Behind The ScenesSoccer

Before Team USA vs. Panama tonight on ESPN2, Ian Darke revisits two of his greatest calls

Ian Darke is a relative newcomer to U.S. sports fans, but in the seven years since he burst on the scene for ESPN, his voice has become synonymous with big moments in American soccer.

It all started in 2010 when Darke captured the imagination of fans across the country with his call of Landon Donovan’s stoppage-time goal against Algeria in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Other memorable moments voiced by Darke include: Abby Wambach saving the USA in the 2011 Women’s World Cup against Brazil; Jermaine Jones scoring on “a cracker” against Portugal in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil; and, of course, John Brooks’ goal versus Ghana in the same World Cup (see video above).

“When you hear Ian’s voice, you know a big event is about to unfold,” said Amy Rosenfeld, senior coordinating producer and ESPN’s lead soccer production executive. “His unique style and turn of phrase happens so naturally that you become completely captivated and cannot help but smile. I am a grateful soccer fan.”

As the US Men’s National Team plays a pivotal 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match tonight against Panama (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and the ESPN App) in Orlando, Darke will again be in the booth with analyst Taylor Twellman describing the action. If history is any indication, Darke will voice yet another defining moment in the story of US Soccer.

Chris Wondoloski, Chris “Zop” Alexopoulos, Shelby Lacy and Mac Nwulu produced the video.

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