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FOX Sports send Derek Rae and Aly Wagner to World Cup in Russia

One of the biggest criticisms about FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is that the vast majority of announcers and co-commentators were calling games off a monitor from a studio in Los Angeles, over six thousand miles away from the Russian capital.

But in positive news, FOX Sports has decided to fly commentator Derek Rae and co-commentator Aly Wagner to Russia to announce Sunday’s Spain-Russia game and Tuesday’s match between Colombia and England.

With Rae and Wagner arriving in Moscow, it gives FOX Sports more options to consider in the remaining two weeks of the tournament. Wagner is a better studio analyst than commentator, so we could see her commentating games as well as appearing on the studio set in Red Square where she can offer her analysis.

SEE MORE: FOX’s schedule of World Cup commentators for Round of 16 games

With Wagner being the first woman to commentate a World Cup on US television in English, she’s also a positive public relations story for FOX Sports particularly during a tournament where the broadcaster has taken a beating from most of the US media.

Meanwhile, as a commentator, Rae adds a huge amount of credibility and authenticity to FOX’s broadcasts. As we’ve seen on NBC’s coverage of the Premier League, Rae can also step in with hosting abilities. But it’s more likely that we may see an appearance on the World Cup Tonight show depending on travel commitments.

Overall, having Rae and Wagner in Russia to call games from the stadium and to offer their analysis in Moscow gives FOX Sports plenty of options to consider in the final two weeks of this tournament.


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  1. Stephen Ham

    July 14, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I think Derek and Ali are by far the best announcers, and thus constitute the best team.

    Derek is the only announcer yet to butcher the pronunciation of player names, country names (e.g. I-Ran), and league names (e.g. Boon-des-leega). Other announcers mispronounced virtually all German, Russian, and Croat player/coach names. Some announcers can’t even pronounce the name of the city the game is played in.

    Ali’s tactical game analysis is the best. She’s able to tell the viewer not just what’s happening, but the reasons why. The other FOX announcers have been PATHETIC with mispronunciations and analysis that just states the obvious.

    • Drew

      July 14, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Ehhhh, she isn’t better than Warner or Trajilo are that, and she has no knowledge of someone who isn’t a star player in the Premier League or major elite club in Europe.

      She also has made countless little mistakes this tournament, from calling Ashley Young “Ashley Cole” in the Colombia-England game.

      Even calling women’s soccer games, she just isn’t that natural of a smooth color commentator, where Danielle Slaton is better than her.

  2. Jack A Andrews

    July 7, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Ali is out of her depth. Where is Warren?

  3. Mac

    July 2, 2018 at 7:19 am

    All Wagner always sounds awkward and out of breath with her constant drivel. The only position she knows is “wing backs” a ball across the area became a “breaking ball” a part of the pitch a “quadrant” then there’s constant reference to “mid” and “thus far” every five minutes. The excellent Derek Rae has to carry her and wastes time clarifying her obscure comments.

  4. Soccerroo

    July 1, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    A couple of games ago Ally made a comment about missing the “ball” the player was aiming for when an opposing player got kicked in the crotch. Imagine the outrage if a male player said something like “tits up” etc. He would be fired immediately, yet nothing, not even a mention against her for her sexist gaffe.

  5. chuckster

    July 1, 2018 at 10:53 am

    aly wagner announcing utterly horrible – ruining my world cup experience
    sounds like a female robot with her staccato delivery style – i’m on the verge of not watching games specifically and entirely because of her grating voice.
    screw the diversity and political correctness – the only reason she’s there is because she’s female. it certainly isn’t because of her stellar and storied and clamored-for history of annoucing games.

    and….boom goes the dynamite.

    • chuckster

      July 1, 2018 at 11:02 am

      ….and i should add that i actually kind of liked aly on the few occasions over the past several years in which i’ve seen her doing studio analysis or commentary/discussion. didn’t really know who she was or her background, but i remember liking her.

      but announcing games……uggghhhhhhhh

    • Chris

      July 7, 2018 at 9:52 am

      No kidding. Derek Rae is totally carrying her. I’m NOT against a female announcer. I’m against an announcer who is there solely because of what is between their legs.

  6. Dave Parry

    July 1, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Aly Wagner is one of the most knowledgeable and insightful commentators I’ve ever heard. I’ve been watching football (in the UK) for over 50 years and she is certainly in the top 5 of commentators I’ve heard. And typical of US commentators, there’s no fecking cliches! Really enjoying listening to her.

    • Mac

      July 2, 2018 at 7:09 am

      Must be her Dad

  7. Chris

    July 1, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Aly is a fine commentator. She’s done well.

  8. Paul

    June 30, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    I hope Fox assign Derek for the final

  9. Henry Reichman

    June 30, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Why is Cobi Jones in Russia also?

    • Christopher Harris

      July 1, 2018 at 10:07 am

      He’s a new guest on the World Cup Tonight show. It looks like FOX is trying a little bit of everything to try to boost that show.

    • Chris

      July 7, 2018 at 10:00 am


  10. Brendan

    June 30, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Warren Barton should have been the choice instead of Aly Wagner . Proper analyst thats served Fox well for years . Is it because he isn’t a favorite of Kate Abdo that numb scull that cannot a whole sentence right has to keep making a fool of herself and just laughs about it

    • Chris

      July 1, 2018 at 10:00 am

      “scull” [incorrect spelling]
      “cannot a whole sentence right” [??]
      “Proper analyst thats served Fox well for years” [fragment. should be ‘that’s’]

      See me.

  11. Smokey Bacon

    June 30, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Good move by Fox. Now send JP Dellacamera home. He’s in the stadium but he might as well be commentating 6000 miles away on a monitor. Being there does nothing for him or us.

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