The Union put out their game notes this afternoon ahead of Thursday's season opener at Seattle, and there were a few interesting tidbits.
First of all, we learned that four Union players are currently dealing with injuries. While the game notes did not state the severity of the injuries, the following information was published.
- Defender David Myrie has a right ankle spraiin.
- Midfielder Amobi Okugo has a right knee strain.
- Midfielder Roger Torres has a right hamstring strain.
- Forward Sebastien Le Toux has a left ankle sprain.
As I said, there's no statement about the degree of any of these injuries. It looks like at least the last three of them aren't too serious, because Okugo, Torres and Le Toux are listed as "Probable Starters."
The stated lineup runs in a 4-3-3 formation, as follows:
Goalkeeper: Chris Seitz
Defenders: Jordan Harvey, Danny Califf, Shavar Thomas, Michael Orozco
Midfielders: Stefani Miglioranzi, Amobi Okugo, Roger Torres
Forwards: Sebastien Le Toux, Alejandro Moreno, Nick Zimmerman
We also learned from the game notes that Kyle Martino will be JP Dellacamera's braodcast partner on WPVI's local broadcasts of Union games. It looks like WPVI's broadcast schedule finalized yet, as the only games in the game notes with TV information listed are national telecatss.
The game notes state that WPVI "will broadcast all those matches not on national television on either its HD network (6.1) or its’ digital channel 6.2."
Elsewhere in TV-land, ESPN announced the slate of 26 MLS games that it will air this season. ESPN2 will show 24 of them, and ESPN will show two: the MLS Cup final on November 21 and Chicago at New York on March 27. That's is the first regular season game at Red Bull Arena.
The venue for MLS Cup has not been set yet. New York and Philadelphia would certainly be in the running, but MLS commissioner Don Garber said this afternoon that Toronto is a "good prospect" to be the host.
(As a not-so-small aside, Garber was speaking on a conference call about the league's new CBA. He also discussed potential expansion to Montreal Expansion. Click here to read more.)
Anyway, back to the TV stuff. All 26 ESPN/ESPN2 games will be simulcast on ESPN360.com and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
JP Dellacamera and John Harkes will be the lead ESPN commentary crew, with Allen Hopkins as the sideline reporter. Dellacamera, Harkes and Hopkins will call the Union-Sounders game on Thursday.
Glenn Davis and Kyle Martino will be the second crew, and Saturday's game at Red Bull Arena will be called by none other than Max Bretos. He moved from Fox Soccer Channel to ESPNews in February.
Rob Stone will be the main telecast host, and Alexi Lalas the primary studio analyst. As you can imagine, a lot of these roles will be juggled during the World Cup.
The Spanish-speakers and MLS veterans among you will be interested to know that former MetroStars forward Giovanni Savarese will be ESPN Deportes' color analyst.
Here's the full ESPN schedule for the season, with the exception of the All-Star Game. The date and opponent have not been finalized yet; all we know is that it will be played in Houston at some point in July.
All times are Eastern.
March 25: Philadelphia Union at Seattle Sounders FC, 9:30 p.m.
March 27: Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls, 7:00 p.m.
April 1: Real Salt Lake at Houston Dynamo, 9:00 p.m.
April 1: Chivas USA at Los Angeles Galaxy, 11:00 p.m.
April 15: Philadelphia Union at Toronto FC, 7:00 p.m.
April 22: Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas, 8:00 p.m.
May 5: Kansas City Wizards at D.C. United. 7:00 p.m.
May 13: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake, 9:00 p.m.
May 20: Columbus Crew at New York Redd Bulls, 8:00 p.m.
May 27: FC Dallas at Chicago Fire, 8:00 p.m.
June 10: D.C. United at Seattle Sounders, 10:00 p.m.
June 27: Seattle Sounders at Philadelphia Union, 5:00 p.m.
July 1: Houston Dynamo at Toronto F.C., 7:00 p.m.
July 8: Real Salt Lake at Chicago Fire, 9:30 p.m.
July 15: Seattle Sounders at D.C. United, 8:00 p.m.
July 22: San Jose Earthquakes at Los Angeles Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.
August 5: Columbus Crew at Philadelphia Union, 8:00 p.m.
August 8: New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire, 9:00 p.m.
August 29: D.C. United at Chivas USA, 10:00 p.m.
September 9: Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders, 11:00 p.m.
September 24: New York Red Bulls at Los Angeles Galaxy, 11:00 p.m.
September 29: Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes, 11:00 p.m.
October 3: Los Angeles Galaxy at Chivas USA, 8:00 p.m.
October 7: Los Angeles Galaxy at Philadelphia Union 8:00 p.m.
Octobert 15: Chivas USA at Seattle Sounders, 11:00 p.m.
October 21: New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
October 26: MLS Cup Playoff game/time TBD
November 4: MLS Cup Playoff game/time TBD
November 11: MLS Cup Playoff game/time TBD
November 21: MLS Cup Final at venue TBD, 8:30 p.m.