« MLS is back »: finally live sports!

MONTREAL | Fans can stop chomping at the bit: the world of televised sport is gradually stretching out after the three-month hiatus imposed by the pandemic. Starting Wednesday, July 8, TVA Sports will vibrate to the rhythm of soccer, with the presentation of the “MLS is back” tournament.

We learned earlier this week that TVA Sports will host 16 matches in the group stage of the « MLS is back » tournament, broadcast live from Orlando. The channel can thus boast of offering viewers the first return to the game of a Montreal sports team after confinement, since the Montreal Impact will be in competition.

For Frédéric Lord, who will be responsible for the description and analysis of the matches in the company of Vincent Destouches, and Hassoun Camara for the games involving the Impact, the resumption of Major League Soccer (MLS) activities marks the end of a too long period of famine. The sports enthusiast has satisfied his appetite since mid-March, watching old matches from various disciplines, not snubbing any. But he was keen on reliving the frenzy of live sport.

“At a certain point, we were ready to watch anything, laughs the host. I even started to watch ball races and ball competitions. wiffle ball, sort of baseball from an 18-year-old Wisconsin league! There was a visceral need to have live sport, and we are finally going to have it! ”

« Beautiful marathon »

Frédéric Lord was preparing to plunge into a real whirlwind of work before COVID-19 got involved. Coverage of the start of the Impact season, the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs, Euro 2020 scheduled to start on June 12, and highlights of the Rogers Cup, then scheduled for August, were on his professional agenda at the start of the year. Between two engagements, the young dad planned to take a vacation at home with his partner and his two-and-a-half-year-old little boy.

Obviously, these beautiful projects were swept away, and Lord compensated on the screen, in particular, by indulging in simulations on video games. He admits that he missed the social life often inherent in sports journalism, even though he kept in touch with his colleagues through “Zoom aperitifs”.

« We’re not very good at it, » he jokes. We are better at « living » aperitifs! « 

The enthusiast describes the challenge that awaits him, to report about fifteen soccer matches in three weeks, a “beautiful marathon”.

“I think we will be carried by the adrenaline. It was my longest break from work in a decade. Since I cover soccer, hockey and tennis, I rarely have long breaks, and I even have to force myself to take a vacation. With the MLS, we have a « goodwill », I know the players, we have been following the league closely for several years. We have a preparation done, but I am updating myself quickly this week. We are used to dealing with various circumstances, and I am confident that we will be able to offer the same performance, ”explains the man who has been working at TVA Sports since the launch of the antenna in 2011, and who formerly worked for Radio-Canada.

TVA Sports will open the broadcast of the « MLS is back » tournament on Wednesday July 8, at 7:30 p.m., with a special introductory broadcast, then relay two confrontations at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Four other double programs are also on display. the schedule for July 13, 18, 21 and 23.

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