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SBD/February 6, 2013/Media
Gus Johnson To Call Soccer Games As Fox Preps Him For '18 World Cup
Published February 6, 2013
NOT A GRAND PLAN: Shanks said having Johnson call soccer matches "wasn’t a grand plan from the beginning and it was kind of off-the-cuff." Shanks: "It’s a tough assignment, but he pours himself in his work. It took awhile and took some coercing. But he’s a unique sports voice, and there’s a first time for everything.” Johnson said he wants to “tap into the passion of the world’s game and understand why it’s almost more than a religious experience for some of these fans” (USA TODAY, 2/6).
TIME TO RISE AND FIRE? ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said fans should give Johnson a "chance," as he is "going to spend six years practicing this" prior to the '18 World Cup. In addition to calling Earthquakes games, Johnson is also “actually playing pick-up soccer to learn the game." MacMullan: "That’s dedication." Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, “I like the idea of bringing in a familiar face and a familiar voice, but the problem is the ball doesn’t go ‘forward’ enough in soccer. And he’s going to have to work on getting some new topics to throw out as the game drags along.” Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, “He’d make a great voice of American soccer, but he’s got to work on those ‘Goals!’ He’s got to extend the words a lot longer” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/5).