As reported on other sites , the Sounders have announced their new TV announcer. As a refresher for those who may have forgotten or not noticed–over the offseason Sounders FC let Ross Fletcher go, despite his interest in remaining the “Voice of the Sounders.” To replace him, the Sounders have handed the reins for the TV side to Keith Costigan.
Costigan is somewhat experienced as he has worked at Fox as a studio commentator and color analyst for Fox’s coverage of various international and MLS soccer matches. The issue though, is that from 2001-02 he played for the then A-League Portland Timbers. He has also indicated that he continues to be a lifelong fan of the team:
“I make no bones about it, even on the show, that I’m a Timbers fan. I was a long-suffering Timbers fan because since I played up there, I wanted MLS there. I would say it every year — Portland is the best city to get a franchise, the fan base there will do us proud — and they’ve shown that. Every week it’s the first fixture I look for. When I saw the fans sing the National Anthem for the first time I remember getting chills just thinking about how proud I was to be involved in Portland many moons ago.”
This seems like a rather thoughtless move on the part of the front office. If they wanted to go in a different direction from Ross Fletcher– while I’m not a huge fan of the decision– I could understand it. What I don’t understand is that out of the available pool of commentators– all of whom would love a gig in the biggest soccer market in the US– Why on earth would you pick a guy who is an avowed fan of biggest rival of that team?
I’m sure at the end of the day he will be a professional and may even be a good commentator, but we will have to see how it all plays out. This seems to be yet another potential misstep by a franchise that from founding until a year ago, seemed to have all of the right moves.
What’s your thoughts on of all this? Let me know in the comments.