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English announcer Champion moving to US as lead MLS voice


Jon Champion is leaving England to become ESPN's lead announcer for Major League Soccer.

The 53-year-old has been broadcasting British matches since 1988 and is heard around the world calling games for Premier League Productions. He has been working part-time for ESPN during international fixture breaks and starts an exclusive contract with the network on Feb. 1. He plans to move to the Boston area, within commuting distance from ESPN's campus in Bristol, Connecticut.

Champion will pair with former U.S. forward Taylor Twellman as ESPN's lead crew for MLS. Ian Darke, another English announcer, is ESPN's lead soccer broadcast and usually pairs with Twellman on U.S. national team matches.

Adrian Healy, who had been ESPN's lead MLS voice, will still be a major presence in ESPN's soccer coverage.

ESPN broadcast the World Cup from 1994-2014 but lost 2018-26 to Fox. ESPN shares U.S. Soccer Federation and MLS rights with Fox.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Ronald Blum, The Associated Press

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