MLS Soldiers On Without Eric Wynalda

There will be exactly two MLS games on ABC this season: today's First Kick (3:30, ABC), and the championship game. So today is the one chance that MLS can choose on whom the ABC spotlight shines, and none of the following people are involved: Freddy Adu, David Beckham (okay, they have no choice on that one), Claudio Reyna, or Landon Donovan.

But we do have the Fred who is not the standout Brazilian striker, as well as Jay Nolly, Facundo Erpen, and the human highlight reel that is Greg Vanney. Shrewd, MLS. I'm pumped.

Oh, and you know who else is going to be featured? Julie Foudy. She steps in for Eric Wynalda on the broadcast, because Eric Wynalda got himself suspended by inviting Jim Rome to engage in oral sex with him. Rome declined. Had Rome just accepted the offer and pleasured the man, all of this could have been avoided. That's just selfish, Jim Rome.

If you're wondering about the rest of the coverage, this comes from Michael Heistand at USA Today:

This season, [ESPN producer Tim] Scanlan says, coverage will "try to make connections to other sports" — like somehow working mentions of John Elway into Saturday's game in Denver — and will have the only Sky-Cam TV shots of soccer in the world. Elsewhere, there's been skittishness about balls hitting overhead cameras.

ESPN will add a superimposed graphic showing the offside line — like TV football's virtual first-and-10 line — and replays showing the speed of kicks.

What, no robots? John Elway would play with some goddamn robots out there.

Sportscasters go comical in 'Blades'; Ripken, Gwynn join TBS [USA Today]
Soccer Guy Throws Down On Jim Rome In Dorkiest Feud Of The Week [Deadspin]
United visit Rapids for MLS First Kick [MLSnet.com]