There will be three broadcasts of Saturday’s Union game at CF Montréal

There will be three broadcasts of Saturday’s Union game at CF Montréal

If you’re going to pay for a subscription streaming package, you should get value for the money. That goes for Apple’s MLS Season Pass as much as any other platform out there.

With Apple’s package, it’s good that you get lots of other feature content beside live games, but the games matter most. So it’s been good to see the high production value, from the picture quality to graphics that aren’t too intrusive.

Click here for details on how MLS Season Pass works and how to sign up for it.

Another aspect of the broadcasts hasn’t gotten as much attention: the ability to easily watch in multiple languages. Instead of digging through TV channels or trying to find the SAP function on your TV remote, Apple gives you a clear choice on its game pages to watch in English or Spanish — or French when a Canadian team is involved.

This weekend is a good time for Union fans to try that, since the team is playing CF Montréal. You don’t have to be fluent in another language to give it a chance and enjoy hearing the passion of the sport in a different way, while the picture stays the same.

Calling the game in Spanish will be play-by-play announcer Moisés Linares, a sports anchor with D.C.’s Telemundo affiliate and former D.C. United local broadcaster; and analyst Jaime Macías, formerly of beIN Sports.

» READ MORE: Damion Lowe led the Union at both ends of the field in the win over Alianza

“I know that there’s still a section of the fans that are probably not so used to using technology, using the streaming platforms that are now available,” Linares told The Inquirer. “I’m talking about the older generation — probably my mom, my dad, my uncles — who didn’t grow up using cell phones to get their news, to watch their games. They’re used to just sitting down in front of a TV.”

But they’re learning, he said. Linares’ sisters taught their mother, who emigrated from El Salvador to Los Angeles, how to watch games on Apple’s platform. And because they’re out west, this is the first year they’ve been able to watch his broadcasts. When ESPN+ had the out-of-market streaming rights in the past, just one of of each game’s local broadcasts was available.

“She’s never had the opportunity to to see a complete game of mine, and just sit and listen to me,” Linares said. “The fact that it’s just a click away, and the option of choosing English or Spanish, I think that’s become a fundamental part of what Apple is trying to do, of where sports is going in the future.”

It’s just as true in French, which is widely spoken in the rest of the soccer world – especially in Europe and Africa. Play-by-play broadcaster Frédéric Lord has seen that firsthand in his career with Apple and previously Canada’s TVA Sports and RDS. He’ll call Saturday’s game with his longtime colleague at TVA, Vincent Destouches.

“Dénis Bouanga scored a hat trick in the Champions League [last week] and two goals last weekend for LAFC,” Lord said. “Remi Walter is having two great seasons with SKC. There’s a big market with Francophones all around the world.”

» READ MORE: Union roll to 4-0 Champions League win over Alianza, advance to quarterfinals

Another of MLS’s top French-speaking players, the Union’s Olivier Mbaizo, will be in Montreal this weekend. They know about him up there, and they know a lot about the Union overall.

“If I had a dollar for every time Philadelphia is cited as an example in Montreal, I would be rich,” Lord said. “I love Andrés Perea’s acquisition, I think he’s going to fit right in with the Union’s style of play … [Joaquín] Torres is going to fit in, and he’s a guy who’s full of confidence — and that’s exactly what you saw on the goal [against Chicago].”

Lord also noted that because Apple’s broadcasters travel to every game, there are opportunities to trade ideas and build relationships off camera. He noted that he’s gotten to know former Union TV analyst Danny Higginbotham this year because they’ve done two of the same games.

“Every time he’s super-generous,” Lord said. “It’s not like because you’re on the French broadcast, you can’t talk with the English broadcast. We can bring each other something, and if you have ideas, go for it. There’s a collegiate way of approaching the game that’s really enriching for me in my craft.”

Calling the game in English will be Blake Price and Greg Sutton, veterans of MLS broadcasts on Canada’s TSN. They’re the only one of Apple’s English commentary crews that’s based in Canada full-time. Price does the play-by-play, and Sutton does the analysis.

Sutton was a goalkeeper with Canada’s national team and clubs including the Chicago Fire, the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls), Toronto FC, and the Montréal Impact (now CF Montréal).

» READ MORE: Andrés Perea shows the Union’s depth and street smarts in the Champions League

Saturday’s free games on Apple

Apple and MLS are offering six games free each week this year, with each team in the league expected to average 14 free games over the season.

This Saturday’s free games are Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles FC (4 p.m.), Toronto FC vs. Inter Miami (7:30 p.m.), FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City (8:30 p.m.), Houston Dynamo vs. Austin FC (8:30 p.m.), Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United (9:30 p.m.), and Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (10:30 p.m.).

Seattle-LAFC is the weekend’s TV game, airing on Fox29 and Fox Deportes.

The Union’s next free game on Apple is on March 25, a home game against Orlando City. Their next game on traditional TV should be their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal home game against Mexico’s Atlas on April 11 or 12.

» READ MORE: How to watch Union games in the new Apple MLS Season Pass streaming package

Saturday’s MLS announcer schedule

Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles FC, 4 p.m.: Nate Bukaty and Tony Mole on Fox29 in English; Jake Zivin and Taylor Twellman on Apple in English; John Laguna, Mariano Trujillo and Claudio Suárez on Fox Deportes in Spanish; Jorge Perez-Navarro and Marcelo Balboa on Apple in Spanish

Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m.: Kevin Egan and Kyndra de St. Aubin in English; Pablo Ramírez and Carlos Ruiz in Spanish

CF Montréal vs. Union, 7:30 p.m.: Blake Price and Greg Sutton in English; Moisés Linares and Jaime Macías in Spanish; Frédéric Lord and Vincent Destouches in Spanish

New England Revolution vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.: Chris Wittyngham and Lori Lindsey in English; Bruno Vain and Andrés Agulla in Spanish;

New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.: Steve Cangialosi and Danny Higginbotham in English; Diego Pessolano and Luis Gerardo Bucci in Spanish

New York City FC vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.: Callum Williams and Calen Carr in English; Juan Arango and Carlos Suárez in Spanish

Orlando City vs. Charlotte SC, 7:30 p.m.: Andres Cordero and Jamie Watson in English; Ramses Sandoval and Walter Roque in Spanish

Toronto FC vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m.: Tony Husband and Ross Smith in English; Jose Hernandez and Pablo Mariño in Spanish; Olivier Brett and Patrice Bernier in Spanish

Chicago Fire vs. FC Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.: Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr in English; Francisco X. Rivera and Diego Arrioja in Spanish

FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.: Mark Rogondino and Heath Pearce in English; Raúl Guzmán and Sonny Guadarrama in Spanish

Houston Dynamo vs. Austin FC, 8:30 p.m.: Keith Costigan and Maurice Edu in English; Adrian Garcia Márquez and Francisco Pinto in Spanish

St. Louis City SC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8:30 p.m.: Eric Krakauer and Lloyd Sam in English; Sergio Ruiz and Miguel Gallardo in Spanish

Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United, 9:30 p.m.: Max Bretos and Brian Dunseth in English; Oscar Salazar and Maximiliano Cordaro in Spanish

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 10:30 p.m.: Mark Followill and Danielle Slaton in English; Rodolfo Landeros and Martín Zuñiga in Spanish; Matt Cullen and Sébastien Le Toux in French

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