John Strong (sportscaster)
|Born||June 21, 1985|
|Education||University of Oregon|
|Spouse(s)||Nicole (Wilcox) Strong|
John Strong is an American television play-by-play broadcaster who is the lead Major League Soccer voice for Fox Sports. His work has appeared on NBC, FOX, ESPN among other networks. Strong is a former radio host on 750-AM "The Game" in Portland, Oregon and was the radio and television play-by-play announcer for the Portland Timbers Major League Soccer team.
Strong began his broadcasting career while in high school at Lake Oswego High School, where he founded Laker Broadcasting. Strong created audio broadcasts of LOHS football and basketball games beginning in 2002.
While attending School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, Strong worked at 750 KXL in Portland and was active at Oregon's campus station, KWVA. Strong continued his play-by-play work by broadcasting University of Oregon women's soccer, softball, and women's lacrosse. He also served as play-by-play voice for the Eugene Generals Junior Hockey team in 2005-06.
Strong's first full-time broadcast job came at Portland's KXL radio and, later, 750 AM "The Game" in 2008. Strong produced "The Bald Faced Truth" radio show and also hosted a daily evening radio show called "Strong at Night" for the station.
In 2010, Strong appeared on FSN Northwest as a play-by-play announcer for the Portland Timbers and in 2011 became the regular play-by-play announcer for Timbers broadcasts. Strong was a regular commentator on Europa League games for Fox Soccer, notably calling the 2013 Europa League final between Chelsea and Benfica. After the 2012-2013 season, he moved to NBC Sports to cover Major League Soccer and English Premier League football. Following NBC's loss of Major League Soccer coverage to Fox Sports in 2014, it was announced that Strong was moving full-time to Fox Sports to head the Major League Soccer, and Women's World Cup coverage. Strong was previously working part-time for Fox when he was not obligated to his NBC duties. In 2015, Strong also began to serve as the lead play-by-play voice for most United States men's national soccer team matches broadcast on FOX or Fox Sports 1, because of a new television contract between U.S. Soccer, Fox Sports, and ESPN. Brad Friedel joined him as the lead color commentator for these matches. He and lead color commentator Stuart Holden called the Fox broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including the final.
Strong's signature calls are "This one finishes (final scoreline)" at the completion of every match and, at the end of every half, "45 minutes down, 45 to go" with the first part of the catchphrase building up to the outburst of the second.
- MLS: 2012–2014 (NBCSN), 2015–present (Fox Sports)
- FIFA Women's World Cup: 2015 (Fox Sports)
- UEFA Europa League: 2014–2016 (Fox Sports)
- UEFA Champions League: 2016-2018 (Fox Sports)
- FIFA World Cup: 2018 (Fox Sports)
In 2013, Strong was named Oregon Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. In 2011, he was awarded Major League Soccer’s Broadcast Call of the Year for his play-by-play call of midfielder Darlington Nagbe’s goal against Sporting Kansas City on July 2, 2011 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland. Strong’s call has been viewed nearly two million times on YouTube.com and following the season was named the Timbers’ 2011 Play of the Year.
Strong is married to Nicole Wilcox, a former Washington State University soccer player who led the Women's Premier Soccer League in goals scored in 2011. Wilcox Strong previously coached the Central Catholic High School girls' soccer team and was named the Mt. Hood Conference Coach of the Year after winning a league title in 2012.
- "NBC Sports Group names John Strong lead voice for MLS" (Press release). NBC Sports. June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- Canzano, John (June 23, 2013). "Finally, a Strong voice in American soccer". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Laker Broadcasting: About Us". Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Ducks Weekly Women's Soccer Digest". Salem-News. September 5, 2006.
- "NCAA Softball: No. 13 Oregon Opens Pac-10 with Cal and Stanford". Salem-News. March 28, 2007.
- Goff, Steven (July 13, 2018). "John Strong was once an American 'soccer nerd by myself.' Now he's calling the World Cup final". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- "NSSA Announces 2013 Award Winners". NSAA. January 10, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Best of 2011: Strong wins MLS Broadcast Call of the Year". Timbers.com. December 26, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Battle Ground product still going strong". The Columbian. June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "2012 Fall Sports Review". Central Catholic High School. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.