Desert Diamond Cup: Homework, hustle key for soccer broadcaster

2013-02-23T00:00:00Z 2013-02-23T00:19:03Z Desert Diamond Cup: Homework, hustle key for soccer broadcasterDave Ord Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

If Arlo White isn't the voice of American soccer, then he's in the 18-yard box clearly within striking distance.

The Englishman has worked his way up the soccer announcing ladder in the United States in less than four years.

After a decade of working with BBC Radio Sport, he was the television and radio voice of Seattle Sounders FC in 2010 and 2011. Last year, he moved to NBC Sports to announce both Major League Soccer and U.S. national team matches. He will be behind the microphone tonight, when the NBC Sports Network carries the Desert Diamond Cup final from Kino Stadium.

"The (Tucson) facilities look absolutely magnificent," White said while watching Real Salt Lake take penalties during Friday's practice. "All the teams and the players and the coaches that I've spoken to are just beside themselves with joy of what they have experienced here. They all feel like they're getting the perfect work in before the start of the season."

White will be getting in his work on tonight's telecast, a precursor to a season that includes 38 MLS broadcasts on NBC Sports Network and three more on NBC.

"It being preseason, there are going to be a few names out there that I've never come across before," White said. "So I'm researching a lot of supplemental draft picks and trialists. You've got to be prepared for any player that comes on. I've studied all 65 to 70 players that are here."

Preparation is a significant part of the game, but it doesn't hurt to have a slightly deep, cultured English accent to set you apart from most of the other announcers in this country.

That voice will certainly be remembered as part of 2012 Olympics experience for U.S. women's soccer viewers.

White called the Olympics final and the Americans' 4-3 semifinal win over Canada. The U.S. scored in extra time at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. White said the dramatic finish ranks "at least in the top three" of the best matches he has announced.

"It was incredible. The drama that was unfolding in front of us," White said.

When U.S. forward Alex Morgan scored the match-winner in stoppage time, White's call of, "Oh, it's in!" included his voice breaking on the last word.

"I hated that. People say, 'His voice broke and it just added drama to the call,' but I, as a broadcaster, absolutely hated it," White said. "I put it down to doing games every day and this one going to 123 minutes."

It doesn't seem to have done any damage to the career of a man who was named after singer Arlo Guthrie.

"Mom and dad were huge, huge folk fans," he said.

They way his career and the sport are going, it might not be long until White has many folks who are huge, huge fans.

Corner kick

• Today's third-place match between the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution will start at 3:40 p.m. The time was moved up from 4 p.m. Today's final will start at 6 p.m. as scheduled.

Today

Desert Diamond Cup at Kino Stadium

• Third-place match: New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls, 3:40 p.m., no TV

• Championship: Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 6 p.m., NBC Sports Network

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