Los Angeles Football Club released details surrounding their local English-language broadcasts on YouTube TV on Thursday, with the first broadcast set to take place Friday with LAFC’s road game against Vancouver Whitecaps.
The pregame and postgame shows will be hosted by Mark Rogondino, a well-known local announcer who has called a lot of soccer games over his career, including both LA Galaxy and Chivas USA games. He joins LAFC’s team after being LA Clippers pregame and postgame show host for five years.
The sideline reporter will be Gevrina Catalina. A former student-athlete at UCLA, she has worked in both Spanish and English-language media in her career.
The new thing LAFC will be trying with their local YouTube TV broadcasts is what they’re calling “Max +1,” in which a new announcer will serve as color commentator alongside lead play-by-play broadcaster Max Bretos. Effectively, they aren’t hiring a single color commentator for the season and will instead bring in ringers from around the industry who have considerable experience and name recognition.
The first commentator will be Alexi Lalas, for Friday’s game, and future broadcasts will feature the likes of Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, Stuart Holden, Angela Hucles, Warren Barton and Mariano Trujillo, among others.
Lalas, Holden and Trujillo played in MLS, of course, and Earle has called MLS games in the past. Hucles is interesting as someone who has yet to break into calling men’s professional games, as far as I’m aware, but she has experience on the women’s side and would be joining Minnesota United commentator Kyndra de St. Aubin as one of the few women to have called MLS games in recent years.
Overall, it’s an interesting approach, and the upside is that the many guests will get to offer their unique perspectives from game to game, and ensure that LAFC won’t be stuck with a bump on a log for a full season. The downside is that there could be a variety of knowledge bases, on MLS and LAFC, among these folks, and switching Bretos’ partner could be an exercise in tweaking with no end in site. Initial reactions on Twitter were good points about ensuring the same talking points aren’t trotted out again and again, and making this an extended audition for a permanent partner for Bretos.
Hopefully they have a good producer that guides them away from harping on about the same expansion team talking points every match https://t.co/686dErv0Di— Joe Patrick (@japatrick200) April 12, 2018
Look, most local mls PBP and color analysts are awful Max doesn’t really need color. But if this is the approach treat it as an audition https://t.co/WYpglDukIB— david sirias (@davidsirias1) April 12, 2018
In announcing the news, LAFC did offer a preview in some of the premium content that will be available on LAFC’s special YouTube TV channel.
Introducing the team for our inaugural @YouTubeTV broadcast for #VANvLAFC: @mbretosESPN, @mrogondino, and Gevrina Catalina— LAFC (@LAFC) April 12, 2018
...AND @AlexiLalas. Each week, we’ll feature a different guest host to call the match with Max Bretos. AKA “Max +1.”
Learn more: https://t.co/gAlBuD5kN4 pic.twitter.com/qpNBAVR6tD
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