What’s in today’s media column (linked here): How Ian Darke has made it over to L.A. from his home in London in one piece in time to call Sunday’s MLS Cup from Home Depot Center in Carson. It won’t be easy.
What it doesn’t include: More from Darke (his age? reported to be in his mid 50s) on other aspects of soccer, thinking globally and acting locally in this case:
Q: Is it true that before the Galaxy games you’ve recently done in the last couple of weeks, the only other MLS game you’d called was last season’s final in Toronto?
A: Yes. I do follow it, but tend to watch on a week-by-week basis and know I’ll have to get involved in the playoff stage. My main beat is the Premiere League, and it’s a bit different. But it’s my priority. You can only keep on top of it so far doing it that way. You really need to watch it to soak in all the kind of infomation you want. I think you can’t be everywhere and do everything.
The MLS that I see isn’t live, but I catch up with it on the website. The playoff games are shown here on ESPN UK, so it’s got a lot more publicity in England, with Robbie Keene and the David Beckham angle. I’d not be surprised to see two or three football writers go to this (MLS Cup) game. And if we’re honest, it’s because of Beckham and what his future is, the fact he’s such a big name. You put his name in the paper and it sells and sells, but that’s the hook. This game is far more interesting to them than say Colorado and Dallas last year. One problem was that it was in Toronto, thousands of miles from the fans of either team, and very cold. There’s no denying it had a slightly subdued feeling. This, however, should be a great atmostphere.
Q: What encourages you about how American audiences have started to pick up finally on soccer as a TV sport?