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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (June 21, 2010) – The title of longest running U.S. soccer broadcaster now belongs to St. Louisan Bill McDermott.  With the retirement of the legendary Seamus Malin, McDermott, who is in his 38th year behind the microphone, has now been broadcasting soccer longer than any current U.S. announcer.

McDermott can be heard throughout the 2010 FIFA World Cup on KFNS 590 AM in St. Louis as well as on McDermott is also filing updates on KMOX 1120 AM and appears on NBC KSDK Channel 5 and FOX KTVI Channel 2 in St. Louis.

“Soccer has been a part of my life for many years and has provided me with great opportunities, both as a player and an announcer,” said McDermott. “I’ve been very fortunate to work with all the people I’ve encountered along the way, and I’ve taken a lot from each of them. It’s shaped the commentator I am today. Even after 38 years, I feel very fortunate and honored to still love what I do.”

After playing soccer for most of his life, McDermott began covering the sport as a reporter in 1970 when he attended the FIFA World Cup in Mexico and provided reports for KMOX radio in St. Louis. In 1972, he began his career announcing games in the North American Soccer League, providing color analysis for St. Louis Stars away games on KPLR-TV in St. Louis. 

In addition to providing commentary for the first soccer game televised on ESPN in 1979, highlights to his career include:

  • Color commentator on Anheuser-Busch’s “Sports Time” Cable Network for college outdoor (NCAA), professional indoor (MISL) and professional outdoor (NASL) soccer  
  • Color commentator for Cleveland Force on WOIO-TV in Cleveland, OH and was awarded an Emmy for coverage ▪ Voice-over for Budweiser radio commercial during 1994 World Cup  
  • Color commentator for the inaugural season of MLS soccer for ESPN and espn2  
  • Color commentator for the Dallas Cup for ESPN International and espn2  
  • Reported on games for MLS Wrap Show on Fox Sports World ▪ Play-by-play and color analysis for NASL, MISL, and MLS teams in addition to teams on the collegiate level 
  • Morning host of FIFA World Cup Today, XM radio’s daily coverage of the 2006 tournament in Germany. 
  • Reported on all FIFA World Cups since 1970 

In January of 2009, McDermott was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame as part of the St. Louis University Men’s Soccer teams that won NCAA Championships in 1967 and 1969 and in recognition of SLU’s 50 Years of Soccer. He is also in the McBride High School, the St. Louis University and the St. Louis Soccer Halls of Fame.

“They don’t call Bill ‘Mr. Soccer’ for nothing. He is steeped in the history of the game, while also staying current. He knows it strategically, technically, and historically,” said NBC sportscaster Bob Costas. “As a one-time excellent player himself, his commentary carries additional credibility. Plus he’s a universally well liked guy – easy to work with, easy to be around - unless you object to his propensity for recycling the same dozen or so jokes and routines for the entire 35 years I’ve known him."

“Some of my best soccer memories were at the 1998 World Cup in France, working with Bill McDermott,” said ESPN soccer announcer JP Dellacamera. “Bill has always impressed me with his knowledge of the game and its history, along with his work ethic. He has always been a pleasure to work with.”

Currently, McDermott is the color commentator for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer. McDermott will also play a role this year in the inaugural season for AC St. Louis in men’s second division professional soccer and will help to promote the USA Bid Committee’s efforts to bring the FIFA World Cup back to the United States in 2018 or 2022. 

The last World Cup held in the United States was in 1994, drawing a record crowd of 3,587,538. That year, McDermott provided color commentary for ESPN during the matches held in Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif. McDermott graduated from Saint Louis University where he studied Psychology and Marketing and played soccer.

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