Soccer is upon us; Profiles of the Voices; Steve Cangialosi leaves the NHL for the MLS
The 2023 Major League Soccer season starts on Saturday, and it represents a new era for the league from, the broadcasting standpoint. After years of being televised conventionally, like other major sports leagues, those with national contracts like ESPN and Fox Sports as well as each team having a local broadcast.
But commissioner Don Garber timed each deal they had to expire after last season, and orchestrated an exclusive 10-year deal with Apple known as MLS Season Pass. Each game will be available through the new subscription service. Apple will produce every broadcast, but Fox Sports (and TSN in Canada) will simulcast at least one game a week.
MLS will televise each match in English and Spanish, with French broadcasts for each of its three Canadian teams. Portuguese broadcasts are planned for future seasons. For this year, every broadcaster will be on-site. MLS will also allow its teams to produce radio broadcasts.
For the game broadcasts, the league primarily stuck to announcers with MLS experience. Here are the announced English-language broadcast teams, with their previous employment in parentheses:
Jake Zivin (Portland) and Taylor Twellman (ESPN)
Keith Costigan (Seattle) and Maurice Edu (Atlanta)
Kevin Egan (Atlanta) and Kyndra de St. Aubin (Minnesota)
Steve Cangialosi (NY Red Bulls) and Danny Higginbotham (Philadelphia)
Eric Krakauer (Charlotte) and Lloyd Sam (Charlotte)
Jenn Hildreth (Fox) and Lori Lindsey (Nashville)
Blake Price (TSN) and Paul Dolan (TSN)
Max Bretos (LAFC) and Brian Dunseth (Salt Lake)
Mark Followill (Dallas) and Danielle Slaton (San Jose)
Andres Cordero (Miami) and Jamie Watson (Nashville)
Callum Williams (Minnesota) and Calen Carr (MLSSoccer.com)
Tyler Terens (Chicago) and Devon Kerr (ESPN)
Tony Husband (Nashville) and Ross Smith (Portland)
Mark Rogondino (LAFC) and Heath Pearce (Fox)
Ed Cohen (NY Red Bulls) and Greg Sutton (TSN)
Adrian Healey (Austin) and Cobi Jones (LA Galaxy)
MOChris Wittyngham (Miami) will step in for Hildreth and Followill when they are unavailable. Play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty (Kansas City) and color commentators Tony Meola (Chicago) and Warren Barton (Fox) will fill in as needed.
There will be two studio shows. The first is the pre- and post-game coverage, hosted by Jillian Sakovits and Andrew Wiebe, with Carr, former MLS player Nigel Reo-Coker, former New York Red Bulls color commentator Shep Messing, and writer Matt Doyle serving as analysts.
The other is “MLS 360”, a whip-around show in the style of NFL Red Zone. Liam McHugh and Kaylyn Kyle will host, with the show’s analysts being recently-retired stars Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips, as well as rules expert Christina Unkel.
JP Della Camera has left the Philadelphia Union. He started in 2010.