3 Reasons American Soccer Fans Should Watch the World Cup On Univision

As an American who was raised speaking English, some may question me when I say that Univision is far superior viewing for the World Cup. My primary rationale lies in the announcers for each game. While Ian Darke calling US and England games has become a staple, I cannot continue to bore myself with the remaining English speaking announcers ESPN has insisted upon for the other games. I’m a Seattle Sounders fan and having Kasey Keller as the color commentator just puts me to sleep. Therefore, I felt it would be appropriate to express the reasons why Spanish announcers are far better for the viewer than English announcers.

Here are my three reasons:

1. Lack of dead time

When you watch ESPN, how many times during the game do commentators feel it necessary to take a tangent and discuss some player’s personal life or reminisce on the past greats of one of the country’s playing? Or worse, they take time to compare the teams to the US Men’s National Team! Spanish commentators could care less about connecting to the teams to Mexico unless it is in their group. Additionally, the play-by-play commentators remind me of watching hockey on NBC when Mike Emrick is announcing. The speed and accuracy is tremendous.

2. Excitement

This is, perhaps, the biggest reason why I find myself so attracted to Spanish announcers. Just go back to Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria in the previous World Cup. Everyone who watched is familiar with Ian Darke’s classic call:

However, here’s just one example of the type of excitement you can hear with Spanish-language commentators on Univision:

Once I heard Spanish-language commentators, I was hooked on the energy and enthusiasm. Simply put, it is difficult to compete with the excitement of hearing someone simply yell “Goooooooooooooooooooool!” for almost 30 seconds uninterrupted.

3. Learning or brushing up on another language

Let’s face it, being someone who only speaks a single language in such a globalized world is becoming more difficult. That does not mean it is impossible, but how many of you wish that when you see beautiful people from a different county, you knew more than “Hola!” In case that is all you know, try saying “Como se llama?” next time. That means “What is your name?” or “How do you call yourself?” After all, initiating the conversation is half the battle – according to Adam Sandler in Big Daddy.

For myself, I watch to try and follow as much as I can. I was fairly fluent a few years ago, but living in the middle of the country where no one spoke Spanish took away a large portion of my memory and understanding. Thus, watching fútbol enables me to enjoy the game while also expand my knowledge. Also, it brings a little joy every time I’m able to follow the entire sentence – even though it was spoken far faster than I can process.


Also, Spanish announcers rarely care who is playing. Tim Cahill scored a wondergoal against the Netherlands. Neither team is Spanish-speaking. And yet, Cahill’s goal sent announcers into a frenzy of yelling “Goooollllaaaasssoooo!” (That’s the Spanish equivalent to saying wondergoal). The joy in calling the game and the excitement of a goal is not missed when watching Univision. Similarly, the build up to chances also gets Spanish announcers excited. It is not just the goals. It is also the play that drives their vocal inflections. They are just excited to call the game.

So, when you find yourself at work preparing to turn on your iPad, tablet, computer, etc. to watch some of the World Cup while the boss is not paying attention, try downloading the Univision Deportes app or going to the Univision website to “Ver en vivo” (watch live) and compare for yourself.

25 thoughts on “3 Reasons American Soccer Fans Should Watch the World Cup On Univision”

    1. What are you talking about? I use to only watch Univision up until 2010 WC when ESPN employed better announcers.

      I take issue with you saying that I Hate anything Latin-American. You don’t know what the HELL you are talking about.

      Before making a statement and saying someone “HATES” something – you better know what you’re talking about.

      You don’t even know me or my likes – Jerk!

        1. Balboa77 I have not spread any hate message, FreddyFreak said I hate anything Latin American.

          I don’t and have never said or posted I do.

          FreddyFreak is spreading the word Hate.

  1. The coverage by ESPN has been fantastic. I agree with you on Keller but you’ve made points on why FOX hired Gus Johnson.

  2. Great point. And with all that say, I still turn down the volume on the TV and I am listening to either Colombian, Argentinian or Spanish commentators who are by far better. Univision did a great job with their announcers this time, and the commentators are very good. However, listening to the game in a language that you do not understand does not make sense. Try to get a british announcer on the BBC they are also very good, but there is a 15 to 30 second delay

    1. You can synchronize the BBC audio with the ESPN video, provided the audio has a delay. You can pause the video till the audio catches up and then start watching from there. That’s what I do when I cannot stand the announcers for a game.

  3. I do miss Andres Cantor at Univision. He moved to Telemundo and they never had Spanish TV rights to WC. When he worked with his long time broadcaster partner Noberto Longo great team.

    I have the tape (VHS) of Cantor’s goal call from 1994 WC of Wynalda’s free kick goal vs the Swiss – Fantastic.

    You Tube has Cantor’s call of Landon’s goal vs Algeria from 2010 WC. Cantor was doing the radio broadcast.

    Adam good article.

  4. I think the title should say “Reasons American Soccer Fans Should Watch the World Cup On Univision in 2018 and 2022.” 😀

  5. I’ve been watching futbol on Univision since France ’98 and they have historically done a superior job compared to ESPN though ESPN had noticeably improved over the last three World Cups.

    It is unfortunate that the WC will go to FOX and Telemundo starting next year. The Network HD feed of Telemundo isn’t on DirecTV nor U-verse.

  6. not a fan of latin american announcers penchant for shouting “Gooooooooooooool”. i hope other american announcers avoid immitating them.

    1. Agreed, there is no such thing as a classic call like Ian’s on Donavan’s goal against Algeria when it is the same word for every goooooooooooooooooooooooool.

  7. Sorry.. But this article would be fine if it was comparing the commentators to Fox, bit your argument against ESPN does not hold water at all… There is no “dead time”… The commentators here have been top notch and I would argue that ESPN have the best stable of commentators in the world working this World Cup, even better than their UK counterparts…

    Now in 2018 this argument will be VERY valid.. We all will be watching Univision instead of Fox’s screaming amateur

  8. As a Latino and Spanish speaker I heat Univision’s coverage, they only have a few good commentators (Tapia, Balado and Navarro)for postgame would rather watch ESPN or ESPNdEportes, since the last worldcup I watched ESPN, my worry is fox’s coverage,pretty sure that Telemundo’s coverage will be as bad as Univision’s.

  9. I am used to Spanish speaking commentators because I grew up in South America, however I really dislike the way Univision’s commentators do their job, they are very biased to the point of ignorance… they keep praising Mexican and Central Americans teams, even when the South American team is doing a great job… it is really annoying, I have to watch games with low volume. The only reason English speakers should watch Univision’s coverage if they do not like Espn, is because it would be easier to only focus on watching the game and not listening to those commentators…

  10. The English version of Donovan’s goal was far more hype than the Univision coverage. This article strikes me as some unnecessary Mexican apologetics. **** CENSORED DUE TO RACISM ****

  11. On the final day of the Premier League, I watched Telemundo for the championship match itself and NBC for the pregame, halftime, and postgame. Andres Cantor was on the call for Telemundo.

    Soccer is meant to be watched in Spanish. The Brits who call the game are boring.

  12. I have watched two games now with Fernando Palomo & Alejandro Moreno.. I could hardly understand one word.. If we want soccer here get American commentators

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