He made his hosting debut yesterday at the Portland Timbers victory over the Colorado Rapids, but NBC Sports officially announced this morning that John Strong has become the lead voice for MLS on NBC Sports. He was formerly the voice of the Portland Timbers, and will now be the lead play-by-play announcer for NBC Sports' MLS coverage.
NBC Sports continues to mine the Pacific Northwest for talent. Arlo White, who was plucked from Seattle Sounders broadcasts, will be NBC Sports' voice of the Premier League. It marks a drastic change from Fox Soccer, which simulcasted Sky Sports broadcasts and did all their studio work from Los Angeles. While that did mean the occasional match called by Martin Tyler, it didn't build a loyalty the way Ian Darke did for ESPN. NBC Sports looks to be developing White into a similar figure.
The release also announced Kyle Martino will be doing Premier League studio coverage as well as MLS, alongside host Rebecca Lowe. The Premier League studio will also feature Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, who will also contribute to the MLS studio show.
The release did say that Arlo White will be able to do select MLS broadcasts though he is now the main play-by-play announcer for the Premier League coverage. NBC Sports will broadcast some MLS playoff matches, and as Ian Darke has done on occasion bringing in White will serve to add to the "big game feel" of the coverage.
NBC Sports goes to Philadelphia this weekend to broadcast the Union's tilt with FC Dallas with Arlo White still on the call. Philadelphia defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on ESPN this past weekend. The upcoming weekend's ESPN match will again feature the Red Bulls, hosting the Houston Dynamo.
John Strong will take over play by play duties on July 6th, with the Vancouver Whitecaps hosting the Seattle Sounders. ESPN will broadcast from Chicago that weekend, a match against Sporting Kansas City. The Galaxy will have two matches that round, hosting the Columbus Crew on Independence Day and then FC Dallas on Sunday the 7th.
LA could lose Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez after the tilt against the Crew with Gold Cup duties. The Gold Cup will be broadcast on Fox Soccer. The next Galaxy broadcast on NBC Sports will be when they visit Portland on July 13th, with John Strong on the call.