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How much worse can Univision’s Friday night MLS SAP get?

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If you want to travel back in time to experience how awful Dave O’Brien’s commentary was during ESPN’s 2006 World Cup, just switch on the English SAP option for any MLS game televised on UniMas every Friday night. You’ll soon get an idea of how bad it was.

Although it’s hard to believe given how horrible baseball announcer O’Brien was doing soccer, Univision’s commentary duo of Ramses Sandoval and Paul Caligiuri are actually even worse than the man who kept calling Golden Balls “Michael Beckham” during an England 2006 game. And that’s saying a lot.

It’s one thing to bring a Latin flavor to English commentary, but it’s another thing entirely when you don’t know whether to shake your head in disbelief or erupt in laughter when you hear the words coming out of their mouths.

Plus, you know the commentary is bad when it has its own Twitter hashtag (#MLSSAP).

Some of the recent commentary gaffes from Sandoval and Caligiuri have included:

1. Mixing up Mix Diskerud. You’d think it wouldn’t be that tough to pronounce the New York City FC midfielder’s name correctly, but the Univision duo managed to butcher it by calling him “Dix Miskrut.”

2. White bullets and green rectangles. Sandoval has a tendency to describe shots as “white bullets” and the field as a “green rectangle.” Welcome to Planet Sandoval.

3. Say what? Sometimes the duo of Sandoval and Caligiuri will say things that make you scratch your head. Two recent examples are “The Fire control with the tiki taka. The here, the there. The up and down,” and “In Trinidad they breed these skillful players like Jones.”

4. Calling Orlando City’s stadium “the Orange Citrus Bowl.” The correct name is the Citrus Bowl. There once was an Orange Bowl stadium in Miami, but that was demolished in 2008.

The list goes on and on.

Thankfully, there are alternatives such as a new website called Rabble.tv. Rabble is a brand-new kind of television experience where you’re in charge of the audio. So for the next MLS game on Univision, you can mute the TV, head over to Rabble.tv and then listen to a real fan’s broadcast instead of the announcers on TV. Best of all, it’s free.

Plus with Rabble, if you want to announce a game yourself, it’s really easy to create your own broadcast. All you need is a computer, a mic and a passion for the sport.

The other option is to go to your local bar, hope that they have the Univision game on and then watch the broadcast through the noise and haze of the Friday night bar crowd. Although is that really an option?

If you’ve had enough of the unlistenable Univision MLS broadcasts, head on over to Rabble.tv to check their schedule of upcoming broadcasts, or create one of your own. You can’t do any worse than Univision!

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Eddie

    December 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Is it bad idea to sap on tv ?

  2. Cesar Hernandez

    December 16, 2017 at 3:28 am

    In all fairness to Ramses Sandoval he was discovered at an open casting in L.A. He also attended the University Of Phoenix. You get what you pay for. Lol

    • Viene Viene Goooooooool

      December 16, 2017 at 4:42 am

      Ramses Sandoval copied his English-language “Yes!” goal call from Lisa Byington of Big Ten Network/FOX Sports.

      (In fairness, Byington is quite good at her job. She is smart enough to discontinue the “yes” call after viewers figured out that she was copying basketball announcer Marv Albert.)

      That’s all you need to know about Sandoval, who continues to drop in the Latin long goooool call without using the helper words to flow into the gooool call.

      There is an ART to doing the Latin goooool call property. The good ones know how to use words that flow into the Latin gooooool call. The novices such as Sandoval haven’t figured that out yet.

  3. Marcus Antonius

    July 3, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    It’s not that bad. I am okay with it. You just like to complain,

  4. adam

    July 3, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I love the guy that does mls english announcing on UDN. Guy cracks me the hell up. Wouldnt want him announcing every game but i like the change a couple games a week… His best was when he called Gooooal before shot was taken and then was like “I CALLD GOOAL CAUSE I KNEW IT WAS GOING IIIIIIIIIN”!!!! lol

  5. Marc

    May 20, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    The commentary is terrible. Caliguiri’s monotone is terrible. He sounds like a typical baseball dad trying to describe/coach a soccer team….
    You get what you pay for I guess.

  6. Jack

    May 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Personally, I think it’s so bad, that it’s good. I secretly hope they don’t fix it because I find it pretty entertaining the way it is.

  7. Paul Wasserman

    May 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    First…. is the author *sure* it was “the duo” that made those gaffes?? I’m pretty sure that was all Ramses and not Cali. Please double-check that as it would be unfair to lump them together.

    Secondly, I’m with Roger. Caligiuri’s commentary is insightful and spot on. I, for one, could listen to him talk all day about soccer. He CLEARLY loves the sport and knows what he is talking about.

  8. Roger Stevens

    May 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Completely disagree… ESPECIALLY about Caligiuri’s commentary. It is clear that Paul knows exactly what he is talking about. Any flippin’ moron can just repeat what we are all seeing with our own eyes (who was Captain Obvious in the booth with Sandoval and Caligiuri last week?!?). Paul, however, gives insight that only a guy of his caliber who has played and coached for so many years at some of the highest levels can bring. I’m sure I could TiVo and isolate goofs and gaffes from ANY pro broadcast, let alone one that is just starting out. However, if you can’t see or appreciate the nuances that a guy like Caligiuri has been bringing to the table, I don’t know what to tell you. Do they get over-exuberant at times? Sure. (Especially Ramses IMHO. Dude! Know your target audience and lay off the caffeine prior to gametime….) If I had to pick between Lalas, who has been doing this for years, and Caligiuri whose love of the game comes through loud and clear in his commentary, I’d pick the latter any day.

  9. 2cents

    May 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Well I have cablevision so the SAP doesn’t even work.

    • Christopher Harris

      May 14, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      2cents, consider it a blessing in disguise!

    • CTBlues

      May 14, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      I don’t get Unimas on Cablevision because of where I live. If I lived one town over I would be in Fairfield county which has Unimas.

  10. CTBlues

    May 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    “Wall pass” had me scratching my head they are playing on a field not indoor.

    • NaBUru38

      May 14, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      It’s a Spanish term for a double pass between t2o players.

      • TaMere

        May 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        We used the phrase all the time on my youth teams in the 90s.

  11. Bo

    May 14, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I could never do a match and commentate on my Spurs. I’d go from happy to anger to depression about every 5 mins. 😀

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