Around the world of sports, there are destination days and times for weekly games.
In addition to a rigid regular schedule on Sunday, the NFL features Thursday Night, Sunday Night and Monday Night Football to highlight one game and draw the attention of the nation's fans each week. Major League Baseball also has Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.
With its new television contract with ESPN, FOX and Univision Deportes, Major League Soccer will join that fray beginning in 2015 with anchored nationally-televised matches on Friday and Sunday, with all three networks hosting a Match of the Week. Univision will host a Friday night match and ESPN and FOX Sports 1 hosting a Sunday double-header at 2 pm and 4 pm PT.
"We are honored to partner with ESPN, FOX and Univision to form the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of soccer in our country," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "The commitment from our television partners in terms of structure, length and magnitude is unprecedented, and these new partnerships are another strong indicator of the League's continued growth and the overall fan interest in our sport."
In addition to the landmark national television rights contract, MLS also joined into an online, out-of-market media rights contract with ESPN that will show matches on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
The new contract runs from 2015-2022 and also includes rights to U.S. National Team matches.
JOSH FORD SHINES IN LOAN
Sounders FC goalkeeper Josh Ford was an unlikely hero over the weekend, but the fourth-year pro from UConn was a standout in a loan to the Orange County Blues in a 1-0 win over the Oklahoma City Energy. Not only did Ford make two saves to earn the shutout, but he also registered an assist in the winning goal in the 90th minute. Ford played a long ball behind the OKC defense and Gibson Bardsley chased it down before slotting past goalkeeper Jonathan Kempin to win the match.
Ford returned to Seattle and remain in training with Sounders FC.
The unlikely pairing that had Bob Bradley coaching the Egypt National Team on its quest to return to the World Cup after a 24-year absence was documented in the film "We Must Go" and will be available worldwide during the World Cup. However, the filmmakers will be in town during the Seattle International Film Festival and are seeking to debut their tale of Egypt's efforts to realize that World Cup dream amidst a split nation in soccer-rich Seattle on Monday, May 26 at AMC Pacific Place.
If they can sell 77 tickets through the website http://www.tugg.com/events/9215, the event will go forward and the filmmakers will conduct a Q&A session after the debut screening. If not enough tickets are purchased, it will be canceled and debuted elsewhere.
For more information on the film, visit www.wemustgomovie.com.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
The Portland Timbers made a pair of transactions and had injury news come across the wire on Tuesday. Portland acquired Nigerian forward Fanendo Adi on loan from FC Copenhagen, waived forward Frederic Piquionne and announced that midfielder Diego Chara underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture in his hand. Adi, 23, scored three goals in nine matches for FC Copenhagen in the 2013-2014 season, also appearing in the UEFA Champions League against Juventus, Real Madrid and Galatasaray. Piquionne, 35, had one goal and five assists in 21 matches for Portland last season, but appeared in just three matches off the bench thus far for the Timbers in 2014. Finally, Chara suffered a fracture in his left hand on Sunday in a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy. After surgery, he is expected to miss two weeks of action. Chivas USA announced on Tuesday that it had parted ways with former Mexico National Team forward Adolfo Bautista. The 34-year-old had one assist in seven appearances, six of which came off the bench for Chivas USA.