Moreno: Coining new phrases on TV weekly. - Ronald Martinez
The increase in the availability of soccer games to watch in the United States has been one of the major trends in recent years, and has undoubtedly fueled the growing popularity of the beautiful game here. You can watch games from Mexico, England, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, not to mention continental club tournaments and international matches, quite easily. It is really something.
Along with that increase, there are more broadcasts and supplemental coverage that have popped up. And that's meant there's more of a need for announcers and analysts.
I've noticed in recent months that more and more people once associated with Chivas USA are getting involved in broadcasting. Think about it:
- Alejandro Moreno was the color announcer for the Philadelphia Union last season, and works for ESPN as a color commentator on Mexican soccer and as a studio analyst on "ESPN FC."
- Mariano Trujillo worked for Fox Soccer Channel during the Gold Cup this year as a studio analyst, and works for Fox Deportes on their UEFA Champions League studio coverage.
- Jimmy Conrad has been a color announcer for Portland Timbers broadcasts, but he's essentially created his own unique broadcasting persona, as the best-known member of the "KICK TV" YouTube channel. He hosts his own show and does other spots for the channel.
- Peter Vagenas has done studio analysis work for the LA Galaxy on TWC Sportsnet.
Ok, so four players may not mean a revolution is underway in the media, but it's notable that folks associated with the club at one time or another have been getting into broadcasting, especially in the past year or so.
And it looks like there will be more on the horizon. Carlos Bocanegra
recently joined the panel on "Fox Soccer Daily," so perhaps he'll be looking to join the broadcasting fraternity once his playing days are over (curiously, I don't believe I heard the words "Chivas USA" uttered at all during Bocanegra's 30-minute stint on that recent show). Dan Kennedy
also worked as a studio analyst with MLSsoccer.com during their pregame and postgame shows during the playoffs this year.
And Chelís has worked as an analyst for Fox Deportes (including while he was coaching Chivas), though I'm guessing he won't be doing MLS coverage anytime soon.
So why are players from Chivas getting into broadcasting? As I noted at the top, the demand for analysts is growing, so we're seeing former players of many MLS teams getting into the mix.
But there does seem to be a growing number of ex-Chivas specifically who have gone into broadcasting very recently. And Chivas didn't even have a local broadcast in English for most of the season (not to mention local Chivas USA TV broadcasts in English typically have not had former players as color commentators).
One factor that probably helped them is location. Fox's sports department is headquartered in Los Angeles, so it's easy for networking to happen and for offers to work in TV to be accepted.
The other factor, at least in some cases, is language. Moreno and Trujillo are bilingual and speak English very well. They bring that and a cultural knowledge to their respective networks, and that's something that is needed with much of the soccer coverage in the U.S. being predominantly Eurocentric (and more specifically, Anglocentric with English and Scottish voices dominating coverage).
Though Chivas USA has been maligned over the years for its philosophy(s), I've argued there's a lot of good to come from their bicultural affiliations, and guys like Trujillo and Moreno have contributed that to the broadcasting side of the sport as well.
Of course, one can't argue that merely playing for Chivas USA gives a guy a ticket to a second career in broadcasting, but there seems to be a confluence of factors that have contributed to former Goats filling out the broadcasting ranks very recently. And it looks like it will likely continue into the near future.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!