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Facebook to stream Major League Soccer matches this season

The social network will stream at least 22 of Univision's MLS games in English.

Soccer fans can soon see Chicago Fire striker David Accam (left) and other Major League Soccer stars play on Facebook. The social network will stream 22 MLS games during the 2017 season.
Getty Images

US soccer fans will soon be able to get their kicks from stars Kaká, Clint Dempsey and David Villa live on Facebook.

The social network said Friday that it will be partnering with Univision to stream at least 22 Major League Soccer matches this season. The games will be shown in English on Univision Deportes' Facebook page.

The first match be the Chicago Fire taking on MLS expansion club Atlanta United on March 18. Besides the play on the pitch, MLS will also be airing more than 40 "Matchday Live" pregame shows on the league's Facebook page.

While the MLS and Univision streaming deal is Facebook's most high-profile sports broadcasting partnership to date, showing live soccer on the social network is nothing new. Facebook also has a similar deal with Univision to stream 46 matches from popular Mexican soccer league Liga MX.

The proverbial goal for Facebook, Univision and the MLS: reach fans through their mobile devices.

"So even if they're not at the stadium, people can watch the game on Facebook with a great view of the action while interacting with a highly engaged community of fans," Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships, said in a statement.

With nearly 2 billion users, Facebook is trying to become a big-time player when it comes to social networks streaming sporting events. Twitter has live-streamed the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and eSports, and it has a content deal with the National Basketball Association. Yahoo has previously streamed NFL and Major League Baseball games.

Apparently the MLS isn't the only "major" sports league on Facebook's radar. The platform is reportedly in deep discussions with Major League Baseball about streaming a game per week this upcoming season.

Both parties have declined to comment, but Opening Day is just three weeks away.