NEW YORK – NBC Sports Group announced on Monday that Kyle Martino will join play-by-play voice Arlo White as the lead analyst for the network’s coverage of Major League Soccer.
White and Martino will make their debut on Sunday, March 11, at 3 pm ET on the NBC Sports Network when FC Dallas host the New York Red Bulls at FC Dallas Stadium. The network will broadcast 41 games during the 2012 season, including three on NBC, followed by five MLS Playoff matches.
“I am very excited to be joining a company with such a rich sports history,” Martino said in a statement. “To be a part of that tradition by covering Major League Soccer is a tremendous honor. I look forward to being a part of the NBC Sports Group team.”
Martino will not call the game in a conventional sense. Instead, he will occupy a role “Between the Benches” during matches with White remaining in the broadcast booth. From this vantage point, Martino is expected to provide unique field level insight in addition to game analysis. NBC currently employs a similar technique during their hockey coverage, using an “Inside the Glass” analyst.
After spending seven seasons as a midfielder with the Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy and US national team – for which he earned eight caps and scored one goal – Martino was most recently the lead analyst for Fox Soccer’s broadcasts of MLS and US games. He also provided color commentary for Philadelphia Union games in 2010 and served as an MLS analyst for ESPN2 prior to that.
Robbie Earle will also join the NBC team. In addition to continuing his announcing duties with the Portland Timbers, Earle will serve as a pregame, halftime, postgame and game analyst throughout the season.
“When we first obtained the MLS rights last year, we identified Kyle as an analyst we’d like to be a part of our broadcasts,” Pierre Moossa, who will serve as the coordinating producer and director of NBC Sports Group’s MLS coverage, said in a release. “Teaming him with Arlo White gives us two premier soccer announcers that fans will thoroughly enjoy. With the addition of Robbie Earle, we have added another exceptional soccer commentator to our team.”
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