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Darke: the new 'voice' of American soccer
by Paul Kennedy, September 24th, 2010 5:59PM

TAGS:  television


[TELEVISION WATCH] British commentator Ian Darke, the No. 2 play-by-play man on ESPN's World Cup coverage, is joining ESPN as its "lead soccer voice," meaning he'll be the primary play-by-play man for not only English Premier League matches on ESPN2 but U.S. national team games and marquee MLS matches.

He joins ESPN after commentating on Premier League and UEFA Champions League matches on Sky Sports for the past 18 years.
“Having Ian Darke as our year-round signature voice for soccer programming reaffirms ESPN’s commitment to elevate our overall coverage of the sport in the U.S.,” said Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer, ESPN Event Production.  “Ian’s experience, authenticity and passion for the sport, which were evident throughout the World Cup, will resonate with our viewers, who have come to expect top-quality soccer commentary from ESPN.”

  1. Brian Something
    commented on: September 24, 2010 at 7:35 p.m.
    Oh, it's incredible!
  1. Ian Plenderleith
    commented on: September 27, 2010 at 7:59 a.m.
    His "authenticity"? So, he's not a computer-generated hologram? And "passion" is the obligatory buzz-word to describe everybody who has anything to do with the game nowadays, at all levels and in every field - players, coaches, fans, broadcasters, ticket sales executives, stewards - if you haven't got a "passion" for the game, you're probably not... authentic. Heaven forbid they should appoint someone who's knowledgeable and professional (Darke would then be disqualified from the job on both counts).
  1. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis
    commented on: September 27, 2010 at 8:29 a.m.
    Ian Darke, like most British commentators and unlike most US commentators, is capable of speaking in complete sentences, and of actually describing the game going on in front of him, rather than his dinner with the footie star the week before. And even though he has a foreign accent, almost everybody should be able to understand what he says. He speaks clearly, without the gap-filling "uhh's" and "um's" that ESPN's current soccer commentators need to give them time to construct their half-completed thoughts.
  1. Jeffrey c Tufts
    commented on: September 27, 2010 at 8:56 a.m.
    Regarding Kyr-Roger St.-Denis' comment: AMEN. YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT !!
  1. Nikolaus Gabris z
    commented on: September 27, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.
    It's about TIME!!!!!
  1. Nikolaus Gabris z
    commented on: September 27, 2010 at 12:43 p.m.
    The only domestic announcer that I always enjoyed and who was telling it "like it is" but too contraversial for the National Team higher up's is Eric Wynalda. Alexi Lalas is another one that I enjoy..Be great to see either one teamed up with I. Darke.
  1. Tom Symonds
    commented on: September 27, 2010 at 6:44 p.m.
    Loved his call of the USA-Algeria match at WC2010. I'll bet if asked he will consider that among his very best. His genuine thrill of the moment came through. That's exactly what ESPN needs to begin to broadcast regularly to the US viewing audience. Bravo, ESPN...there's hope for you, yet.
  1. Kevin Leahy
    commented on: September 27, 2010 at 8:37 p.m.
    I have had enough of all that is British. Of course we don't have anyone here either!

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