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Gus Johnson To Commentate UEFA Champions League Game On April Fools’ Day

gus johnson Gus Johnson To Commentate UEFA Champions League Game On April Fools Day

Gus Johnson, “one of the best soccer commentators in the world” according to a FOX Sports pundit, is scheduled to make his return to the soccer airwaves on April 1 to announce the UEFA Champions League game between Bayern Munich and Manchester United. And no, it’s not an April Fools’ Day joke.

It’s been over 8 months since Johnson has announced a soccer game on television, but FOX Sports will once again throw him in the deep end despite his very limited experience, this time for the high-profile UEFA Champions League quarter-final between Bayern and United, which will be shown live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:45pm ET on Tuesday.

Johnson will be joined by Eric Wynalda, who will co-commenate alongside announcer Johnson at Old Trafford.

Rob Stone will host the pregame, halftime and postgame coverage with pundits Warren Barton and Brian McBride. On Tuesday’s show, Mikael Silvestre will be in the studio, while Mario Melchiot will be in the studio on Wednesday.

What’s everyone’s reaction to the news? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

72 Responses to Gus Johnson To Commentate UEFA Champions League Game On April Fools’ Day

  1. Mo says:

    I’m waiting for the punchline

  2. Rick says:

    Fox does not take soccer seriously. Learn from ESPN and NBC- both doing an excellent job. How can you have an announcer not call a soccer game for 8 months and then assign him a massive game- dumb and dumber.

  3. Grayson says:

    Wow, what a dream team of atrocious commentating! At last, we have Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda together. I can take Wynalda in small doses, but often he makes me cringe and I want the other analysts to start talking, there will be no reprieve with Johnson in the booth with him. Mute button it is.

    • R.O says:

      Gus’s past soccer announcing experience (before Fox) was for the San Jose Earthquakes (poor then too). Fox has bling studio but a armature league when it comes to delivering studio and game commentary. I’m not looking forward to when they get Bundesliga. Wish ESPN would have gotten Bundesliga rights for the USA.

      Wynalda has an excellent eye for finding talent and knows the game, understands tactics, and spots game play problems (superior to Twellman and/or Lalas), he’s just good at TV play by play or color commentator.

      He can definitely rub people the wrong way. He’s knows and understand the game, just doesn’t communicate well for the TV watcher.

      • R.O says:

        opps – finger typing issue – lol. That should have read “he’s just NOT good at TV play by play or …..”

        ;-)

  4. Cantona says:

    Fitting day for this “FOOL” to return.

    Twitter is already blowing up…

    I’m sure he has been studying hard for 8momtjs since his last football match.

    Even he so called “Gus Johnson” fans know he is a terrible footy announcer.

    Fox are idiots

    Cantona—

  5. Frill Artist says:

    Lol. This has to be a joke.

  6. San Fransiscan says:

    Really??!!! I mean not only we will get battered by Bayern but I have to listen to those two douchebags.

    Hopefully they will have other commentators on foxsoccer2go.

  7. mark says:

    Sorry to say I will be watching the game but through some other avenue. The game is not the same with Gus. Sorry, Gus. No disrespect.

  8. Bo says:

    At least he’ll relate to Manchester United. They’re both terrible. :D

  9. Mufc77 says:

    I guess the commentary disaster will at least be entertaining because the game sure as well won’t be.

  10. Mufc77 says:

    Thankfully juan Mada is cup tied.

  11. FootiePhantom says:

    The rest of fox EPL crew are 100x worse than any commenting error or flub Gus could make. I’ll take his enthuisasm over any of the stupidity from martino and twellman. Fox guys said on air Arsenal would allow 4 or more goals against Bayern in the second leg, that was stupid like 90% of the other biased s**t they say.

  12. the ZMAN says:

    Gus is awesome. Stop hating. Haters are worthless to the world.

    • scott says:

      Your kidding right.

    • Velija says:

      Why is it these days that any sort of criticism at how bad something is, is taken as hate. Hes a terrible commentator and the demographic he is commentating for thinks hes terrible. That is not hating to be a hater, its hating because its something you simply dislike because it is bad and there are better options. Do you eat food you hate and not say anything or do anything to not be a “hater”…NO you eat something else.

      • yespage says:

        It crosses into the line of hate when people just won’t drop it.

        • Nelson says:

          I dropped it for 8 months but Fox Soccer decided to make it an issue again.

          Also, the analogy of hating a particular food is not accurate. That would assume that “hating” Gus is an opinion. It’s more like disliking dirt on a sandwich. It’s not “hate” it’s just not intended for human consumption.

    • San Fransiscan says:

      Is that you Warren Barton?

  13. scott says:

    Vote with your remote, refuse to into when this fool is announcing and maybe fox will get the message.

  14. goatslookshifty says:

    How about providing a link to FoxSports so the good people at WST can bombard them with pleasantries?

    • Christopher Harris says:

      They read World Soccer Talk, so the feedback will be heard.

      • San Fransiscan says:

        I don’t think so, didn’t help last year.

        • Christopher Harris says:

          They’re listening, but they’re refusing to do anything about it. They’ve signed Gus Johnson to a mega contract and I’m sure there’s a hefty termination clause in there, so FOX and Gus don’t care what we think.

          • He's Livid says:

            Nothing to do with any term clause in his contract. They LIKE Gus and are determined to develope him as a first team soccer commentator.

  15. Flyvanescence says:

    Well since ill likely be at work, ill have to watch the comedy show on replay, where likely the sky commentators will be on the foxsoccer2go stream.

  16. Cantona says:

    Breaking News!
    The Alternate Sports Streaming Media Association has just named Fox Sports 1′s GUS JOHNSON their Man of the Year! “Volumes are tremendous! Thanks Gus!”

    Cantona—

  17. Guy says:

    Well, I need to watch, but I don’t have to listen. The first idiotic comment will activate the mute. I doubt it will take long.

    • Mufc77 says:

      So you’re hitting mute right after David Moyes suggest we can win the champions league in his pre game interview.

      • Guy says:

        +1…It’s great you still have a sense of humor!

        • Mufc77 says:

          If I thought it was going to be a long term fall from grace I’d be miserable.I’m confident we will be back in contention next season but until then all I can do is laugh at our current comical situation.

  18. Smokey Bacon says:

    Pairing this idiot with Wynalda really is taking the p*ss! It’s like Fox doesn’t care anymore. The only way they could top this would be to have a big F*** YOU running across that banner at the bottom of the screen.

    I will not watch these clowns.

  19. Frank says:

    I think Fox is definitely playing an April Fool’s prank. Or, God help us!

  20. Alex Riley says:

    It’s Fox, what do you expect. I demand Joe Buck for the Champions League!! hahah at least the game will be worthless anyway

  21. Ramon says:

    It’s like FOX is trying to make this as miserable as possible for soccer fans.

    I was really looking forward to this game but now I’m not even gonna watch it on FOX. Will just find some foreign stream.

  22. Chris says:

    Oh please be an April fools joke. Who the heck is going to commentate for them in the world cups. This Johnson experiment needs to end. I honestly don’t mind any soccer commentators. Until this guy, he had to be so bad that even I who don’t care much for them am disgusted by Fox not even caring for soccer fans to have this idiot commentate the sport we love.

  23. Burnsey says:

    This is terrible news. I am really looking forward to the first leg, but can’t tolerate Gus in any shape….he ruins the game. Turning the volume off really distracts form the atmosphere. I know this has been mentioned before. How can I get commentary from another source that syncs with the game?

  24. Cantona says:

    Itv in the UK are showing the match… Those who can watch it live have “means” to do so….

    It’s not that difficult…

    I will watch the Fox broadcast later for sh!ts and giggles,but won’t let this plonker ruin the live match.

    Fox=No Credibility – joke

    Cantona—

  25. cnl. onions says:

    Will be a trainwreck of epic proportions on two fronts.

    Maybe he has been watching more over the past year, though?

  26. Bobby M says:

    Watch it in a bar, the sound is off and you will enjoy the drink more. If you are a United fan however start drinking early.

  27. arsenalmike says:

    Cant wait to hear him yelling 20 times in the game “IN THE 6″

  28. arsenalmike says:

    Gaffer do you know anything about whats going to happen with fox soccer plus at the end of the year? will they be renewing Spl rights?

  29. Jeff says:

    Fox, it’s not even April Fools Day yet but you’ve already delivered a punchline galore: Gus Johnson commentating on the team who coach and some players have made a joke this season on April Fools Day!

    But in all seriousness, this is going to be the lead commentator for World Cups starting next year with the Women’s WC. Welcome to the World Cup on FOX people and get some beers ready, this is going to be a rocky ride…

  30. CTBlues says:

    I wonder if we used reverse psychology on FoxSports they would get ride of the people they use now for people that actually know what they are talking about.

  31. Scrumper says:

    Two things are certain: Man Utd will get thrashed and the commentary will be hilarious.

    Gus in one of his stupid hats and Wynalda looking his normal confused self.

  32. Faithless says:

    Eric Shanks is doubling down with Johnson.. He is alienating even more people with the polarizing choice of Eric Wynalda as co-commentator. They continue to think this stunt will get mainstream eyes to soccer. It won’t.

    Gus is now even seen by the mainstream as a bad soccer announcer..

    Hopefully this debacle will cost Shanks his job at some point and they get someone in who treats the sport with respect and not treat it like a televised high school district game

  33. Fulhamish says:

    A Chelsea fan eh? That figures.

    I kid, I kid…

  34. John says:

    Ruins the match for me!!
    Terrible decision to allow them to do it!!
    Will probably watch with the sound down!!

  35. Martin J. says:

    When Gus is commentating on Fox I switch to Fox Deportes. This time Fox Deportes, and Fox Sports 2, is showing the Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid game which is a better game anyway. So I’ll watch the Barcelona game on Fox Deportes. Fox Deportes will show the United vs Bayern game at 5pm.

  36. CH says:

    I love Gus Johnson as a commentator, though at this point he is not a good soccer announcer. Hes not as terrible as you guy say and at least he has his own style. Theres nothing worse than Americans who try to emulate the british style that annoys the hell out of me ie john strong. Now does he have to get better,yes! He was not good last year in the Barca Milan(i think) game where he constantly mispronounced names. But guys anybody whose done anything knows you must keep practicing at anything to get better. The goal is for him to be ready for the 2018 cup not the champions league.

    • goatslookshifty says:

      There is a certain understanding of the game he just does not have. He screams when a routine ball is crossed in the box! He just doesn’t recognize the nuances of football because they are much more sublime than basketball, which I’m guessing is his #1 sport. Like I’ve said before, let Martin Tyler commentate the Superbowl and everyone would see why we’re furious.

      • CH says:

        Again the goal is the 2018 cup not the champions league. If martin tyler commentated on several big regular season games with the goal of being the lead for super bowl 50 in a couple of years i would understand and im sure he would ultimately get better.

        • Cantona says:

          I guess you really undervalue the Champions League compared to the World Cup. This is best skilled competition in the world… To use this as a training ground with an inferior announcer goes to show you Fox knows nothing about the soccer properties it owns and the lack of respect to soccer fans

          Cantona—

          • Jeff says:

            That’s the point, if Gus was commentating say the Skrill Premiership (the 5th division of english soccer) or even some Football League games – I wouldn’t have much of a problem since commentators work they way from the bottom up. Lower division games would allow FOX to see whether Gus would work as a soccer commentator in games where there isn’t the pressure or hype.

            The fact that FOX has and will throw Gus into the deep-end of the Champions League with less then impressive results is why there’s the criticism.

    • Balboa77 says:

      Gus needs to stick to college basketball. I can’t risk muting the commentary on two sports.

  37. Cantona says:

    He is that bad..

    How can you commentate on a sport when you don’t even know the rules?

    I bet I can count on one hand how many games he has actually sat and watched.

    You wouldn’t use the NBA playoffs as a commentating training course would you? So why is Fox doing it?

    Fox is a joke to soccer fans

    Cantona—

  38. SoF says:

    terrible…either sound off or will find another source. In fact, I would rather “twitter-watch” than listen to GJ

  39. David says:

    I hope Gus Johnson isn’t the commentator for the Champions League Final.

  40. Brian says:

    One of the joys of listening to commentators from the other side of the pond is that they have not only more experience in commentating on soccer but they are also more knowledgeable about the history of the sport and the teams involved.

    A couple of weeks ago while watching a Southampton game the commentator spoke about how this team reminded him of the 1976 team with Peter Osgood and Peter Rodrigues. This is the type of information that elevates the commentating and takes one back in time (if you’re old enough). Even though I’m not a Saints fan I do remember that 1976 team that won the FA Cup.

    Putting someone behind the mike that has a commanding voice does nothing to elevate the viewing experience if that person does not have knowledge of the sport to go with it.

  41. RW says:

    NBC has taught us a very good lesson this year. That lesson was how woeful, cheap, poor, boorish, vapid the Fox coverage has been for years. God help us when they have the World Cup hosted by Curt Menefee, Barton and Gus….

    • R.O says:

      Yup and I’ll be doing what I did when ESPN/ABC had poor World Cup announcing back in the 80′s 90′s and early 2000′s , watching the games on Univision. Of course Univision isn’t the same without Andres Cantor, but still better than Fox.

    • rkujay says:

      Curt was hosting the Champions League final two years ago, I believe. He was lost, but decided to offer a comparison of the match to the ’86 Giants of throwball. The ensuing silence was both deafening and laughable. One can only hope for more banal inane moments from fox.

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