A lot of different people have a lot of different opinions when it comes to Major League Soccer, and you know what? That’s okay. It’s an ever developing league and an ever developing form of football aka soccer in the United States, and of course, Canada. They’re growing with each and every passing year and while there’s still a lot of work to be done, it’s hard to deny their courage and spirit when it comes to the end goal of becoming one of the sport’s best leagues.
However, there is one random anecdote that we think needs to be drastically improved in order for fans to enjoy the product around the world: commentators. Pro Soccer USA wants to focus on talking about the Power Rankings and US Soccer Players want to talk about the state of the management operations, and while that’s all well and good, we think this is a pretty basic movement that can be solved fairly simply.
Okay, but not ideal
The commentary on everyday MLS games is okay, and that’s the best way we could think to describe it. On the opposite end of the spectrum you could also probably describe it as being incredibly underwhelming, or perhaps even cringeworthy. We understand that the game is pretty new over in the States and we sympathise with fans because of that fact, but let’s be honest with ourselves here.
One of the worst atrocities committed by the commentary teams in question is simple: using terms that apply to other top American sports. Whether it be a shutout or a glove save or perhaps something even more exuberant than that, let’s just try and think outside of the box, shall we?
Plus, it feels like they push far too hard in order to create a larger than life story to go alongside the game itself. Newsflash: we don’t want to hear the commentators make it about themselves, because instead, we simply want to hear them give us some direction on what’s actually happening on the pitch. If something great or memorable happens then it needs to be natural, and it needs to come straight from the heart.
That sounds a little bit cheesy, but that’s kind of what this job entails.
Too much of a good(ish) thing?
The Americans have that part in their arsenal, but it comes in bucket-loads instead of in small doses. They need to be able to settle things down and pace things out a little bit, because when they don’t, it can lead to really broken commentary and that’s not a position you want to be in.
We tend to find that one foreign commentator and one American makes for a pretty good balance, which is a strategy that we’d like to see more and more networks progressively employ. It gives fans a different voice to enjoy and it provides them with some much needed diversity, which we’re never going to complain about.
All in all we really like the direction that the MLS is heading in, but we just want to see a few tweaks made along the way.