Fresh off the news that JP Dellacamera is making the move from ESPN to Fox Soccer, the network announced its pairings for the upcoming MLS season. Not surprisingly, Dellacamera is the Friday night play-by-play man, and in my opinion Fox has surrounded him with some quality talent.
Your game day host for MLS will be American soccer legend Eric Wynalda. According to the Fox press release, Wynalda will host the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows for the 31 matches FSC will carry this year. His in-studio partner is fellow American international Christopher Sullivan, a past color commentator for MLS Saturday on FSC. The two gentlemen have been excellent with Warren Barton in Fox Soccer’s Champions League coverage, offering good insight without being annoying studio presences.
Kyle Martino has been a lightening rod during his time at FSC, hosting the widely panned Soccer Talk Live during its brief existence but seemingly settling into a more comfortable role in “the pub” during FSC’s Super Sunday +. His experience on the pitch is undeniable, and he does add a good perspective to the shows he is currently on. I think pairing him with JP Dellacamera will give him a chance to expand his broadcast experience, and he will be a better partner for JP than his ESPN partner John Harkes. To many that is heresy, but Harkes’ laid back color commentary seemed to not mesh well with Dellacamera’s low wattage style of play-by-play (case in point – Edson Buddle’s playoff goal). Martino will lend some passion into the booth, and combined with JP’s professionalism, will make this a good pairing.
Rounding out the team is Brian Dunseth on the sidelines, who besides being another U.S. national has experience in this role for RSL and FSC. During the Saturday games, Fox Soccer will bring in Mark Rogandino, Allen Hopkins, Dave Johnson, and Keith Bleyer.
So what do you think of the new format for MLS matches? Looking forward to Sullivan/Wynalda in studio with Dellacamera/Martino in the booth?