ABC covering every angle for MLS Cup

The broadcast team tasked with bringing to life MLS Cup this Sunday at 3:30 pm ET on ABC participated in a conference call on Wednesday to discuss new broadcast features, player analysis and, of course, give their thoughts as to which squad would triumph in the premier matchup of the season.

J.P. Dellacamera, Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda, former U.S. national team player Lorrie Fair and Rob Stone are the broadcast team that will analyze and dissect the action at The Home Depot Center. In addition to discussing what viewers can expect when the Kansas City Wizards and D.C. United battle, MLS Executive Producer Michael Cohen also discussed the new ways in which that action would be brought to the viewer at home.

"Technology wise, we're going to be adding StroMotion, sponsored by Panasonic this year, in MLS Cup," said Cohen. "We've been very successful with StroMotion technology [which is] the ability to trail player movement [and] ball movement throughout the game. And we'll be introducing that in MLS Cup for the first time this year. We're pretty excited [because] we have a lot of cool toys.

"We will have 20-camera coverage and our largest [ever] crew of 85. With the league's cooperation and ABC's willingness to let us do things new and different, we'll have access to the coaches on the sidelines with Lorrie being able to interview them during the game, as well as [D.C. United head coach] Peter Nowak will wear a wireless microphone throughout the game."

StroMotion is technology that first was used for soccer during ESPN's broadcast of the USA-Poland friendly on July 11. The feature, which is a frame-by-frame analysis of the flight of the ball or the run of a player, allows fans to see the buildup of a play in ways previously unavailable. Cohen said he expects to see the feature used four or five times during Sunday's contest.

The Picks
JP Dellacamera Kansas City
Eric Wynalda United
Lorrie Fair United
Rob Stone Kansas City

The hosts also discussed some of the most compelling storylines that are dominating MLS news this week and should remain a focus through Sunday's matchup. One plotline that is currently garnering a plethora of interest is in the Wizards nets. Does Bob Gansler replace the red-hot Bo Osohniyi with MLS Cup/World Cup veteran Tony Meola? Or does Gansler stick with Oshoniyi who has performed valiantly since replacing Meola when the starter went down with an Achilles injury in August?

"It's been a real difficult time for [Meola] mentally because he's always been a leader of his team," said Wynalda. "But in my discussions with him he's been great, he's been very supportive. It's eating him up, though, when he sees Bo make mistakes because he's always been a guy that's extremely close with the guys next to him that are competing for his job. He's proud of Bo but you want a guy in the nets in a final, and we saw this in 2000, to have a chance to win an MLS Cup. If he's healthy it's hard for Bob Gansler not to put him in there."

Broadcast live nationally on ABC at 3:30 pm ET, the game will be shown around the world on ESPN International which reaches 175 countries. The game will also be viewable on American forces network, which reaches 177 countries, at all U.S. embassies and on all ships at sea.

Danny Polinsky is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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