NEW YORK, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's most popular sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, kicked off today in South Africa and the tournament is expected to elevate the popularity of soccer in the United States to levels never seen before. To assist journalists in their coverage of the World Cup and the state of soccer in North America, Major League Soccer (MLS) is providing a variety of resources, including a World Cup Speakers Bureau, a digital media kit and staffing in South Africa.
The 15-year-old professional soccer league is represented with 17 of the 23 U.S. World Cup team members who are either current MLS stars or previously played for MLS teams. In addition, other MLS players will compete for national teams such as Switzerland, Honduras and New Zealand. L.A. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham will serve as a member of England's technical staff as an Achilles injury is preventing him from participating for his country.
For the first time in its 15-season history, MLS will not play League games during the group phase of the World Cup. The group phase, which includes the first 48 games of the 64-game tournament, begins on June 11 and concludes June 25. The World Cup ends July 11 with the final match in Johannesburg.
Tools provided to journalists to assist with their coverage include:
- Speakers Bureau – MLS has current players and alumni that have competed in multiple World Cups, from Seattle's Kasey Keller (4 World Cups) to Kansas City's Jimmy Conrad (played in 1-1 U.S. draw vs. Italy in 2006). Also, Cape Town native Danleigh Borman of the New York Red Bulls can provide insight into South Africa. To browse the Speakers Bureau, please CLICK HERE.
- Digital Media Kit – This 26-page digital publication provides information about Major League Soccer, the growth of soccer in North America, as well as current and former MLS players participating in this World Cup. To view the online brochure, please CLICK HERE.
- South Africa Staff – MLS Director of Communications Will Kuhns is on the ground in South Africa for the month of June and available to assist journalists with interviews and insight. Kuhns, a former writer for the Washington Post and Soccer America, can be reached at 011-27-835-415-134 in South Africa or email@example.com.
- MLSsoccer.com In-Depth Coverage – A team of journalists based in South Africa and stateside will cover the tournament extensively at www.MLSsoccer.com, the League's official website. Spanish content also will be available at www.FutbolMLS.com.
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicked off its 15th season on March 25, 2010. MLS features 16 clubs each playing 30 regular season matches in 2010. Those teams include Chicago Fire; Colorado Rapids; Chivas USA; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; Kansas City Wizards; Los Angeles Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, Philadelphia Union. Expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011, and Montreal in 2012. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official Web site at MLSsoccer.com.
SOURCE Major League Soccer