18 March 2012

Feeling good about Broadcast No. 1

So, my first FC Dallas broadcast is in the books after I called last night’s game with Dante Washington. I’m always a bit anxious before anything new, so it almost feels like a relief to get the game under my belt. But all those nerves always make me forget that calling games is a blast. It sounds corny, but I walked out of the stadium last night with a smile on my face, thinking about how much I had enjoyed the past six-plus hours. I’ll have to wait a bit to do it again – my next Dallas telecast isn’t until April 21 – but I’m already excited to do three games in eight days on that trip.

My partner for the game, Dante Washington, is an accomplished former player in MLS. He went to the Olympics in 1992, scored two goals for the U.S. national team, and had a 10-year pro career, playing eight of those 10 years in MLS. He’s most associated with the Columbus Crew and still lives in Columbus, but he played four years for the Dallas Burn, and there were all sorts of memories and connections that came up over the course of the day.

Saturday was the first time Dante and I had met each other, much less worked together, but we talked in the morning with Portland head coach John Spencer, a familiar face to both of us, and then grabbed lunch together, giving the two of us a bit of a rapport heading into the broadcast.

Thanks to Houston fan Yossarin for this screenshot
I haven’t reviewed the broadcast yet, so I’m sure I’ll come up with a litany of positives and negatives from watching the finished product, but I came away feeling good about it. I thought we worked well with the crew to show relevant graphics at appropriate times (showing the teams’ series history, looking at substitutes available in the second half, etc.) Dante and I knew the teams and their game plans – although Bryan Leyva’s insertion into the starting lineup was a surprise even to us – and the match pretty much played out how we expected it to. Portland was dangerous with crosses from the flanks, while Dallas took the lead with a deserved goal but struggled to maintain possession afterwards.

In the end, the result – a 1-1 tie – was probably a fair one, although as broadcasters we were hoping for a few more scoring chances in the final 20 minutes. Dallas was just so shorthanded that they didn’t have many offensive options on the field: Both outside midfielders are normally outside backs, so Pérez and Villar were really the only purely attacking players on the field. You can check out the highlights at this link or re-watch the whole broadcast with MLS Live.

After the game, it was fun to go down to the stadium’s club and relax a bit while watching MLS games, NCAA games, and the Mavericks game on various TVs. It was cool to see Dallas players come by and mingle with fans and front-office members, and it was especially fun seeing fans and volunteers greet Dante as a dear friend from his playing days. Everybody from Dallas was really welcoming to us both, and we’re looking forward to many return trips this season. Dante will work some games with Mark Followill, and there will be different color analysts throughout the year, but hopefully we got the FC Dallas broadcast season off to a good start!

Portland Timbers (1-0-1) vs. FC Dallas (1-0-1)
March 17, 2012 -- FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, TX

Scoring Summary:
FCD -- Blas Perez 1 (unassisted) 22
POR -- Darlington Nagbe 1 (unassisted) 51

Portland Timbers -- Troy Perkins, Lovel Palmer, Hanyer Mosquera, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace, Kalif Alhassan, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Eric Alexander (James Marcelin 77), Kris Boyd, Jorge Perlaza (Darlington Nagbe 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Bendik, Freddie Braun, Mike Chabala, Bright Dike, Andrew Jean-Baptiste.

FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Bryan Leyva (George John 46+), Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, Ricardo Villar, Carlos Rodriguez, Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Bruno Guarda, Matt Hedges, Luis Perea, Chris Seitz, Bobby Warshaw, Andrew Wiedeman.

Misconduct Summary:
POR -- Rodney Wallace (caution; Hard Foul) 9
POR -- Jack Jewsbury (caution; Hard Foul) 13
FCD -- Jair Benitez (caution; Hard Foul) 66

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Matthew Kreitzer
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Attendance: 12,203
Weather: Cloudy-and-77 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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