Soccer

#TBT: 20 seasons of MLS on ESPN

Ty Keough (top left) and Phil Schoen call the inaugural MLS opener in San Jose, Calif., in 1996 (Don Smith) ; Adrian Healey (bottom left) and Taylor Twellman return as ESPN’s lead MLS commentator team beginning Sunday. (Kyle Rivas/ESPN Images)
Ty Keough (top left) and Phil Schoen call the inaugural MLS opener in San Jose, Calif., in 1996 (Don Smith); Adrian Healey (bottom left) and Taylor Twellman return as ESPN’s lead MLS commentator team beginning Sunday. (Kyle Rivas/ESPN Images)

The first game in Major League Soccer history was played April 6, 1996 between DC United and the San Jose Clash and was televised on ESPN (see video excerpt below). Two decades later, MLS will kick off its 20th season on ESPN this weekend when the league’s two new highly-anticipated expansion franchises play one another on Sunday, March 8: Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC (ESPN2, WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes, 5 p.m. ET).

ESPN – the only media company that has televised matches every year since the league’s inception – continues its commitment to MLS in 2015 with 34 regular season matches as part of its new eight-year MLS agreement. The 2015 season features powerhouse teams, top rivalries and a new consistent time slot (Sundays at 5 p.m. ET) with lead commentators Adrian Healey and analyst Taylor Twellman (pictured above). ESPNFC.com and ESPN FC on TV will also provide extensive coverage of the league throughout the year. For an ESPN match schedule and more MLS info, visit ESPN MediaZone.

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