<strong>Rematch of 2016 MLS Cup - Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN </strong>
ESPN will present the 2017 MLS Cup on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. ET, when Toronto FC hosts defending champion Seattle Sounders at BMO Field in Toronto. A rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup won by Seattle on a penalty shootout, Major League Soccer's championship match features some of the league's biggest stars - Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco and U.S. Men's National Team stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, and Seattle's Nicolas Lodeiro and USMNT star Clint Dempsey.
This will be the 21st MLS championship on ESPN. Commentator Adrian Healey, analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Julie Stewart-Binks - a Toronto native - will call the match with host Max Bretos, Kasey Keller and Alejandro Moreno, providing pregame, halftime and post-game studio coverage from site. The match will also stream live on the ESPN App.
<strong>2017 MLS Cup storylines:</strong>
With a title, Toronto FC could can become the first MLS team to win the domestic treble (MLS Cup, Supporters' Shield, domestic cup) after setting the MLS single-season points record and posting the second-best goal difference in a season in league history; Seattle can be the fourth team to win consecutive MLS Cups, and a win would put the Sounders on the short list of MLS dynasties. The Sounders seek their fourth trophy in four years, along with the Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup they won in 2014; Toronto leads all MLS clubs with seven trophies (six Canadian Championships, one Shield), and Seattle is next with six (four U.S. Open Cups, one MLS Cup, one Shield), since 2009 when Seattle joined Major League Soccer; MLS Cup features three of the U.S. National Team's most prominent stars. Seattle's Clint Dempsey has 57 international goals, tied with Landon Donovan for most in U.S. national team history. Toronto's Jozy Altidore is third on the list with 41 goals, and his club teammate Michael Bradley has 140 caps, fourth-most by an American man; Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco (16 goals) and Altidore (15) were the only teammates with 15 goals each this season in Major League Soccer.
<strong>ESPN FC</strong><strong> - 2017 MLS Cup Special on ESPN2:</strong>
On Friday, Dec. 8, ESPN FC on TV, the daily soccer news highlights, analysis and information program, will dedicate the entire program to 2017 MLS Cup. The 30-minute edition on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. (re-air on ESPNEWS at 6 p.m.) will originate from Toronto's BMO Field with Sebastian Salazar (host) and analysts Twellman, Keller, Moreno and Herculez Gomez. The program will include appearances by players on the MLS Cup teams.
ESPN's MLS Cup Weekend Schedule:
Beginning Friday, Dec. 8, through kickoff on Saturday, Dec. 9, editions of ESPN's flagship news program SportsCenter will preview 2017 MLS Cup including reports, analysis and talkback interviews from BMO Field in Toronto.
<strong>Jeff Carlisle</strong> (covering Toronto FC) and <strong>Matt Pentz</strong> (Sounders) lead ESPNFC.com's weeklong coverage of 2017 MLS Cup, reporting daily from Toronto beginning today (Thursday) through Saturday. On match day, www.ESPNFC.com will feature 2017 MLS Cup Gamecast with rapid reaction from Carlisle and Pentz. Further MLS Cup content available on ESPNFC.com this week:
<strong>Carlisle: </strong>On how Toronto's 'process' has the team one step away from claiming a historic treble (2017 Canadian Championship, MLS Supporters Shield and the 2017 MLS Cup); <strong>Pentz:</strong> Profiles Seattle Sounders and U.S. Men's National Team star Clint Dempsey who returns to play in 2017 MLS Cup after health scare derailed him from playing last year; <strong>Carlisle:</strong> On how Sebastian Giovinco's continual evolution in Major League Soccer is at the heart of Toronto FC's success; <strong>Pentz: </strong>On how the 2016 MLS Cup victory has freed Seattle Sounders, once a playoff underachiever, from pressure as the team pursues its second-straight Major League Soccer title <strong>Graham Parker:</strong> On how Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley's success playing at Toronto FC is more than a U.S. Men's National Team subplot; <strong>Carlisle:</strong> The rematch - the history of MLS Cup rematches and lessons Seattle and Toronto can learn from one another. <strong>Parker:</strong> On Sunday, Parker will assess the good, bad and ugly from the 2017 MLS season. <strong>Chris Wondoloski:</strong> ESPN multiplatform producer will capture behind-the-scenes video from Toronto, including team training, players arriving at the stadium, interviews with players and coaches for ESPN digital and social media platforms.
ESPN International will televise 2017 MLS Cup on ESPN networks in 61 countries and territories covering more than 59 million television homes, including coverage in Australia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, New Zealand and South America.
Richard Mendez and Giovanni Savarese will call the match for ESPN in Spanish for Latin and South America. Herculez Gomez, who won the Championship with Seattle last season, will provide analysis from pitch side in Toronto.