ORLANDO, Fla. (January 31, 2017) – Orlando City SC and WRDQ TV 27, part of the Cox Media Group Orlando TV group including WFTV 9 (ABC), announce the cast for the Lions’ 2017 Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign, the first season ever in the new downtown soccer stadium.
WRDQ TV 27 will broadcast the Lions’ non-nationally televised MLS regular season matches through its multi-year partnership with the Club. The 2017 schedule on TV 27 consists of extensive coverage of 20 live matches, including a 30-minute pregame show presented by SunPass, the Ford halftime show, and a 30-minute post-game show, as well as weekly installments of Orlando City Insider on WFTV 9 and WRDQ TV 27.
In 2016, WRDQ TV 27 had the top three most viewed Orlando City matches across all locally and nationally televised MLS matches in market.
“Our goal is to bring our product on the field to life,” Orlando City SC VP of Corporate Partnerships Rob Parker said. “This is a great year for the Club with the new stadium opening, and we are excited to see how the match day atmosphere translates on TV and enhances the broadcast.”
“We are proud to once again be the broadcast home for Orlando City Soccer Club on WDRQ TV 27 in 2017,” said Paul Curran, Vice-President and General Manager of WFTV and WRDQ. “With the team’s move into a brand new downtown stadium, WRDQ TV 27 will be there at every turn with the most comprehensive on-air and online coverage in the market. TV 27 will be home to exclusive access and inside information for their loyal fan base and anyone looking to learn more about the team up close and personal. Orlando City is transforming local sports in Central Florida and TV 27, along with WFTV Channel 9, will be there every step of the way in 2017.”
For a full schedule of matches this season, visit: www.OrlandoCitySC.com/schedule.
The 2017 Cast on TV 27 includes:
Mackenzie Thirkill, Co-Host
Mackenzie Thirkill is the new host of Orlando City on TV 27. She brings an insider look of all things Orlando City to the news desk joined by the Club’s panel of soccer experts. Host of Orlando City Today and The Show With No Name on OrlandoCitySC.com, Thirkill has also served as a commentator for Kick TV’s UEFA EURO programming and assisted with MLS All-Star and playoffs coverage in 2016. Mackenzie was a sideline reporter for Orlando City home games in 2016.
Tom Traxler, Co-host
Traxler is back for his sixth season with Orlando City. One of the most recognizable soccer personalities in Central Florida, Tom Traxler is also president of the Club’s official soccer specialty store partner, United World Soccer.
Jeff Radcliffe, Play-by-play Announcer
Radcliffe is the voice of Orlando City on TV and Radio since the Club’s inaugural season in 2011. Before becoming one of the most distinguishable voices of soccer in the state of Florida, the Virginia Tech graduate has worked as an Anchor, Sports Reporter for several organizations in his 21-year TV career. Radcliffe will also call the Orlando Pride, National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) matches in 2017.
Lewis Neal, Color Analyst
Orlando City legend Lewis Neal – who scored City’s first ever goal in 2011 – will enjoy his second season as a color analyst on TV 27 while captaining Orlando City B in the USL. A former Stoke City midfielder in England’s First Division, Neal has also played three MLS seasons for D.C. United before being reacquired by Orlando City in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft.
Paul Shaw, Color Analyst
Shaw has enjoyed a lengthy professional career in England that included six years with Arsenal FC in the Premier League before spending three seasons in Hungary as an attacking midfielder for the traditional Ferencváros TC. Paul Shaw currently serves as Orlando City’s Youth Soccer Director of Coaching.