Veteran ESPN soccer commentator Rob Stone has jumped to Los Angeles-based Fox Soccer, the latest switch in what has become something of a soccer media merry-go-round this offseason.
Already, Brit Arlo “the voice of the Seattle Sounders” White has joined new MLS home NBC Sports Network (formerly Verses) and ESPN dumped John “Brilliant!” Harkes.
Now the seemingly perpetually cherubic Stone has joined Fox Soccer as lead studio host for that channel as well as games shown on FX and the main Fox network. It’s an obvious credibility-grabbing effort for a network that just lost MLS.
From the Fox Soccer press release:
National Soccer Hall of famer Eric Wynalda, the second-leading goal scorer in U.S. history, who has served Fox Soccer’s primary studio host, shifts to become lead studio analyst.
Upon joining Fox, Stone’s first assignment is to host Fox Sports’ coverage of Arsenal vs. Manchester United prior to the NFC Championship Game, at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Jan. 22, the first-ever live Barclay’s Premier League match on U.S. broadcast television. He’ll also host Fox Soccer’s signature studio programs including Goals on Sunday, wich focuses on the Premier League, Italy’s Serie A and UEFA Champions League action and Match Day, two live studio shows bridging the network’s Saturday morning Premier League matches.
Stone, a 1991 Colgate graduate, joined ESPN in 1997 and worked the last four World Cups for the network.
He will also host live coverage of the Chelsea-Manchester United game on Super Bowl Sunday and become lead anchor of the network’s UEFA Champions League coverage.