Turns out, Arlo White was trying to tell us something with that cryptic t-shirt tease on Instagram a couple weeks ago. He’s on the way to Chicago this summer to call Fire matches on WGN-TV and ESPN+.
The club announced today that White is being joined by former U.S. National Team star goalkeeper Tony Meola, and former Phoenix Rising play-by-play voice Tyler Terens on the Fire’s TV broadcasts this season.
White, the lead voice for NBC Sports Group’s Premier League coverage since 2013-14, will join the Fire’s broadcast crew in May once the English season wraps up. He’ll work Fire matches during the Premier League’s offseason, and will return to the UK in August. White is also committed to calling soccer matches for NBC’s 2020 Olympic coverage, so he’ll have to miss Fire matches during that time, as well.
A native of Leicester, England, White delivers a proper English accent on the call, but never comes off as stuffy. He’s known for bringing crafty language to his broadcasts, like the time he described then-Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud scoring with his “meaty French forehead.”
White has been visiting Chicago since he was a child, and is a massive Chicago Bears and Cubs fan.
“I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that my first visit to Chicago in 1986, as a wide-eyed 13-year-old visiting my uncle and auntie, had a profound impact on the course of my life,” White said in a news release. “It ignited a love of this city and of the United States. I’ve been obsessed with all things Chicago and Americana ever since. If you’d told that English teenager that 30-odd years later he would have the opportunity to call football matches for the Fire’s return to Soldier Field? Well, I think he’d have cried tears of joy. I’ve been back to the city countless times since that first trip. I just love being here. It feels like my home away from home. This is an exciting year for Chicago Fire FC, and I am delighted to bring my experience to the Soldier Field booth.
“I’d also like to thank NBC Sports for allowing me to pursue this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the Chicago Fire in a city that I adore, during the Premier League offseason.”
Prior to joining NBC, White was the play-by-play voice of the Seattle Sounders.
Terens, 26, will be on the call when White is absent, and will be involved with the broadcast in other capacities when White is available. Terens comes to the Fire after calling more than 500 soccer matches including Concacaf Champions League, Concacaf Gold Cup, Concacaf Nations League, U.S. Open Cup, USL and NCAA. He also spent the past two seasons as the voice of Phoenix Rising FC, covering all home and away matches as well as hosting a Concacaf Champions League show.
Terens is a former college soccer player at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y.
Meola will work alongside Terens and White as a color commentator for all 24 matches on WGN-TV and ESPN+. He’s no stranger to American soccer fans, having started at goalkeeper for the U.S. during the 1994 World Cup, and winning the 2000 MLS MVP award—still the only goalkeeper ever to do so.
“I’m excited to join the Fire broadcast team and look forward to working with Arlo and Tyler this year,” Meola said in a release. “This season will be an exciting one for the club with a new Head Coach, a homecoming at Soldier Field, a new broadcast partner in WGN and the continued passion of the fans. I am looking forward to a great season.”
Meola has worked as a soccer broadcaster for decades. He was on one of Fox’s top crews during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and he can be heard daily on SiriusXM FC’s Counter Attack radio show, a program he has co-hosted since 2013.
The New Broadcast Team Begins this Saturday
Terens and Meola will have the call as the Fire make its 2020 debut on WGN-TV and ESPN+ on Saturday, March 7 when the team travels to play New England Revolution in Foxborough, Mass. Coverage begins at 12:15 p.m. CT with a live pregame show on ESPN+. Coverage on WGN-TV will begin at 12:30 p.m. CT.
Of the club’s 34 MLS regular season matches, all 24 local broadcasts will be on WGN-TV and ESPN+. An additional ten games will air on national broadcasts across ABC, ESPN, FS1, Univision and UniMás.