Today’s Norwalk Hour includes a long column by sports editor Matt Doran on 1 of ESPN’s rising World Cup announcers: Kyle Martino ’99
Martino’s path to the announcing booth was serendipitous. In 2008, while sitting out a red card suspension with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the former MLS Rookie of the Year was invited upstairs for a 5-minute interview.
He stayed for 30. ESPN brass liked what they saw and heard. Martino enjoyed himself too.
He began working ESPN2’s Game of the Week show. From there, it was a quick step to the World Cup.
When the Cup kicks off tomorrow, Martino will be calling more than 20 games on ESPN radio. He’ll also do interviews and analysis on ESPN and ESPN News during breaks in World Cup coverage.
Unfortunately, he won’t be 8,000 miles away in South Africa. The radio work is done at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut — 60 miles from here.
“We have head sets and three giant TVs to watch the games,” Martino told the Hour.
So we’ll just sit and call the games from there. It’s a lot more difficult not being there getting a sense of the vibe and seeing what goes on outside what the camera shows. But it does make it possible to do a bunch of games in a row.
It’s perfect logistically. If someone gets an injury or if a news item occurs, I can jump into the ESPN2 studio and do an interview. It works out perfectly.
It’s going to be awesome. Not only will I get to watch all the games, I’ll be doing it as an analyst at ESPN, the all-time sports Mecca. I really couldn’t ask for more.”
I had a passion for my pro soccer career, and I feel the same buzz about this. My plan and goal is to make this a career. My goal is to be the voice of soccer in America.”
Doran noted that although Martino is covering soccer at its highest level, his roots remain local with Staples.
“Staples and Westport is where I fell in love with the game,” the former Gatorade National Player of the Year said.
“Playing at Staples under coaches like Jeff Lea and Dan Woog and with other guys like Chris Mitchell and Mickey Kydes, those are the people who helped me get to where I am today, in a place where people actually care about my opinion in soccer.
“So it all goes back to Staples. Always.”
(To read the entire interview, click here.)