Saturday, November 28, 2015

Games to Watch: MLS and Guinness Cup in spotlight

I've gotten a fair amount of response to tweeting out commentator assignments for national TV games, so I'll include them below where I have them.

Games to Watch: MLS and Guinness Cup in spotlight


I've gotten a fair amount of response to tweeting out commentator assignments for national TV games, so I'll include them below where I have them.

Manchester United vs. AS Roma

4:00 p.m. Saturday (Fox, ESPN Deportes)

The main event on the summer friendly calendar is the Guinness International Champions Cup, which brings major European teams to American shores before their seasons start. The tournament kicked off Thursday in Toronto with Olympiakos and AC Milan, and it reaches high gear this weekend.

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Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the Denver Broncos’ home, will welcome United stars Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and newly-signed Ander Herrera. Roma are led by Italian veterans Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi and Ivorian winger Gervinho.

J.P. Dellacamera, Brian McBride and Keith Costigan will have the call on Fox.

Arsenal at New York Red Bulls

5:00 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

For over a decade now, England’s top teams have come to the U.S. to build their fan bases (and their bank accounts). But Arsenal hasn’t crossed the Atlantic since 1985. The wait for Gunners fans finally ends this weekend, as the North London giants visit Red Bull Arena. You'll see some of Arsenal's top stars, including midfielders Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshire.

The most intriguing name in the squad, though, might be 17-year-old winger Gedion Zelalem. A Berlin native, Zelalem moved to Maryland as a kid before Arsenal signed him to its academy. That made him eligible for the U.S. and German national teams. He’s one of the Gunners’ hottest prospects, and made his senior-team debut in last season’s FA Cup.

Zelalem would have to get an American passport before he can play for the U.S., but he’s reportedly pursuing one. If he commits, it would be Jurgen Klinsmann’s biggest recruit yet.

Jon Champion, Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas will have the call on ESPN2.

AC Milan vs. Manchester City

4:00 p.m. Sunday (Fox Sports 1, ESPN Deportes)

When most people talk about football in Pittsburgh, they don’t mean the world’s game. But soccer has been growing in the Steel City, and the Guinness Cup game will put Heinz Field in the spotlight. The matchup brings a fun storyline, as Milan star Mario Balotelli faces the English club that made him world-famous.

Mark Rogondino, Cobi Jones and Heather Mitts will have the call on Fox Sports 1.

Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders

10:00 p.m. Monday (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

It’s always a big deal when two of Major League Soccer’s most star-studded teams clash. This time, Seattle’s CenturyLink Field welcomes MLS’ version of Monday Night Fútbol. Clint Dempsey and the Sounders have the league’s most prolific offense, while Omar González and the Galaxy have the league’s stingiest defense.

Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas will have the call on ESPN2.

Manchester City vs. Liverpool

7:00 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Sports 1, ESPN Deportes)

Yankee Stadium hosts the top two teams in last season’s Premier League for a Guinness Cup game. It’s City’s second trip to the Bronx, which has quickly become their home away from home. The club and the Yankees are co-owners of New York City FC, a MLS expansion team that will start playing next year at the house that Derek Jeter built.

John Strong, Warren Barton and Keith Costigan will have the call on Fox Sports 1.

New York Red Bulls at Real Salt Lake

9:00 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

This game is Major League Soccer’s ultimate culture clash. It should be great for World Cup fans wanting to give the league a try.

The Red Bulls are always among MLS’ biggest spenders, and have big stars in Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. But they’ve never won a championship.

RSL has, despite playing in the league’s smallest market. They’re also the only MLS team to ever make the final of the CONCACAF Champions League. The club’s success has been anchored by U.S. national team stalwarts Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman.

Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman, Mónica González and Alexi Lalas will have the call on ESPN2.
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald
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