ESPN will broadcast a selection of programmes dedicated to David Beckham as he prepares to depart the MLS after five years in the United States.
The channel will air a live one-hour special edition of ESPNFC Press Pass entitled Beckham’s Goodbye To Hollywood on Friday, December 1, which includes an exclusive one-on-one interview with the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star himself.
Then on Saturday night, ESPN will have live and exclusive UK coverage of the MLS Cup Final between Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo, as Beckham tries to help Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and the rest of his Galaxy teammates to a second straight title.
Through the weekend, sister channel ESPN Classic will air highlights of some of the key moments in Beckham’s long and decorated career.
Beckham is leaving LA Galaxy after six years at the American Major League Soccer club.
He joined LA Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007 and won three Western Conference titles with the club as well as the MLS Cup last season.
In a statement Beckham, 37, said: “I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career.”
On the eve of the MLS final, ESPN will broadcast a special edition of its global football debate and discussion show ESPNFC Press Pass.
Beckham’s Goodbye To Hollywood will take an in depth look back at the midfielder’s time in Los Angeles and discuss his impact on Major League Soccer.
In an exclusive interview, Beckham himself speaks to ESPN US’s Julie Foudy, while host Adrian Healey is joined by a number of guests providing insight and commentary, including ESPN’s MLS analyst Taylor Twellman, who played against Beckham during his own MLS career.
Former USA international Alexi Lalas, who was instrumental in bringing Beckham to LA while serving as LA Galaxy’s general manager in 2007, as well as former New England Revolution coach and ex-Liverpool and Scotland star Steve Nicol will also be part of the panel.
The show will be presented live from LA Galaxy’s stadium, the Home Depot Center, where the MLS Cup Final will be played Saturday.
On Saturday night, ESPN will broadcast live and exclusive UK coverage of Beckham’s final appearance for LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final against Houston Dynamo.
The game between the Galaxy and Houston Dynamo is a repeat of last year’s play-off final, which saw Beckham combine with Robbie Keane to set up the game’s only goal for Landon Donovan.
The win brought Beckham his first title since his move to the US in 2007, and he will be keen to go out on a high in front of his home fans by securing the Galaxy’s second consecutive MLS championship.
Due to prior commitments with the Serie A match (Juventus v Torino), ESPN UK will be joining live coverage of the MLS Final 15-minutes after kick-off.
ESPN will be taking the feed from its US counterparts, which includes post-match discussion and analysis from ESPN MLS presentation team, direct and on-site from the Home Depot Center in LA.
Match commentary will come from Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman, with analysis from, among others, Alexi Lalas and former US national team and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper and Kasey Keller.
Supporting ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 MLS Final will be selection of programming paying tribute to Beckham in the build-up to his final game for the Galaxy on ESPN Classic.
Starting on Friday night (December 1) at 7.30pm, and episode of the Legends of the Barclays Premier League series about the former Manchester United star wll be shown.
That is followed by highlights of England’s FIFA World Cup 2002 Qualifier against Greece in 2001, when Beckham put in arguably the finest performance of his international career, scoring the injury time free-kick that secured England’s place at the tournament.
At 8.30pm that night, ESPN Classic will air Manchester United’s remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to beat Tottenham 5-3, when Beckham captained the side and was instrumental in their second half turnaround, creating the second goal, and scoring the fifth.
Then Saturday night ESPN Classic will broadcast England v Argentina in the 2002 World Cup, when Beckham banished the demons of his red card against the same side four years earlier, scoring the only goal in an important 1-0 group-stage win for England.
Friday 30th November Legends of the Barclays Premier League: Beckham 7.30pm-8.00pm – ESPN Classic FIFA World Cup Qualifier: England v Greece 2001 8.00pm-8.30pm – ESPN Classic Premier League – Tottenham v Man Utd 2001/02 8.30pm-9.05pm – ESPN Classic ESPNFC Press Pass Special: Beckham’s Goodbye to Hollywood Feat. exclusive interview with David Beckham LIVE: 10.00pm-11.00pm – ESPN Available shortly afterwards online via ESPNFC.com Saturday 1st December FIFA World Cup 2002: England v Argentina 7.30pm-9.30pm – ESPN Classic MLS Cup Final 2012 – LA Galaxy v Houston Dynamo Kick-off: 9.30pm GMT LIVE: 9.45pm-12.00am – ESPN Coverage begins 15-minutes after kick-off