The MLS All-Star Game is always somewhat interesting to me, at least in theory, as a soccer fan. 2014’s will be especially intriguing, because it comes after a few weeks of European teams kicking the tar out of MLS competition in friendlies. MLS’ All-Stars will now try and prove their mettle one more time against German heroes Bayern Munich tonight.
ESPN’s all over the thing across multiple networks. ESPN FC (which has been relegated to ESPNews lately) will be live from host-site Providence Park in Portland at 6 p.m. ET with their first remote studio set-up since the most recent “dos a cero” during 2013’s World Cup Qualifying in Columbus. Max Bretos hosts with analysts Alexi Lalas, Kasey Keller and Alejandro Moreno.
Coverage of the game begins at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, with the same crew anchoring coverage from their Portland set. The actual match begins around 9:55 p.m. ET (a late start time for an All-Star Game, but suited to the west coast) with Adrian Healey calling the action with analyst (and recently recovered from “Brazillness”) Taylor Twellman and reporter Monica Gonzalez.
The network also has some fancy new toys to show off during the All-Star Game: goal post cameras. ESPN has purchased two MLS goal structures for the sole purpose of using cameras embedded in the posts. We’ll see what that camera angle can add to scoring plays and capturing the goalkeeper from a new view.
ESPN2 will also have post-game presence from Portland, as an additional one-hour episode of ESPN FC will air after the match. Bretos, Lalas, Keller, Moreno and Twellman will all be on hand. With a new television deal looming in 2015, give credit to ESPN for bumping up their MLS coverage a little more in anticipation.