When ESPN kicks off its 20-game Major League Soccer regular-season schedule Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore., the pregame show will feature the Timbers Army singing the national anthem.
The Portland Timbers supporters’ group belts out the national anthem in unison at every season-opening home game — a tradition that has come to reflect MLS’s growth in combining quality on-the-field play with an exciting atmosphere in the stands.
The Portland-New York game kicks off ESPN’s 18th season as the primary television home of the league’s matches.
Front Row caught up with Coordinating Producer Amy Rosenfeld and Producer Chris Alexopoulos to share brief insights about their crews and their coverage of MLS on ESPN.
“In our production for soccer, we seek to document, inform and entertain to the best of our abilities. At times, that may mean falling out of love with ourselves as producers and directors by getting out of the way of a great game and the viewer’s experience.
“Our productions deploy high-level technical standards on every MLS telecast with a robust camera plan that includes Super Slo Mo and state-of-the-art goal POV cameras. We also utilize the virtual offside line and an extensive field audio plan that delivers a 5.1 surround sound experience.
“The 2013 Major League Soccer season offers interesting storylines we will explore in each telecast — players contributing in the final stage of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying series for the U.S. team or other CONCACAF teams, and ultimately playing in World Cup itself.
“There’s no other sport any member of our team would rather work on than soccer. As such, the beginning of the 2013 MLS season brings excitement for the entire crew.
“We are solely committed to setting a high bar for our telecasts, and constantly evolving how we present MLS matches to fans. Our entire team looks forward to capturing another season of exciting MLS action for fans.”
Video produced by Tonya Malinowski