John Strong joins Fox as MLS and Women’s World Cup announcer

January 22, 2015 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Strong has agreed to an exclusive deal with Fox Sports and will broadcast Major League Soccer games and this year’s Women’s World Cup.

Strong has been the lead MLS announcer on NBC since the middle of the 2013 season, when Arlo White moved to England for the network’s Premier League coverage.

Strong, 29, has called Europa League, CONCACAF Champions League and Women’s World Cup qualifying for Fox, which has U.S. rights to FIFA events through the 2022 World Cup. He also has broadcast Portland Timbers’ matches.

Fox made the announcement Thursday. It recently added analysts Alexi Lalas and Brad Friedel, both former players for the U.S. national team.

Fox had intended to use Gus Johnson as its lead soccer announcer but said in September he was stepping down. Johnson was criticized by many soccer fans for a lack of knowledge of the sport.