Announced today, Fox Sports says former ESPN soccer announcer, sideline reporter and bowling play-by-play man Rob Stone comes over to host soccer on Fox Sports Media Group platforms.
Rob begins with the Fox mothership on January 22 when he hosts the English Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United live on the same day as the NFC Championship.
He will be main host for Fox Soccer’s Goals on Sunday show and Match Day. In addition, he’ll host Champions League games starting with the Round of 16.
Stone will replace Eric Wynalda who has been absolutely hideous as studio host. Wynalda will become primary studio analyst, a role for which he’s much better suited.
We can expect to see Rob when the World Cup matches comes to Fox in 2015. Good move for Rob as he has been a big soccer supporter.
Here’s the announcement from Fox Sports.
Seasoned Sportscaster Becomes Lead Host for FOX Soccer
& All Soccer Events on FSMG Outlets
New York — Seasoned sportscaster Rob Stone joins FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) as the lead studio host for FOX Soccer and all soccer events on FSMG outlets, including FOX Sports and FX. The announcement was made today by FOX Soccer Executive Vice President & General Manager David Nathanson, and his appointment is effective immediately. Stone’s position is based in Los Angeles. 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 match prior to the NFC Championship Game, Sunday, Jan. 22 (10:30 AM-1:00 PM ET), 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 which focuses on 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.
“To say we’re excited to have an on-air personality with the experience and depth of understanding for soccer that Rob has would be an understatement,” said Nathanson. “He’ll quickly become the face fans expect to see when tuning into one of the many major international soccer events FOX has scheduled this year and in the years to follow.”
“I’m massively grateful and humbled by this opportunity,” offered Stone. “When I first began playing the sport at age 5, I never imagined it would allow me to work four FIFA World Cups and make a living covering the world’s greatest game.”
In addition to his FOX Soccer studio work and his Premier League assignment for FOX Sports in January, Stone is also set to host FOX Sports’ studio coverage of “The Game Before the Game” featuring Chelsea versus Manchester United, live from Stamford Bridge on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5 (10:30 AM-1:00 PM ET). He’ll also be lead anchor for FOX Soccer’s UEFA Champions League coverage beginning with the round of 16 on Feb. 14; FOX Soccer and FX coverage of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and FOX Sports’ coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final this spring.
Stone comes to FOX directly from ESPN, an entity he joined in 1997 as a professional soccer commentator. Stone served as a host, play-by-play announcer and sideline reporter for select MLS and U.S. Soccer telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, worked the last four FIFA World Cups and hosted 12 MLS Cups. During World Cup ’98, he traveled throughout host country France, filing reports on offbeat and behind-the-scenes stories. At the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, Stone served as host of World Cup 2Night on ESPN2 and during the pregame, halftime and postgame segments. He served as both a reporter and play-by-play announcer at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
In addition to his vast soccer resume, Stone branched out over the years and became one of ESPN’s most valuable and versatile personalities, serving as a college football/basketball play-by-play announcer, show host, sideline reporter and general assignment reporter. In addition to college football and professional soccer, Stone’s contributions at ESPN include coverage of men’s and women’s college basketball; NCAA tennis; national spelling bee; boxing; skiing; darts; horse racing; the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest; Great Outdoor Games; college soccer; track & field; and the PBA.
Stone began his television career as an ESPN production assistant working on SportsCenter, Outside The Lines and College GameDay (1992-93). He then went to FOX affiliate WFXL-TV in Albany, Ga., as a weekend sports anchor/sports reporter (1993-94) and sports director (1994-95). From there, Stone moved to WTOG-TV in Tampa/St. Petersburg, where he served as weekend sports anchor and sports reporter (1995-97). During the 1996 and 1997 MLS seasons, Stone also was an analyst for Tampa Bay Mutiny matches on SportsChannel Florida, now FOX Sports Florida.
A 1991 graduate of Colgate with a bachelor’s degree in English, the Simsbury, Conn., native was an all-state and all-conference soccer player as a midfielder at Colgate, and captained the squad in his senior year.
That’s it for this post.