ESPN2 will celebrate 25 years of Major League Soccer with an eight-hour programming marathon featuring four classic matches on Monday, April 6 – the anniversary of Major League Soccer’s inaugural match.

The San Jose Clash-D.C. United encounter aired on ESPN in 1996.

ESPN2’s programming marathon will anchor MLS-themed content across multiple ESPN platforms, including on-demand streaming of a collection of historic matches on ESPN+, a special edition of Banter with Taylor Twellman digital show, and two classic matches on ESPN Deportes.

The MLS classic match marathon will begin at 6 p.m. ET with the 1996 MLS Cup. D.C. United scored a 3-2 golden goal overtime victory over LA Galaxy to capture the league’s inaugural championship in a rain-soaked match at Foxboro Stadium.

At 8 p.m., ESPN2 will feature Landon Donovan’s first MLS Cup appearance when he helped lead the San Jose Earthquakes, as a rookie, to a 2-1 overtime victory in the 2001 MLS Cup over the LA Galaxy. Donovan would go on to have one of the most successful careers in MLS history with a record 14 consecutive All-Star seasons (2001-14) and capturing six MLS Cup titles.

At 10 p.m., ESPN2 will re-air David Beckham’s MLS debut for the LA Galaxy from July 21, 2007 against Chelsea. One of the pivotal moments in league history, Beckham joined MLS after a league-record transfer from Real Madrid. His first match was a star-studded event that attracted Hollywood stars and celebrities among the sellout crowd at The Home Depot Center, now Dignity Health Sports Park.

The night concludes with an encore presentation of the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinal between ‘El Trafico’ rivals LAFC and LA Galaxy (12 a.m.), featuring star players Carlos Vela (LAFC) and Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy). The match resulted in an action-packed, high-scoring 5-3 LAFC victory.


25 Years of Major League Soccer Marathon on ESPN2 – Monday, April 6:

Time (ET)
Match (Original Air Date)
6 p.m.
1996 MLS Cup: D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy (Oct. 20, 1996)

The inaugural MLS Cup in 1996, a 3-2 DC United overtime victory. U.S. National Team defender Eddie Pope scored the golden goal.

8 p.m.
2001 MLS Cup: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy (Oct. 21, 2001)

Rookie Landon Donovan helps lead San Jose Earthquakes to their first MLS Cup title.

10 p.m.
LA Galaxy vs. Chelsea FC (July 21, 2007)

David Beckham’s debut match for LA Galaxy against Chelsea after his league record transfer from Real Madrid. Covered by media from around the world, the match drew a sellout crowd, including Hollywood stars and celebrities.

12 a.m.
2019 MLS Cup Playoffs: LAFC vs. LA Galaxy (Oct. 24, 2019)

Last season’s ‘El Trafico’ game delivered the most-watched MLS Cup Playoff match on ESPN and ESPN Deportes combined. Carlos Vela and LAFC scored a 5-3 victory, their first win in three matches over Zlatan Ibrahimovic and LA Galaxy.