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FOX needs to add Aly Wagner to World Cup 2018

Here at World Soccer Talk, we will continue to take the lead by identifying the new generation of candidates for soccer television commentary positions on major national television networks in the United States, with particular emphasis on English-language broadcasts.

In March 2013, we identified John Strong as the best home-grown English-language soccer play-by-play commentator and we voiced our opinion to FOX Sports President and COO Eric Shanks, who had assigned Gus Johnson to the number one soccer play-by-play position instead.

Shanks decided to end the Gus Johnson experiment in September 2014 and promoted Strong from freelancer to the #1 soccer play-by-play position in January 2015.

Since then, a new generation of aspiring American play-by-play broadcasters, both men and women, have used Strong as a template for calling soccer matches as they develop and hone their broadcasting skills.

Six weeks ago, we identified injured U.S. Men’s National Team and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Jermaine Jones as a potential candidate for a television studio pundit role at FOX Sports.

Jones made his debut as a guest studio pundit for FOX Sports during the Mexico vs United States World Cup qualifying matches at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on June 11.

World Soccer Talk will continue to track Jones’ progress as a television studio pundit as his playing career is expected to wind down after World Cup Russia 2018.

On Sunday June 18, FOX Sports Executive Producer of World Cup Soccer David Neal made a late substitution by replacing former U.S. Men’s National Team member Brad Friedel with former U.S. Women’s National Team member and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Wagner as co-commentator/match analyst to call the Cameroon versus Chile FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 match on FS2.

Wagner called the match with her usual FOX Sports women’s soccer broadcast partner JP DellaCamera from a sound booth at FOX Sports’ Pico Boulevard production facility in Los Angeles. The telecast was Wagner’s first experience calling a men’s international soccer match on a nationally-distributed U.S. television network.

Video clip from the Chile-Cameroon telecast on FS2:

Besides calling the Cameroon versus Chile match, Wagner has appeared on Confederations Cup Tonight shows on FS1 on evenings after matches, as well as the Confederations Cup Preview Show which first aired on the FOX Network on June 3. Her analysis of Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo as a “scientist” is one example of how she uses her people-reading skills to make an astute observation, which she was able to communicate and inform viewers.

Video of Wagner’s analysis of Cristiano Ronaldo:

Wagner’s rise as a soccer analyst on U.S. English-language television has been meteoric. Not only has she been promoted at FOX Sports from the #4 broadcast team during FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 to the #1 women’s soccer broadcast team since 2016, she was selected as the primary match analyst for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) weekly telecasts on Lifetime during the 2017 season. During the autumn, she calls women’s college soccer matches for PAC-12 Networks.

Wagner’s life away from the television booth may be even more impressive than her professional life, as she is able to manage time efficiently as a very busy working mother of 4 very young children, a set of triplet 4-year-old boys and an 18-month-old daughter.

Wagner’s former teammate at the U.S. Women’s National Team and Santa Clara University, Danielle Slaton, who works as a touchline reporter and field level analyst during San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer regional telecasts on NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California, uses the words “overachiever” and “incredible mom” to describe Wagner in an introduction video welcoming Wagner to the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Will FOX Sports offer Wagner additional opportunities to call men’s soccer matches during the 2017-2018 season, such as UEFA Europa League matches on FS1 and FS2 on Thursdays, which FOX Sports will use to evaluate announcers for possible assignments to call FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 matches a year from now?

If Wagner were able to earn an assignment to call FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 matches for FOX Sports, she will be able to cap off her remarkable ascent by becoming the first woman to call men’s World Cup matches on television in the U.S., regardless of language.

World Soccer Talk will continue to track Wagner’s progress during the next 12 months, as we wish her the very best.

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  1. Brendan

    June 28, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Agree . She was on today with Derrik Rae on the England v Belguim . I turned over to NBCSN which had it in Spainish . Much better

  2. val evans

    June 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Aly Wagners voice on 2018 FIFA is terrible she is very shrill and we had to turn off the sound for England against Tunisia. Surely they can find a female with a more appealing voice

  3. Oliver Tse

    September 15, 2017 at 10:09 am

    A link to the video of the entire Cal vs Santa Clara women’s soccer match from August 20, 2017, as called by Cal alumna Kate Scott and Santa Clara alumna Aly Wagner on PAC-12 Networks (National and Bay Area feeds):

    This was Kate Scott’s FIRST EVER soccer play-by-play assignment.

    Ms. Scott was the sideline reporter on San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) regional telecasts on the networks now known as NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California before she was replaced by former USWNT defender Danielle Slaton after the 2015 MLS season.

    Ms. Scott had made no secret that her first passion is American Football. She was the first female to call an National Football League (NFL) game on radio when she was hired by the San Francisco 49ers to call a pre-season game in 2015. She did play-by-play of the Arizona vs Northern Arizona American College Football game for PAC-12 Networks on September 2, 2017.

    Now that Ms. Scott has decided to switch from sideline reporting to jack-of-all-trades play-by-play, she had tweeted that she wants to call a FIFA 2026 Men’s World Cup match, presumably in the U.S. if FIFA were to accept the joint USA/Mexico/Canada bid. Even though that goal may ultimately be out of reach for her, an alternative goal Ms. Scott has a realistic chance of achieving is a play-by-play opportunity for FOX Sports during FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.

    I have only watched 10 minutes of Cal vs Santa Clara and I notice right away that Kate Scott was well prepared, she had put in the time to study the best English-language soccer announcers in the world (i.e. Jon Champion, Ian Darke, Derek Rae), and she had spent time practicing her play-by-play before she walked into the booth for her first assignment. She limited her verbiage and she picked the right time to deliver information to viewers, i.e. when the ball is being probed around midfield.

    The fact that Ms. Scott was paired with one of the best homegrown soccer match TV analysts in the U.S. regardless of gender in Aly Wagner certainly helped, as the two broadcasters can work as a team to share the workload effectively.

    At this point, I can safely predict that Kate Scott will be ready to call FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 matches for FOX Sports from a sound booth, if FOX Sports (i.e. David Neal) were to offer her the assignment.

    David Neal now has a dilemma, as he now has a potential pool of at least 5 play-by-play announcers who are capable of calling Women’s World Cup matches but only 4 spots for play-by-play announcers:

    1. John Paul “J.P.” DellaCamera, the “voice of the Women’s World Cup” in the U.S.
    2. John Strong, arguably the best homegrown American soccer pxp announcers of the new generation
    3. Jenn Hildreth, the voice of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) on Lifetime and the #2 pxp announcer for FOX Sports during FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. Another long-time sportscaster with over 20 years of experience who recently switched from reporting to jack-of-all-trades play-by-play of multiple sports.
    4. Lisa Byington, a Chicago-based jack-of-all-trades freelancer who is about to add American College Football play-by-play (Northwestern vs Bowling Green, Saturday September 16 7:30pm ET on to her extensive resume, which includes women’s college soccer and NWSL.
    5. Kate Scott.

    Whom does David Neal cut from this list?

    Could David Neal decide to leave off John Strong off the list of pxp announcers for FIFA Women’s World Cup so that Mr. Strong can concentrate on calling the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Major League Soccer (MLS) on FOX Sports?

    If I were in David Neal’s shoes, I may actually have to cut John Strong from the list, as tough as decision as that may be, so that there would be room for Jenn Hildreth, Lisa Byington, and Kate Scott to call FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 matches off monitor from FOX Sports in Los Angeles.

    (I am assuming that FOX Sports will send only 1 team of broadcasters to France to call FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, presumably JP Dellacamera, Aly Wagner, and a sideline reporter i.e. Jenny Taft, Katie Witham, or someone else. The viewership of matches NOT involving the U.S. will be too low to justify sending Teams 2, 3, and 4 to France.)

    Kate Scott is now firmly on my radar. She should be on David Neal’s radar as well.

  4. Oliver Tse

    August 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    An article from the Boston Globe on Tuesday deals with the subject of wardrobe for female TV talent:

    The living legend of U.S. sportcasting herself, Andrea Kremer, delivered yet another one liner that is classic “Andrea Kremer”:

    “Until we have women in the position to hire, you will get men who want to hire women they couldn’t get dates with in high school.”

    U.S. Spanish-language media is generally 5-10 years ahead of U.S. English-language media in the area of wardrobe.

    The Hispanic side got rid of “plexiglass desks” in 2014 and sleeves have come back into fashion for female talent. Just watch Contacto Deportivo on Univision each weeknight (midnight ET/PT, 11pm CT/MT) and see for yourself.

    English-language U.S. media still feature female talent looking like Saturday Night Live characters “Hans and Franz” played by comedians Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon.

    • Cantona

      August 17, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Oliver….. you are a PERVERT

      Plain and simple…


  5. Oliver Tse

    August 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    For Kate Scott, Lisa Byington, Jenn Hildreth, and all new readers who have found this article:

    If you are serious about calling soccer play-by-play, especially men’s soccer matches, please:

    1. Check all names before going on the air. is a very useful tool for 90% of names (compared to having to call embassies the way Derek Rae and Andres Cantor had to do). Mispronouncing names is NOT acceptable, as viewers will perceive you to be disrespectful and lazy.

    2. Minimize verbiage. The best ones all say as little as possible and let the picture do most of the talking, as TV is NOT “radio with pictures”. Jon Champion, Ian Darke, and Derek Rae call command top dollar and all 3 worked for ESPN in July (their work are archived at Pat Summerall is another one who said as little as possible to get the point across when he was calling NFL with John Madden for CBS and FOX.

    3. Practice, practice, and practice, so that your calls sound natural, not scripted (the way Gus Johnson sounded when he called soccer matches for FOX.) As Andres Cantor taught his son Nico: hone in and “own” the play-by-play.

    4. Pick up your pace and your volume as goal-scoring opportunities develop. John Strong is very good at this. So are the trio of British announcers I mentioned above.

    5. Save your prepared information from your research for the appropriate moments, i.e. when a team is probing near midfield, and use a little bit at a time. Many viewers don’t like long monologues at the start of the match a la Arlo White.

    6. Soccer is NOT baseball. Don’t do what Dave O’Brien did in 2006 or what Ann Schatz had done in the past few years by carrying on long conversations with the analyst. You don’t have to identify every touch (John Strong usually take a breather when a team is probing near midfield), but you do have to identify touches as the attack develops.

    Good luck.

  6. Oliver Tse

    August 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    PAC-12 Networks and KNBR broadcaster Kate Scott (who will call the Arizona vs Northern Arizona American college football game for PAC-12 Networks on September 2), who was replaced by Danielle Slaton on San Jose Earthquakes regional telecasts in 2016, tweeted that she wants to be the first woman to call a Men’s World Cup match as play-by-play announcer.

    Sorry, Ms. Scott.

    Both Jenn Hildreth and Lisa Byington are ahead of you right now. Both are on FOX’s radar (i.e. David Neal) with regards to future World Cup (women’s for certain, don’t know yet about men) play-by-play assignments.

    Byington appears to be interested in working for FOX during the 2019 Women’s World Cup, as she has updated her YouTube account with a new playlist containing two videos, one of which was a complete NWSL match she called for Naperville (IL) leased access TV after I recommended to David Neal to check out Byington’s YouTube account.

    Hildreth called the 2015 Women’s World Cup from Canada, as the #2 pxp announcer with Kyndra de St. Albin as analyst.

    Kyndra de St. Albin has found a great fit with MLS Minnesota United FC, as a booth-level analyst and brand ambassador who makes public appearances for the team. Kudos to consultant and Minnesota UNited FC part-owner Ben Grossman for thinking things through and hiring the best available Minnesotan for the job (regardless of gender.)

    Regardless of whether MLS Atlanta United FC (i.e. Darren Eales and Arthur Blank) decide to keep struggling 64-year-old British radio “legend” Alan Green as play-by-play announcer beyond October 2017, Atlanta United will have to fill the play-by-play slots for regional telecasts in March-May 2018 (Alan Green won’t be available until June 2018, after he finishes his assignments for BBC Radio.)

    Will Atlanta United FC assign at least one match, i.e a Wednesday night match, to Jenn Hildreth, who has lived in Atlanta for 20 years and has put in the work to improve her soccer play-by-play considerably in the past 3 years? (Hildreth was terrible 5 years ago. Not anymore.)

    Only Darren Eales can make that decision.

  7. Mike

    August 15, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Fox Soccer has the biggest collection of overbearing, know it all commentators/experts. i.e. Joy, lalass. Wynalda Now they add Wagner. Another huge ego. Completely overbearing. Continuously interrupting and/or hogging the majority of air time. She must be a trump surrogate.

    • Oliver Tse

      August 15, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      FS1 (i.e. Eric Shanks) wants “American style” punditry, with fiery debates among the pundits.

      FS1 is NOT for you if you prefer “British style” punditry with “cordial” discussions.

  8. Oliver Tse

    August 10, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Updating the Aly Wagner story as of Thursday August 10, 2017:

    1. Happy Birthday! Aly Wagner turns 37 today. Twitter may be the best way to get her attention: @alywagner

    2. FOX Sports added Aly Wagner to last season’s UEFA Europa League studio team (Kate Abdo, Warren Barton, and Stuart Holden) for the 2017 UEFA Super Cup telecast two days ago (August 8). Unlike the Confederations Cup and Gold Cup studio team (Rob Stone, Alexi Lalas, Fernando Fiore) which didn’t have anyone else besides Wagner focusing on tactics (by using tactical diagramming software to mark up video), the trio of Wagner, Barton, and Holden aimed for the hardcore and “serious casual” viewers by focusing on tactics in addition to “isolation analysis” in which each studio pundit focuses on a different individual player. The talking points discussion segments were classic FS1, as all 3 studio pundits were aggressive and lively.

    3. Unlike the two women ESPN used during Euro 2016 (Abby Wambach didn’t put in the work to prepare enough, and Kate Markgraf was deficient in tactical analysis in addition to mispronouncing names when she worked with Max Bretos), Aly Wagner was well-prepared on Tuesday, as expected. Both Wagner and Holden know that need to keep working because they didn’t make much money as players or product endorsers, so they have to work hard in order to keep their jobs from being taken away by the next generation of analysts.

    4. Cost is always an issue. FOX Sports saved money by substituting Wagner for Brad Friedel during the 2017 Confederations Cup because Wagner was already scheduled to be in the studio for Confederations Cup Tonight on those days JP DellaCamera was scheduled to call matches. For World Cup 2018, one would expect FOX to send Wagner to Moscow, where the studio show for World Cup Tonight will be located (either at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), or on location. If FOX were to send JP DellaCamera to Russia to call matches on site (as the #2 play-by-play man), then FOX would actually save money by assigning Wagner to call the one match that fits her the most: the 3rd place match, so that FOX can send Brad Friedel home after the semifinal match and save 3 nights hotel room cost for Friedel. The 3rd place match can be called from a booth in the IBC so that FOX won’t have to hire 4-6 private security guards to escort and protect Wagner if she were to call a match from one of the temporary TV broadcast positions inside the stadium.

    …to be continued in the next post…

    • Oliver Tse

      August 10, 2017 at 12:27 am

      Of the 4 women FOX Sports sent to the broadcast booths as co-commentators (match analysts) during FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, 3 out of 4 have made their successful jump to analyzing men’s matches.

      The first one to make the jump successfully was Danielle Slaton, who moved home from Chicago (she did graduate work at Northwestern) to San Jose in 2015. The San Jose Earthquakes hired Slaton in 2016 to replace KNBR-AM morning sports update presenter Kate Scott as the touchline reporter. Having Slaton at field level allowed the Earthquakes to use Slaton as a field-level match analyst in addition to working as a reporter.

      Kyndra de St. Albin was the next one to make the jump. After spending 13 years on the road in Milwaukee and Phoenix (where her husband worked), Minnesota United FC brought de St. Albin home (she was born in Stillwater, Minnesota and she attended the University of Minnesota) and hired her for the 2017 season as a booth-level match analyst. The consultant (Ben Grossman) who recommended Minnesota United to hire de St. Albin did his homework and hired the best available Minnesotan for the job. (Grossman also identified a young British announcerCallum Williams, who is back in the U.S. for his 2nd stint calling MLS at the regional level.)

      Aly Wagner make her jump at the national level, blowing away the audience when she was given the opportunity to call Cameroon vs Chile Confederations Cup match on 72-hours notice.

      The only one who hasn’t made the jump is Cat Whitehill.

      At the “minor league” level:

      Kate Markgraf called one USL match from Tampa in July, 2017 on ESPNU. Because less than 20,000 viewers were watching, Markgraf could “work on her game” away from the spotlight.

      The USL also hired an associate producer, former Virginia Tech women’s soccer player Morgan Conklin, and assigned her to the broadcast booth to call USL matches as a match analyst (co-commentator).

      • cm asia

        August 10, 2017 at 2:48 am

        You truly are the gift that keeps on giving.

        You “bump” what was a fawning, garbage post to start with 7 weeks ago.
        Just to wish Happy Birthday to your version of your Farrah Fawcett pin up fantasy?

        As much as I enjoy this site, every time I read a post or comment from you, I feel I need a shower.

        Please go away and spare your teenage masturbatory fantasies.


  9. Oliver Tse

    June 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Video clip from Chile vs Australia with JP and Aly Wagner

  10. Alan

    June 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

    This is all very tiresome….. They couldn’t even get the right match walkout on Fox yesterday…… Face it ……Amatuer hour…… Poor Stone had to apologize on the big Fox…. Then the idiots calling the Mexico game ….. Embarrasing!!!!!

    • Can-Tuna

      June 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      What’s “Amatuer”? You see? Everybody makes mistakes, genius, including you. Also, your overuse and misuse of ellipses is tiresome. Please learn to write before commenting. Thank you!

      • Mike

        August 15, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        What do you mean by “ellipses”

  11. SiempreConMexico

    June 25, 2017 at 2:57 am

    How can you NOT like this man?

    • Oliver Tse

      June 25, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Gus Johnson’s issues as a soccer announcer:

      1. Too many words

      2. Didn’t build up to scoring opportunities properly. The good announcers would sound natural, not scripted. Johnson sounded like he was calling a match off a script. This issue has to do with unfamiliarity.

      3. He was thrusted into the spotlight by Eric Shanks before he was ready.

      I hope that Eric Shanks and David Neal do NOT rush Aly Wagner. Assigning her to call UEFA Europa League matches involving Arsenal or Everton on FS1 would be an invitation to disaster, as the imitation Brits will come out of the woodwork to call for her head because she uses “improper” terminology (read: American soccer terminology instead of British terminology) and because she allegedly does not have the “proper pedigree” (read: she is not a British male) to call matches involving English Premier League clubs. Let Aly develop by calling men’s matches on FS2, away from the spotlight.

      (Indeed, one imitation Brit named “Sanjeev” posted the following 20 years ago: There is only one proper way to broadcast football. commentators must have the proper pedigree, must use proper vocabulary, and must speak with the proper accent. )

      Speaking of imitation Brits (you know who you are: you go to the pub to “have a pint” before marching to the MLS match wearing your scarf and banging your drum; you speak with fake British accents and use words such as “brilliant”, “lovely”, “astonishing”, and “magisterial”; and you use British slang terms such as “poser”, “tosser”, “muppet”, and “numpty” to insult Americans), your act is so tired. Your act is NOT even close to being “cool”.

      • Cantona

        June 26, 2017 at 9:28 am

        Quoting a post from some guy from 20 years ago??? Wtf??

        Funny how you know those slang terms… they describe you perfectly

        Get back on your medication and then return to your hole for another 20 years


  12. Oliver Tse

    June 25, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Aly Wagner has confirmed what we suspected: she will call Chile vs Australia on FS1 on Sunday at 11am Eastern/8am Pacific with JP DellaCamera.

    That match should conclude the Aly Wagner experiment for the time being.

    Brad Friedel has to be sick right now. Friedel was working alongside Martin Tyler not too long ago at Premier League Productions/IMG Sports Media (calling Monday Night Premier League matches on the world feed.)

    Cobi Jones better step up his game, and fast. The likes of Aly Wagner and Danielle Slaton are “mopping the floor” with the likes of Cobi Jones.

    • kevin mcguinness

      June 28, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Ridiculous — Aly Wagner is incoherent and shallow — Cobi Jones is so much better.

  13. Oliver Tse

    June 25, 2017 at 12:23 am

    FS1 General Manager Jamie Horowitz has to be drooling at the fireworks generated by Aly Wagner, Ian Wright, and Alexi Lalas as they discussed (during a “manufactured debate” segment) the Russian Men’s National Team during FIFA Confederations Cup Tonight.

    Video clip available via Twitter:

    FS1 is now “all manufactured debates, all day, all night” under Jamie Horowitz. No need for news (Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole were let go in March and have returned to Canada), no need for Katie Nolan (Garbage Time will NOT be back), and no need for midweek UEFA club soccer after May 2018.

  14. Oliver Tse

    June 24, 2017 at 3:12 am

    One phenomenon I have noticed over the past month as I made a conscious effort to study announcers calling MLS, college, and international matches:

    Several play-by-play announcers in the U.S. are studying John Strong and are using his work as a “template” as they tweak their broadcasting styles.

    Specifically, they are:

    1. Minimizing their verbiage

    2. Building up to goal scoring opportunities by picking up the pace and volume of commentary

    Jenn Hildreth (based in Atlanta) and Lisa Byington (based in Chicago), the two American female play-by-play announcers who in my opinion are now good enough to call both men’s and women’s soccer matches at all levels, are using the two guidelines I listed above.

    The two American guys doing English SAP on MLS matches on Univision Deportes Network (UDN), Nicolas Cantor (a native of Miami, as he is the son of Andre Cantor) and Ramses Sandoval (a native of Los Angeles), both study announcers relentlessly.

    I will have more on Nico Cantor in an upcoming article on World Soccer Talk. My interview with Nico before he left for Russia to work for his father’s Futbol de Primera Radio was fascinating.

    Ramses Sandoval was terrible 2 years ago. Not anymore.

    Sandoval called Houston vs Dallas on Friday night on UDN and he sounded much better. He is no longer trying to translate directly from Spanish to English, as Jorge Perez-Navarro has been doing on FOX Sports (very painful for me to listen to) and Andres Cantor was doing 17 years ago when he was calling Olympic matches during Sydney 2000 on MSNBC and NBC..

    Instead, Sandoval has changed his style to something that resembles a “Latin John Strong”, complete with the long goooooool call (he does just one goooooooool call before getting out of the way so that Alejandro Berry has time to his job as co-comm properly). His first gooooooool call was OK as he dragged out the name of the scorer Hugo Perez before the gooooooool call, but his second goooooool call was not because he did not build up to it properly.

    The Latin gooooooool call is very difficult to execute properly in an English-language broadcast. Spanish words such as tiro (kick), disparo (shot), and cabezazo (header) all end with the letter “o” so the goooooool call flows naturally after those Spanish words. That is not the case for English.

    Aly Wagner has moved the bar so high for co-commentators/match analysts that the women from the 2015 USWNT who will likely hang up their boots after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, namely Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, and possibly Carli Lloyd, will have a much more difficult time pushing Wagner out of the her jobs the way Wagner and Danielle Slaton have displaced one of their mentors at Santa Clara University, Brandi Chastain, from the TV booth.

    Those women who now want to do what Aly Wagner does for a living and pay their bills after they hang up their boots are going to have to learn how to analyze matches from ALL angles. They will need to identify formation shifts and defensive setups. They will need to do isolation analysis of players by picking out subtle details. They will need to be able to read players by identifying human factors and observing the psychology of players.

  15. Oliver Tse

    June 22, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    On Thursday’s FIFA Confederations Cup Tonight show:

    Aly Wagner said this to “El Presidente” Fernando Fiore after Fiore looked where Aly Wagner wants guys watching at home to look:

    “Keep your eyes up there, buddy.”

    Aly Wagner has apparently decided to copy the wardrobe choices of one former Univision Deportes MLS sideline reporter-turned poker hostess.

    • Oliver Tse

      June 22, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      The video from this link will illustrate what “El Presidente” Fernando Fiore was looking at when Aly Wagner caught him in the act and said, “Keep your eyes up there, buddy.”

      Aly Wagner has decided to go “Gabriela” with her wardrobe.

      Not exactly a good idea, in my opinion. I won’t go into the reasons in a public forum.

      • Oliver Tse

        June 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm

        From Wednesday night’s show, the night after this article was published.

        Someone at FOX thought it was a good idea to shorten the hemlines for Aly Wagner’s outfits.

      • The Auditor

        June 26, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        I watched this.

        In no place does what you describe actually occur.

    • Joe

      June 22, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      Why are you talking about her wardrobe choices? That’s kind of creepy.

      • Oliver Tse

        June 23, 2017 at 3:08 am

        You just can’t get your head out of the gutter, can you?

        Don’t know who is responsible for Aly Wagner going “Gabriela” with her wardrobe. Aly Wagner herself? David Neal? We’ll never know as we are outsiders.

        • Joe

          June 23, 2017 at 10:33 am

          I don’t even know who “Gabriela” is? I just find it weird that you often post long comments about appearances of women but never of men.

          • francis

            June 23, 2017 at 7:52 pm

            Apparently Roger Ailes did not die a couple of months back…he is working as a security guard and using the name Oliver Tse

          • Oliver Tse

            June 23, 2017 at 8:43 pm

            Men can look like slobs and still get on-camera TV gigs. Appearance doesn’t matter much for male TV talent.

            Women cannot get away with poor appearance, especially with HDTV. Every imperfection shows up. Female hosts have short shelf lives because of HDTV.

            Rob Stone hasn’t gotten enough sleep in years because he is the father of 4 children. You can see that every time he goes on camera. No amount of makeup can cover up eye bags. But no one really pays attention to that because appearance for male hosts don’t matter much.

            On the other hand, Aly Wagner’s appearance does matter. She is the mother of 4 children, and you can see the stress and strain of motherhood on her face. She needs to blow viewers away with her analysis during each broadcast so that the quality of her work trumps her appearance.

    • Cantona

      June 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

      I challenged you NOT to mention female talent and wardrobe choices….. and. YOU FAILED

      Whats your problem? You say get your head out of the gutter.. You and only YOU are in the gutter with your commenting on this womens choice of dress. You continue to post this crap with these sexual undertones…

      You have a serious problem..

      oh btw tell us what happened to your female talent you represented?

      Everything you say is a ball of bullsh!t lies. You been caught out! And you know… you cant substantiate anything you have said!


  16. Alo Futbol

    June 22, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Hey, I guess World Soccer Talk needed traffic and comments. Congrats! It’s too bad Oliver Tse is the reason for it, though.

  17. francis

    June 22, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Oliver has been banned from other websites for flooding their pages with his incoherent rants. Chris will wise up eventually

  18. Oliver Tse

    June 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    A short clip from the Cameroon vs Australia match with JP and Aly Wagner calling the action for FS1 from a sound booth in L.A.

    I have the complete video of both matches called by JP and Aly Wagner. I watched the CMR-CHI match in its entirety and I could not nitpick anything Aly Wagner said. I will watch the CMR-AUS match off DVR on Thursday night.

  19. Goatslookshifty

    June 22, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    What happened to this site? The banter used to be light-hearted a few years back when i was a regular. Cantona, Rkujay, you might remember.
    Now, I see long-winded comments from the same guy who wrote the article. I now remember why quit reading WST. Sorry, Chris. You had a good thing once. Now? I don’t know.

  20. Peaton

    June 22, 2017 at 12:36 am

    I think she did a good job. I hope we see her and other women do more with Fox and other soccer broadcasters.

    • Oliver Tse

      June 22, 2017 at 3:44 am

      Pay attention to the Cameroon vs Australia match telecast on Thursday on FS1 (11am Eastern, 8am Pacific).

      David Neal has apparently given Landon Donovan more time off to spend with his wife and his new board daughter Slade, as Aly Wagner has replied to a viewer via Twitter that she will be calling the Cameroon vs Australia match with JP once again from a sound booth at the Pico Blvd. FOX Lot in Century City, Los Angeles.

      • Oliver Tse

        June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

        Correction: David Neal replaced Brad Friedel with Aly Wagner for the Cameroon vs Chile and Cameroon vs Australia match.

        Landon Donovan was not scheduled to work for FOX Sports during the FIFA Confederations Cup.

        I apologize for the error.

    • Oliver Tse

      June 22, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Aly Wagner’s close friend Danielle Slaton is now calling MLS San Jose Earthquakes regional telecasts on NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California.

      The Earthquakes are using Danielle Slaton the same way NBC Sports uses Pierre McGuire during NHL on NBC, as a field-level analyst and reporter. Ms. Slaton interacts primarily with the analyst in the booth, former NASL Earthquakes player Chris Dangerfield, to discuss tactics throughout the match telecast.

      Having Danielle. Slaton at field level has taken the Earthquakes telecasts to another level that is unique among MLS regional telecasts.

      You may recall that Danielle Slaton called FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 matches on FOX Sports on the #3 team with John Strong.

      The previous touchline reporter for the Earthquakes telecasts, KNBR-AM morning radio update host Kate Scott, is primarily an American Football broadcaster who called play-by-play for a San Francisco 49ers preseason game in 2016. Ms. Scott’s dream of being the first woman to call play-by-play for an NFL game on TV has been dashed, as ESPN’s Beth Mowins will get that honor in September.

  21. Fsquid

    June 21, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I know I’m in the minority on this site, but I haven’t thought of an announcer once in a game I was interested in watching. I just watch.

  22. Alan

    June 21, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Omg…. In the tank for FOX!!!!!!
    Face it , their coverage, no matter who or what they try doesn’t work.PERIOD.
    Bad coverage is easy to see, when you are in the tank you just hope that someone will turn it around…. FOX is like the Demcrats right now…. In denial about themselves.

  23. Fsquid

    June 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Review the tape? Barely anyone probably watched the game in the first place.

  24. Oliver Tse

    June 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Interesting to see that no one in the past 24 hours have actually reviewed the video and find major errors in Aly Wagner’s commentary from Sunday.

    (Aly Wagner, who should have read the article by now, should feel really good about her work from Sunday right now.)

    Instead, all the attacks have come from the same hecklers who have been posting the same tired material about Oliver Tse for the past 5 years, if not the past 20 years.

    “Attacking the messenger” has not worked in 20 years, and won’t work now.

    • MAHLUF

      June 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Who the eff does this guy think he is??? Talking about himself in the 3rd person!

      This whole article is straight trash – and that has nothing to do with his views/thoughts on Aly Wagner – just the 5th grade level it is written at, mixed with a pompous attitude that is very off-putting. The leaders of this site should do some serious thinking about how this represents them and their ideals. I have no doubt that this dude has little to zero contact with anyone in the business of soccer broadcasting.

      • Oliver Tse

        June 21, 2017 at 6:02 pm

        Please listen to this podcast from 2007, 10 years ago, before you mouth off again.

        Again, “attacking the messenger” hasn’t worked for 20+ years, and it isn’t working now.

    • Cantona

      June 21, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Problem is your message constantly consists of uncomrfortably complimenting female talent to the point of even pretending your influence can or has gotten them a job… making it seem you have insider knowledge… the same MO every time….

      Do us all a favor a go silent…. i dare you to go one month without talking about female talent

      You wont… you cant….


      • Oliver Tse

        June 22, 2017 at 4:01 am

        My track record for connecting female sportscaster talent with jobs speaks for itself.

        1. I recommended University of Washington women’s associate soccer coach Amy Allmann (now Amy Griffin) to send her demo tape to NBC in February 1999. David Neal hired her a month later to call Sydney 2000 Olympic women’s matches, with Andres Cantor as her partner.

        2. beIN Sports USA executive producer Rafael Torres asked me to contact Terri Leigh for her demo tape. Ms. Leigh uploaded her demo tape within minutes after I left the production facility of beIN Sports USA, which is housed at Hispanic TV production company Imagina U.S. in Medley, Florida after an information meeting with beIN Sports USA executives on Monday, June 25, 2012 (I had to pay for the entire trip, and frankly, the trip turned out to be a complete waste of my resources, as those executives had no intention of listening to my recommendations at the time. Interestingly, those executives implemented two of my recommendations a few years later: change the name from “beIN Sport” to beIN Sports, and add U.S. college sports to the programming lineup.).

        Ms. Leigh interviewed and auditioned one week later.

        After Ms. Leigh received what I perceived to be a lowball offer from beIN Sports USA talent negotiator Felipe Hoyos (whom I had dealt with in 2008-2009 while he was doing the same job at ESPN Deportes/Latin America, as he woefully underpaid Spanish-language poker announcer Gabriela Hill before she hired me to find her product endorsement opportunities.) I provided explicit instructions to Ms. Leigh to submit a counteroffer to Hoyos, which was accepted.

        Ms. Leigh and Jeremy St. Louis will deny everything when asked about how they got back into TV after departing FOX Sports World Canada after a dispute with management, and that’s their prerogative There is no love lost between me and Ms. and Mrs. St. Louis, and the feeling is mutual.

        • Fsquid

          June 22, 2017 at 12:54 pm

          Terri Leigh had to send a demo tape? She could have just sent pictures and she’d get the gig.

          • Oliver Tse

            June 22, 2017 at 6:41 pm


            Julie Stewart-Binks was NOT invited to interview at beIN Sports USA. Her disastrous debut on FOX Soccer Report on her only on-camera appearance disqualified her, as she mispronounced at least 7 names.


            beIN Sports USA, even though it is a marginal channel on the sports tier, does have some minimum standards. A photo isn’t enough.

            Several candidates who auditioned, in English or Spanish, failed. Some couldn’t track highlights during the audition.

            • Cantona

              June 26, 2017 at 9:01 am


              You dont know that… at all– fake news again


        • Cantona

          June 26, 2017 at 8:58 am

          So why would two respected sports journalists deny that you helped Terri Leigh get a job??? Maybe because it NEVER HAPPENED… this goes along your MO of pretending to know people via a loose email or twitter exchange and then your delusional fantasy that you know them and have some ability to get them industry jobs… when you have NEVER been in the industry…

          And its not just people at Bein that think your a joke… Espn. FoxSports, NBC ect.. the list goes on. You have been “found out” for a while now…


          • Oliver Tse

            June 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

            So you went from being a heckler and an imitation Brit who is living in a s–thole in South Texas to someone with high level contacts at every sports TV network who are telling you that I am a complete joke, literally overnight?

            So who is making up bulls–t now?

            Do everyone a favor and check yourself into a mental hospital to get extended in-patient treatment. Maybe by the time the hospital will let you out, you will be able do something more useful with your pathetic life beyond doing what you have the following everyday for the past 10+ years:

            1. Crawling out of your s–thole in South Texas each morning.

            2. Firing up your Virtual Private Network (VPN) software to pirate British and Qatari television.

            3. Reading soccer websites to look for the name “Oliver Tse” and post the same tired insults with the same old British slang terms

            4. Crawling back into your s–thole each night.

            • Cantona

              June 26, 2017 at 10:19 pm

              Oooh. Oliver… your quite emotional arent you…


    • URAN1D10T

      June 21, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      REVIEWED THE TAPE? Nobody cares! People have lives and other things to do than pretend they are broadcasting insiders and review tapes of a crap game nobody watched. And why are you calling yourself Oliver TSe how much of a loser are you? You found one 1d10t (Chris) who either doesn’t know what you are or only cares about clicks on this little website (your words) talking about soccer commentating that allows you to write garbage.

  25. Lon

    June 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Here’s a list of talent FOX should think about hiring for the World Cup if they want any semblance of credibility.
    1. Andy Brassell
    2. Mina Rizouki
    3. Paul Visca
    4. Richard Wittle
    5. James Richardson

  26. rkujay

    June 21, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Oliver. Try making a point. One clear, concise point. Sorry, but your dissertations are ramblings. Did I mention that they are extremely long and difficult to glean a real point? Your obsession with female reporters is discomforting. It is said that there is no such thing as bad advertising, but you are pushing the point. Notice that there are way more thumbs down to your comments? It is fine to have a differing view. No one’s perspective is any better than anyone else’s. However…..

    • Oliver Tse

      June 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      Clicking “thumbs down” is easy.

      Writing a rebuttal to my article, with video evidence to back up your points, is hard.

      No one has written anything and posted any video evidence to contradict the point I made in my article: Aly Wagner should be considered by FOX Sports for an assignment to call at least one World Cup Russia 2018 match.

      Instead, all the attacks are on Oliver Tse’s writing style, Oliver Tse’s attitude, Oliver Tse’s past history, etc. etc. etc.

      “Attacking the messenger” has not worked in 20+ years, and is not working now.

      • Cantona

        June 21, 2017 at 6:17 pm

        Yes it has… when you BS and lie… like your normally do… or make stupid predictions.. you get banned from websites. Dont you oliver?


        • Oliver K Tse

          June 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

          You have been trying to convince Christopher Harris to get rid of me for years.

          Your head is still stuck in the gutter, and has been in the gutter for the past 5 years.

          I am still writing for World Soccer Talk.

      • MAHLUF

        June 22, 2017 at 2:35 pm

        I can easily name 20 co-commentators that are better suited to call a World Cup match…and that’s not a knock on Aly Wagner. It’s just the truth. You post three videos and think that now she is qualified to commentate on a World Cup match? There is something wrong with this picture…

        • Oliver Tse

          June 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm

          OK. Please name 20 co-comms that are better fit for calling a World Cup match on a U.S. English-language network.

          The criteria: best bang for the buck. You must consider the amount of free publicity each of the 20 co-comms you name in comparison to Aly Wagner.

          I am waiting.

          At this point, FOX might want to consider putting Aly Wagner and JP in the OPENING MATCH of the World Cup, just to make a statement such as the one below:

          We are FOX Sports. We mean business. We will make history at the first World Cup match we will air by assigning Aly Wagner to the opening match.

  27. Tulsa918

    June 21, 2017 at 4:15 am


  28. Tulsa918

    June 21, 2017 at 4:14 am

    FOX needs to bring my MAN GUS JOHNSON por the World Cup.

  29. Oliver Tse

    June 21, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Landon Donovan announced via Twitter on Tuesday June 20 the birth of his daughter Slade.

    That means Donovan was with his wife over the past weekend as his wife gave birth.

    Will Donovan be back at FOX Sports in Los Angeles to call a match with JP in a sound booth?

    We’ll know soon enough.

    We do know that Aly Wagner can now be trusted by FOX Sports to call a men’s match very well. In my opinion, she is better than at least half the men who are co-commentating, including the Brits who work on the world feeds.

    How will David Neal use Aly Wagner during World Cup Russia 2018? Will she be working exclusively from the IBC and calling a handful of overflow matches airing on FS2? Or will she rocket up the depth chart to possibly the #2 team with JP?

    The tells for us outsiders to read will come in the 12 months, as FOX Sports has up to 4 matches to be voiced during UEFA Europa League Thursdays. During the group stage and the Round of 16, FS1 and FS2 will have doubleheaders at 1pm ET/10am PT and 3:05pm ET/12:05pm PT. FOX Sports will need 4 teams to cover those matches.

  30. Alan

    June 20, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I am going to watch the BBC ONE feed…. Not this FOX disaster.

    • Oliver Tse

      June 20, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Don’t let the door hit your A– on your way out as you use your VPN to tunnel under the Atlantic Ocean to watch the BBC.

      Besides, if you are age 50 or over, you no longer matter to U.S. sports TV networks. The advertisers do NOT want you.

      The BBC produces “rubbish” football television that are 30 years behind the times. The studio show for the match in the link below was embarrassingly bad.

      • Cantona

        June 21, 2017 at 8:06 am

        Says the guy who thought Gus Johnson was a great idea and thinks Martin Tyler is a bad commentator.
        BBC produces “rubbish” football television ??!?!!!?!….. one word on Oliver……… IDIOT

        Dont know why Chris has this degenerate on this site… credibility is shot.

        Commentary for Confed Cup has been shocking … just look at social media… as we know Fox doesnt care about regular footie fans.. they are going for young girls and the wannabe fans thst drop in every 4 years.. reason why they are making soccer look and feel like their NFL properties. I dont care, i gave up on fox a while ago as did many other fans who know how to find better productions. Fox has to go after new fans, they cant keep the ones they have.

        So now Oliver is promoting ANOTHER female talent… can Oliver ever do a post whithout fawnning over some female??? I think not.. the creepy stalker is back.

        • Oliver Tse

          June 21, 2017 at 9:57 am

          What the h— are you talking about?

          I started the John Strong discussion in 2013 so that FOX can send Gus Johnson back to his best sport, college basketball, where Johnson nade his reputation.

          Gus Johnson never figured out how to call soccer on TV. He was actually better calling soccer on radio the two times he called San Jose Earthquakes matches on radio than when he called soccer on TV.

          Studying broadcasters, especially female sportscasters, was part of my job when I represented a female Spanish-language TV sportscaster turned poker hostess in 2008-2009.

          You, on the other hand, can’t get your head out of the gutter.

          • Cantona

            June 21, 2017 at 6:09 pm

            Thanks for letting us know when your problem “aka” addiction began.

            How fcuk does studying a female broadcaster relate to representing her as poker player…. let me tell you… IT DOESNT

            And how the hell do you take credit for John Strongs career… you are a nobody


            • TV Intseder

              June 21, 2017 at 6:56 pm

              Thank you for calling this clown out, why this site has him on here is beyond comprehension.

              Why not hire relegation Ted to write a few articles, that would be more entertaining than someone lying about soccer broadcasting.

            • Oliver Tse

              June 23, 2017 at 10:14 pm

              I represented Gabriela Hill as a brand ambassador and a television talent.

              I did NOT represent her as a poker player.

              After 10+ years of failing to stop me despite your daily routine consisting of the following:

              1. Crawling out of your s—hole in the ground in South Texas

              2. Pirating British television using your Virtual Private Network (VPN)

              3. Checking various website to look for “Oliver Tse” and post the same tired insults using British slang terms that stopped being “cool” years ago.

              4. And crawling back into your s—hole in the ground each night.

              One would think that you would be something more useful with your pathetic life.

        • Oliver Tse

          June 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm

          Martin Tyler in his prime, 20-25 years ago, was superb.

          I noticed that Martin Tyler started losing energy during World Cup 2010 on ESPN (U.S.)

          By 2012, Tyler was losing his ability to identify players without a spotter helping him. Those of us who trained ourselves to study broadcasters will notice this.

          ESPN (U.S.), namely Jed Drake and Amy Rosenfield, essentially fired Tyler by terminating his contract prior to World Cup 2014 so that ESPN can promote Ian Darke to the #1 chair.

          Repeat: ESPN FIRED MARTIN TYLER.

          Why? Because his performance was substandard.

          By 2017, Tyler has become a disaster. Several readers complained about Tyler’s work for Premier League Productions after watching that Liverpool EPL match on a Monday night in April on NBCSN..

          I was warned by multiple contacts in the U.K. regarding 64-year-old BBC Radio football commentator Alan Green, who started calling Atlanta United (MLS) matches on Saturday. Green, as my contacts had feared, was a complete disaster. He misidentifed the Columbus Crew goal scorer Federico Higuain as “…(Justin) Meram, I think…” and he mispronounced the name of Atlanta United forward Miguel Almiron.

          Just because a “football” broadcaster is a “British legend”, doesn’t mean he can commentate a soccer match on TV in the U.S. market.

          Martin Tyler got fired from ESPN, and he deserved to be fired.

          Alan Green and his bosses (Darren Eales and Arthur Blank) are now squarely in my crosshairs.

          • Cantona

            June 21, 2017 at 6:16 pm

            Espn did not fire hire Tyler for performance you idiot… he didnt want to take the 2nd position behind Darke because he would not call the final… something he has done every World Cup since the 80s. Quit making sh!t up!!!
            And what crosshairs are you talking about?? You are a nothing… what can little oliver do….. let me answer my own question… like you do… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

            Tyler is still SkyS #1 and the voice of the Fifa franchise… so your assessment of him as a commentator is about as good as you are a poker player representative.

            One word … Aaaaggguuueeeerrooooooo



            • Oliver Tse

              June 21, 2017 at 7:04 pm

              Martin Tyler’s contract with ESPN (U.S.) had the World Cup 2010 and 2014 FINALS written in.

              ESPN terminated the contract in 2012.

              ESPN essentially fired Martin Tyler.

              Whatever sleight of hand ESPN used to get rid of Tyler achieve the same result:

              ESPN got rid of Martin Tyler.

              The Martin Tyler during his prime, 20-25 years ago, does NOT exist anymore.

              • Cantona

                June 21, 2017 at 8:14 pm

                Oh. So now you have a copy of Martin Tylers contract… really ???can you post it so we can see?
                Again you are making thos sh!t up as you go…. Tyler talked about this in an interview with Sky a couple of years ago…more bullsh!t from the self proclaimed insider..

                Do eveyone a favor and shut it!


                • Oliver Tse

                  June 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm

                  Martin Tyler can spin his firing from ESPN on BSkyB anyway he wants to.

                  Multiple sources told me that Tyler’s contract with ESPN (U.S.) specifically stated that Tyler was guaranteed to call the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup FINAL MATCH.

                  ESPN got rid of Tyler in 2012.

                  Whatever tricks ESPN might have used to terminate its contract with Tyler had the desired result ESPN wanted.

                  ESPN got rid of Martin Tyler.

                  Whether Tyler was actually “fired”, or Tyler and ESPN parted ways due to “mutual agreement” doesn’t matter.

                  ESPN got rid of Tyler, without having to compensate him.

                  Tyler deserved to be fired from ESPN because his broadcasting skills had deteriorated and his energy level had diminished.

                  Every broadcaster will “lose” his skills and his energy at one point.

                  Time waits for no one.

                  Sports play-by-play is a young person’s game. It always has been, and it always will be.

        • Joe

          June 21, 2017 at 10:03 pm

          Go back in your parents basement Cantona. It’s too light up here for you.

          • Cantona

            June 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

            Sources… noone will give you the time of day… i mentioned your name about your so called trip to Miami to Bein Sports and was they almost died laughing. You may be able to piull the wool over the eyes of Chris here at WST… but you are a proven liar.. so dont blow smoke up our ass about your multiple sources…. YOU DONT HAVE ANY..
            your attempts at trying to “become” an insider are laughable… only Chris here has given you a forum to continue your lying.

            Go back to your security guard shed


            • Oliver Tse

              June 22, 2017 at 3:39 am

              Don’t let the door hit you on the A– as you VPN across the Atlantic Ocean to watch BBC, ITV, BSkyB, BT Sport, and beIN Sports Middle East.

              You stopped being matter to U.S. TV networks and their advertisers the moment you started pirating video from across the Atlantic.

              Everyone at beIN Sports USA has disavowed my existence. I am supposed to be a ghost in that building.

              There is no love lost between me and anyone still working at beIN Sports USA, including Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy St. Louis, who have made it very clear that I no longer exist even though I got them connected with beIN 5 years ago when they were still in exile in Steinbach, Manitoba.

              Frankly, the feeling is mutual.

              • Jack S.

                June 28, 2018 at 8:13 pm

                How is going through a VPN to listen to a broadcast overseas any different than pointing an antenna toward the border and receiving radio/tv signals being broadcast from another country?

  31. Oliver Tse

    June 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    The whole idea that Aly Wagner would have a shot at calling World Cup Russia 2018 matches for FOX Sports would have been preposterous 72 hours ago.

    Ms. Wagner got the call from David Neal on relatively short notice (I am guessing no more than 72 hours prior to Cameroon vs Chile). She had one chance to make a first impression to an audience who may not have watched her work in the past, an audience of mostly men who demand much more from co-commentators of men’s international soccer telecasts than the audience Ms. Wagner was accustomed to (mostly women).

    One of the viewers of Cameroon vs Chile on FS2 had the reputation of being one of the toughest sports television critics in the “American soccer community.”

    This critic went after Dave O’Brien, Gus Johnson, and even the legendary Martin Tyler for their subpar performances in the past, and this critic currently has legendary BBC Radio commentator Alan Green and his new Atlanta United (MLS) bosses squarely in his crosshairs after Green’s disastrous television debut on FOX Sports Southeast last Saturday night, in which he misidentified one goal scorer and he mispronounced at least one Spanish name of a player.

    So what did Ms. Wagner do? She did what she had always done in the past: she overachieved.

    She blew everyone away with her performance.

    (Unlike Kate Markgraf during Euro 2016 on ESPN, Ms. Wagner has left NO DOUBT that she can call men’s international matches better than half the men who do the same job professionally.)

    The question now becomes: how high is the ceiling for Aly Wagner during World Cup Russia 2018?

    Will she call a handful of matches off the video monitor from either Los Angeles or the IBC, especially those overflow matches airing on FS2?

    Or will David Neal keep the JP DellaCamera/Aly Wagner pairing and designate them as the #2 broadcast team so that they will be traveling to the stadiums to call around 8 Group Stage matches, 1 or 2 Round of 16 matches, 1 Quarterfinal match, and one semifinal match?

    If you are an American, either by birth or by choice, and you didn’t have any one or any team to root for at the start of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, that all changed 2 days into the tournament.

    I know who I am rooting for.

    Aly Wagner

  32. Miguel Torres

    June 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    The review system wasn’t at all convincing to me of its infallibility. While the first disallowed goal for Chile may have involved a player in a millimeter length offside position (I didn’t see it), Chile’s second goal clearly showed a player in white to whom the ball was passed to be offside. Check it yourselves by stopping the video stream.

    While I’m not against review (much fewer game- and championship-deciding mistakes will be made with it than without it), this definitely shows the futility of rigorous enforcement of borderline offside infractions. If a new rule allowed the attacking player to be slightly ahead of the last defensive player, we wouldn’t have these ridiculous situations where not even a video review manned by professional refs is sufficient to convince viewers who can do a slow-mo review of their own.

  33. The Auditor

    June 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve got my popcorn ready-

  34. TV Intseder

    June 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    This site has Tse writing columns now? Hahahahahahhahahhaha omg hahahahaha.

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