Ian Darke has signed a multi-year agreement to remain with ESPN. His new contract to be ESPN’s lead play-by-play announcer runs through 2020. He is arguably one of the most recognizable voices in soccer for United States audiences. He will also continue to as the lead football commentator for BT Sport, covering the Barclays Premier League and other major European leagues.
Darke Joins ESPN
Darke was hired by ESPN in 2010 and will remain the primary commentator for United States men’s and women’s national team. He will also cover this year’s European Championship that runs from June 10th to July 10th for ESPN.
"Ian is one of the finest English-language commentators in the world and his work has elevated our overall presentation of soccer since he joined ESPN," ESPN's senior coordinating producer Amy Rosenfeld said. "Ian has become a destination listen and has the proven ability to appeal to a wide audience. We are thrilled he will continue as an integral member of our team for years to come."
Darke’s Thoughts on Staying with ESPN
Darke had this to say regarding why he decided to stay with ESPN; "I don't see any point in moving," Darke said last weekend. “I love covering the U.S. games. ESPN have been one of the best things that have happened in my career, really."
Darke continued; “Working alongside so many gifted professionals at ESPN has been a pleasure. So I am delighted that I can continue to be a part of it, and look forward especially to what should be a magnificent European Championships this summer."
“It has been great fun seeing the U.S. men’s team emerge as a respected power on the global stage and somehow, their games often seem to be dripping with drama. The brilliant women’s team remains world brand leaders,” he added. “So these next few years should be more than interesting in the commentary booth.”
In this writer’s opinion, he is one of the best. Listen to his call on Landon Donovan’s game-winning goal against Algeria during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Next Time Darke Calls a U.S. Game
Darke will return to the United States to call the USMNT World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on March 29th in Columbus, Ohio. It will be a joy to hear him call USMNT and USWNT games for the next four years.
all quotes courtesy of ESPN press release