Starting tonight, the ESPN Family of Networks will air a total of nine exhibition soccer games featuring European and MLS teams. The series starts tonight in Seattle as the MLS’ Sounders host the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup Champions Chelsea from the English Premier League. In addition, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur from the EPL, Real Madrid from Spain’s La Liga, Celtic from the Scottish Premier League, Milan and Roma from Italy’s Serie A plus Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls will be involved in the series.
Eight of the nine games will air on ESPN2. One will be exclusive to ESPN3.
We have the press release from ESPN.
The 2012 ESPN Summer Soccer Series – nine international club matches over three weeks featuring legendary European and Major League Soccer clubs on ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes – will kick off tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET with the 2012 European club champions Chelsea FC visiting the Seattle Sounders. The series will conclude Saturday, Aug. 11, at 1:55 p.m. with Spain’s La Liga champions Real Madrid FC vs. Scottish Premier League title holders Celtic FC. Eight of the nine matches will be aired live across ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes, with one on ESPN3.
The schedule (subject to change):
Date Time (ET) Match Networks Wed, July 18 9:30 p.m. Seattle Sounders vs. Chelsea FCAdrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and Alexi LalasRicardo Ortiz and Andres Agulla (ESPN Deportes) ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes Tue, July 24 10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Tottenham Hotspur ESPN3 Wed, July 25 6:30 p.m. Liverpool FC vs. AS RomaDerek Rae and Robbie MustoeRichard Mendez and Tato Noriega ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes Sat, July 28 1 p.m. Liverpool FC vs. Tottenham HotspurRae and MustoeCiro Procuna and Mario Kempes ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes 6:30 p.m. Chelsea FC vs. AC MilanHealey and TwellmanJorges Ramos and Hernan Pereyra ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes Tue, July 31 7 p.m. New York Red Bulls vs. Tottenham HotspurHealey, Twellman and LalasMendez and Giovanni Savarese ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes Thu, August 2 10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real MadridHealey, Twellman, Lalas and reporter Monica GonzalezOrtiz and Kempes ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes Wed, August 8 8 p.m. Real Madrid vs. AC MilanHealey and TwellmanProcuna and Kempes ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes Sat, August 11 1:55 p.m. Real Madrid vs. Celtic FCHealey and MustoeProcuna and Kempes ESPN2 / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes
All matches and times subject to change
The ESPN Summer Soccer Series includes three teams each from the English Premier League, Major League Soccer, two from Italy’s Serie A, and one from Spain’s La Liga and the Scottish Premier League. Highlights:
- AC Milan: With seven European cup titles and 18 Italian Serie A championships, AC Milan is one of the legendary football clubs in Europe. Its roster consists of some of the top international players, such as Alexandre Pato, Robinho (Brazil), Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sulley Muntari (Ghana), and Ignazio Abate, a key defender in Italy’s UEFA EURO 2012 team.
- A.S. Roma: Three-time Serie A winners and new professional home for U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley, who completed a transfer to Roma after signing a four-year contract on Sunday.
- Celtic FC: Reigning Scottish Premier League champions with 43 Scottish titles, Celtic FC is one of the two clubs that have dominated Scottish football over the years. The club is led by Greece’s Giorgos Samaras, who scored against Germany in the EURO 2012 quarterfinals.
- Chelsea FC: Current UEFA Champions League and England’s FA Cup winners, Chelsea FC is one of the premier clubs in English football. The roster includes many of the players who participated in the UEFA EURO 2012 – John Terry, Ashley Cole (England), Juan Mata, EURO 2012 Golden Boot winner Fernando Torres (Spain), Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Raul Meireles (Portugal), and Florent Malouda (France).
- Liverpool FC: With 18 English titles, second most all-time in English football, and five European Cup titles, Liverpool FC is one of the legendary clubs in European football. Its roster includes six players who represented England in the just-concluded UEFA European football Championship 2012 in Poland-Ukraine – captain Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Martin Kelly.
- Los Angeles Galaxy: Currently MLS Cup champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy are one of the Major League Soccer’s preeminent clubs with three of professional soccer’s accomplished players – former England captain David Beckham, U.S. Men’s national Team star Landon Donovan, and current Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane.
- New York Red Bulls: One of Major League Soccer’s founding clubs, the New York Red Bulls feature 1998 FIFA World Cup champion Thierry Henry and captain of Mexico’s national team Rafa Marquez.
- Real Madrid: The reigning La Liga champions, Real Madrid has won 32 La Liga titles and nine European Cups. On its roster are 10 players who represented four different nations in the UEFA EURO 2012 – Iker Casillas, Xavi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe (Spain), Mezut Ozil and Sami Khedira (Germany), and Karim Benzema (France).
- Seattle Sounders: After playing its first match in Major League Soccer in March 2009, the Seattle Sounders have won three straight U.S. Open Cup titles. The team features U.S. Men’s National team player Eddie Johnson and Argentine playmaker Mauro Rosales.
- Tottenham Hotspur: With American goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who has started Premier League-record 304 straight matches, the team has finished among the top-five for three straight seasons in the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur added new manager Andre Villas-Boas and had three players who competed in the UEFA EURO 2012 – Jermain Defoe, Scott Parker (England), and Rafael van der Vaart (Netherlands).
That is all.