ESPN sideline reporter will return to former home to serve as play-by-play man on MLS, WPS and other broadcasts.Fox Soccer Channel is expected to announce the return of Allen Hopkins to the channel in the coming days, according to a league source familiar with the deal.
Hopkins is expected to serve as a play-by-play voice as part of FSC's revamped MLS package upon his return to the network after a five-year spell at ESPN. In addition to his MLS duties, Hopkins will also likely call matches involving WPS and other properties as part of his new deal with the channel.
By clinching Hopkins' return to the network, FSC has added a third member of ESPN's MLS crew from last season to its MLS coverage this season.
Veteran play-by-play man JP Dellacamera has signed a one-year deal with FSC to serve as the primary play-by-play voice for the network's Friday night matches, according to several published reports. Kyle Martino is also expected to contribute to FSC's MLS coverage this season after he departed from his part-time role with ESPN last August to host the since-canceled Soccer Talk Live.
The reshuffle will also see ESPN's crew significantly revamped for 2011. Former New England announcer Adrian Healey will assume primary play-by-play duties with John Harkes set to return as the color analyst. Max Bretos and Ian Darke will also contribute as play-by-play men, while Bretos will also join Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman in studio. Rob Stone will also serve as a studio host and reporter on the coverage.
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