Toux joins MLS Season Pass as a French-language analyst after working as a studio analyst for PHL 17’s coverage of the Philadelphia Union the last four seasons. The Rennes, France, native enjoyed an 11-year MLS career, including six years with Philadelphia, where he became the club’s first-ever All-Star in 2010.
• Fresh off his retirement from the LA Galaxy, Sacha Kljestan joins MLS Season Pass as a studio analyst. A former member of the US Men’s National Team, Kljestan played 13 seasons in MLS, earning two All-Star bids (2008, 2016). He was a member of the US Olympic team in 2008. Most recently, Kljestan served as a digital host and analyst for Fox Sports’ coverage of the 2022 World Cup.
• Bradley Wright-Phillips, who began his playing career with Manchester City, spent nine seasons in MLS (2013-21), earning two MLS Golden Boot awards and finishing as the sixth-leading goal scorer (117) in league history. He will make his debut as a studio analyst on the whip-around show.
• Diego Valeri, the 2017 MLS MVP and 2015 MLS Cup MVP, is the all-time leading scorer in Portland Timbers history. He was a four-time All-Star and led the Timbers to the 2015 MLS Cup title. He will make his on-air debut as a Spanish-language studio analyst.
• Liam McHugh, who played soccer at the University at Buffalo, will serve as cohost of the weekly whip-around show that will cover all the key moments from every match. He currently leads Turner Sports’ NHL coverage after serving in the same role for NHL on NBC for 10 years. He was lead host for NBCSN, where he anchored coverage for the Premier League, college football, college basketball, and the Tour de France. He was also part of NBC Sports’ coverage of Sunday Night Football and Notre Dame Fighting Irish football.
• Jillian Sakovits joins the team as a pregame studio host. She spent the last four years covering Atlanta United as pregame and postgame host for FOX Sports South and was also a sideline reporter for ESPN’s soccer coverage.
• Tony Cherchi, who has covered soccer extensively for ESPN, Univision, and Tubi, including multiple World Cups, will serve as Spanish-language studio host and an analyst on select matches throughout the season.
• Max Bretos comes to MLS Season Pass after spending the last five years as the play-by-play voice for Los Angeles Football Club. He previously hosted MLS coverage, did play-by-play for ESPN, and was the lead soccer play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports from 2003 to 2010.
• Steve Cangialosi joins the team after handling play-by-play duties for the New York Red Bulls on MSG for 21 years and the New Jersey Devils for 12. His vast soccer play-by-play background also includes the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games for NBC, as well as calling MLS, Serie A, La Liga, DFB-Pokal, and Bundesliga matches for ESPN, FOX Sports, and SiriusXM.
• Jake Zivin has spent the last seven years as the popular TV voice of the Portland Timbers, where he earned three Emmy awards. He has also been a key member of FOX Sports’ soccer coverage, calling MLS, Copa America, SheBelieves Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, and CONCACAF Olympic qualifying matches.
• Pablo Ramírez, a former goalkeeper and a native of Jalisco, Mexico, is one of the most popular Spanish television announcers, having led Univision’s soccer coverage for the last 22 years, including MLS and four World Cups.
• Frederic Lord will be one of the lead play-by-play voices on the French broadcasts. He has handled CF Montréal play-by-play duties for TVA Sports since the club’s MLS inception in 2012.
MLS Season Pass will be available to fans in over 100 countries and regions, bringing MLS to its biggest worldwide audience ever, in a more simple and streamlined way. All matches will be available on billions of devices through the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, game consoles, and the web at tv.apple.com. The launch of MLS Season Pass marks the official kickoff of the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple, a historic first for a major professional sports league.
Follow MLS Clubs on the Apple TV App and Apple News
With iOS 16, Apple introduced a new My Sports section on the Apple TV app across iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV for users to easily follow their favorite clubs, teams, and leagues. Fans can visit apple.co/MySportsMLS on iPhone or iPad to be directed right to the Apple TV app and follow their favorite Major League Soccer clubs, and get alerts before upcoming games, follow scores in real time, and more.
My Sports also makes it easy to get personalized, real-time sports coverage from Apple News. Fans can stay up to speed with the best stories from top publications — plus get live scores, schedules, standings, and highlights.
MacDailyNews Note: Starting February 1, fans can subscribe to MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app for $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season, and Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up at a special price of $12.99 per month and $79 per season. A subscription to MLS Season Pass will be included with each full-season ticket account. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share the subscription using their own Apple ID and password.
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The post Apple and Major League Soccer unveil on-air announcers for MLS Season Pass appeared first on MacDailyNews.
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