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Ian Darke joins FOX World Cup coverage for Qatar 2022

Ian Darke FOX World Cup

Ian Darke, one of soccer’s best known commentators in the United States, is set to be a part of the FOX World Cup coverage. Currently, Darke works as a play-by-play commentator for ESPN.

FOX holds the rights to World Cup 2022, as they started doing so in 2018. Therefore, Darke was not part of the U.S.-based crew covering Russia 2018. He did, however, call games for the world feed, so he is certainly up to date in that regard.

ESPN allowed Darke to make the monthlong trek over to FOX for coverage come November and December.

Ian Darke is not the lead play-by-play voice for the FOX World Cup coverage in Qatar. That honor still lies with John Strong and his co-commentator Stu Holden. Instead, Darke joins other new commentators to FOX, such as Jacqui Oatley, in bringing familiar voices to American households.

What Ian Darke brings to FOX World Cup coverage

Few commentators in the world possess as much experience and expertise as Ian Darke. Starting with the World Cup, Qatar 2022 is Darke’s eighth World Cup as a play-by-play voice. His first tournaments came back in 1982 and 1990. Then, he worked with BBC Radio and Eurosport.

More famously, at least for American fans of the game, Darke called both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups with ESPN. As the lead play-by-play voice in ESPN’s coverage, he was the voice behind some of the nation’s most-famous moments. For example, Landon Donovan’s late goal against Algeria in 2010 yielded the “Go, go! USA! Certainly through” call that gives Americans goosebumps. Also, he called John Brooks’s late winner against Ghana four years later.

Outside of the international game, Ian Darke is the lead voice for BT Sport’s coverage of the Premier League and other major European fixtures. This often includes the UEFA Champions League.

The full roster for FOX’s World Cup coverage for studio crews and play-by-play teams will be unveiled in the coming weeks. The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 21.

PHOTO: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Daniel

    July 28, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Is it wrong for me to only want English English commentators?

    • Anton

      August 1, 2022 at 10:03 pm

      Yes – it’s the World Cup not English Cup

  2. Azer

    July 27, 2022 at 9:50 am

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Fox Sports brings back Jorge Perez Navarro & Mariano Trujillo.
    Does anyone remember those two from the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Pure comedy for 90 minutes.
    This if Fox Sports after all. There is nothing to look forward to. I wish Ian Joy can move back to Fox for a month from CBS and be paired with either Ian Darke or Derek Rae.
    Give Arlo White a chance. Why not? better than JP Dellacamera, don’t you think? Fox has plenty of time to assemble a great roster, but I doubt they will.

    • Sports TV Guru

      July 28, 2022 at 3:43 am

      @Azer:

      FOX and Telemundo, as things stand now, are already both better in every aspect than what BBC and ITV can offer combined.

      FOX has a much better PxP commentator of Mexican heritage available, San Diego-born Adrian Garcia Marquez, than Jorge Perez-Navarro, who is way too stubborn to change his ways in order to adjust to the expectations of English-speaking viewers. Directly translating his act from Spanish to English did NOT work in 2018 and does NOT work now.

      My current projections for the 6 FOX Sports (US) men’s world cup commentary teams:

      In Qatar:

      1. John Strong (USA) / Stuart Holden (USA)
      2. Ian Darke (USA) / Maurice Edu (USA)
      3. Jacqui Oatley (ENG) / Aly Wagner (USA ) [100% female “dream team”, will be assigned 12 matches including 2 Round of 16 and 1 quarterfinal match]

      In Los Angeles:

      4. JP Dellacamera (USA) / Cobi Jones (USA)
      5. Derek Rae (SCO) / Warren Barton (ENG)
      6. Adrian Garcia Marquez (USA) / Mariano Trujillo (MEX)

      Rodolfo Landeros is the only on-site reporter confirmed so far. He will be assigned to all matches involving Mexico.

      Don’t know yet whether Tom Rinaldi or Alex Curry will be the reporter assigned to matches involving the US.

      Jenny Taft will host the studio during the early shift staring at 4am ET/1am PT, with Rob Stone hosting the late shift starting at 10am ET/7am PT.

      Telemundo finalized its 4 commentary teams for Qatar 2022 in October 2021. All 4 teams will be on site in Qatar.

      1. Andres Cantor (USA) / Manuel Sol (MEX) [& Carlos Hermosillo (MEX) for matches involving Mexico)

      2. Copan Alvarez (ARG) / Tab Ramos (USA) [all USMNT matches]

      3. Sammy Sadovnik (PER) / Eduardo Biscayart (ARG)

      4. Marion Reimers (MEX) / Geraldine Carrasquero (VEN) [100% female “dream team”]

      Reimers left FOX Sports Mexico/FOX Deportes US after 15 years, in August 2021. She joined WarnerMedia’s TNT Sports Mexico in order to continue as match analyst of men’s UEFA Champions League after FOX Sports Mexico lost the rights. Telemundo snapped her up immediately when she became available. She is a “GIANT” in Spanish-language sports TV. She is also a “goodwill ambassador” for the United Nations Organization for Women.

      Carrasquero will be on loan to Telemundo Deportes from PEGSA Group and ESPN Sur SRL (a.k.a. ESPN South America). She is currently based at Tomkinson MediaCenter in San Isidro, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. She is finishing up her latest assignment for ESPN Sur, UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. During the women’s Euro, she called PxP of one match (Denmark v Spain on July 16) and served as match analyst for over a dozen matches. She also co-hosted special Women’s Euro 2022 editions of “SportsCenter” airing in 9 South American countries.

      Expect Reimers and Carrasquero to be assigned 8-9 matches during the group stage, starting with England v Iran on November 21.

      Of the 4 women selected by FOX Sports US and Telemundo Deportes to call men’s World Cup Qatar 2022, I believe the one with the most upside and the one who will be liked the most by the US audience will be Carrasquero, who is the youngest of the 4 at age 32. (Oatley is 47, Wagner is 40, and Reimers turns 37 on August 2.)

      Projected comm teams for matches on opening day, Monday, November 21.

      Senegal v Netherlands, 5am ET/2am PT

      FOX Sports US: JP & Cobi Jones (in LA)
      Telemundo: Sadovnik & Biscayart

      England v Iran, 8am ET/5a PT

      FOX Sports US: Oatley & Wagner
      Telemundo: Reimers & Carrasquers

      Qatar v Ecuador, 11am ET/8am PT (with opening ceremony at 10:10am ET/7:10am PT)

      FOX Sports US: Darke & Edu
      Telemundo: Cantor & Sol

      US v Wales, 2pm ET/11am PT

      FOX Sports US: Strong & Holden
      Telemundo: Alvarez & Ramos

      All of the above projections are unofficial. Official announcements for pairings won’t come until November so things can change.

      • Sports TV Guru

        July 28, 2022 at 4:29 am

        Only studio pundits confirmed so far for FOX Sports (US) in Qatar are Alexi Lalas and Kelly Smith. They will be assigned to most if not ALL the big matches including both semifinals and the final.

        In 2018, David Neal had originally miscast Kelly Smith to the late night show (to replace Aly Wagner who moved from the studio to the #3 commentary team with Derek Rae.)

        Neal had to fix the original studio shows in 2018, with Lalas & 2 guests, because those shows were disjointed. Kelly Smith is the polar opposite of Lalas in every aspect. Studios shows only work if two pundits are different.

  3. Sean

    July 26, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    It’s just so disrespectful that John strong/Stu Holden is FOX’s premier commentating duo. Extremely low level. Darke would be a great choice as lead commentator with his record of iconic USMNT calls as noted in the article. Clive Tyldesley, Martin Tyler, Peter Drury, Jim Proudfoot, Guy Mowbry, Callum Williams, Derek Rae, Arlo White, Rob Palmer, Phil Scheon, John Champion, Phil Bonney, along with Darke, just to name a *FEW* are all miles ahead of Strong and Dellacamera who I assume will be commentating as well. Darke and Jacqui Oatley are good adds, at least.

  4. Dstorm

    July 26, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve always thought the call was ‘Goal – Goal – USA!’ rather than ‘Go, go USA!’

    I agree this is great news

  5. MarkB

    July 26, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    Darke > Strong, all day every day.

    • Lee Gaucher

      July 26, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      If Ian Darke is less annoying than Arlo White or John Strong, it can’t possibly be by much. All three always send me scrambling for a foreign language feed. If none are available, I opt for the Mute button.

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