John Strong interviews Ryan Pore, Inaugural player signing
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Timbers Announce Broadcast Talent for 2011

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Portland Timbers today announced their television and radio broadcast teams for their inaugural Major League Soccer season in 2011.

Calling the action for the Timbers on TV will be play-by-play broadcaster John Strong, and he will be joined by former Jamaican international, English Premier League star and broadcaster Robbie Earle as the Timbers’ analyst.

Veteran broadcaster Andy McNamara will be the voice of the Timbers on Sportsradio 95.5 The Game in 2011. In addition, Greg Flakus joins the Timbers broadcast team on an occasional basis in 2011; he previously did play-by-play for the NASL Timbers. Former USL Timbers defender Ross Smith joins the broadcast team as a radio analyst for home matches.

For La Pantera 940 AM, Fernando Sobrevilla returns for a second season as the Timbers’ Spanish play-by-play broadcaster; he called games for the club during the 2008 season.

The announcement comes two days following the club’s revealing of ROOT SPORTS™, KPTV FOX 12 and Estrella TV (KGW 8.3) as the Timbers’ television partners, and Sportsradio 95.5 The Game (KXTG 95.5 FM) and La Pantera (KWBY 940 AM) as the team’s radio partners.

Broadcaster biographies

John Strong returns for a sixth season as a member of the Timbers broadcast team. An on-air personality for 95.5 The Game, Strong is the host of the weekday show “Strong at Night” and is also the update anchor and contributor to host John Canzano on “The Bald Faced Truth” – the top-rated radio talk show in Oregon. Strong attended the University of Oregon, where he served as the voice of Ducks’ women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse and softball. In all, his broadcasting experience stretches across six different sports, including football, basketball and hockey.

Robbie Earle, a former Jamaican international and English Premier League standout, steps into his first season on the Timbers broadcast team. Earle began his career with Port Vale FC in 1982 and played nine seasons at AFC Wimbledon (1991-2000), where he was named Wimbledon Player of the Decade in 2000. Since his retirement from soccer in 2000, Earle has established himself as a versatile sports journalist working in print, radio, television and digital media, working for some of the United Kingdom’s major media outlets. He played in more than 600 league games during his career. While born in England, Earle’s heritage allowed him to play for the Jamaican National Team from 1997-2000, earning 33 caps and scoring eight goals, including the country’s first goal in a World Cup final.

Andy McNamara has been synonymous with Timbers broadcasts for the last decade, calling matches for the club during its 10 seasons in the second division. With over 20 years of play-by-play experience, McNamara previously worked as the voice of the Portland Pride and Portland Pythons indoor soccer teams. His experience includes broadcasting the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup in addition to extensive work on college football, basketball, hockey and soccer broadcasts. Away from the game, he currently serves as the assistant director of media services for the University of Oregon athletics department.

Fernando Sobrevilla rejoins the Timbers’ broadcast team for a second season as the club’s Spanish play-by-play broadcaster. He called all 15 regular-season home games for the Timbers during the 2008 USL First Division season. Born in Peru, Sobrevilla is a veteran in the radio industry and has worked in a variety of capacities for local broadcast companies, including time as an account executive. Sobrevilla lives in Portland with his wife, Anna, and plays Futsal in his free time.

Greg Flakus returns to the booth for the Timbers having previously called games for the NASL Timbers from 1977-81. He began his broadcasting career with the Medford Giants minor league baseball team, and, after earning his journalism degree from the University of Oregon, would go on to serve as the Timbers’ director of broadcasting and call University of Portland women’s soccer matches during his career.

Ross Smith moves to the Timbers broadcast booth for their inaugural MLS season following an eight-year professional playing career. A defender, Smith’s playing career included time with clubs in Scotland, England and the United States. During his playing days, he made several appearances in England’s famed FA Cup tournament with Gravesend & Northfleet United (2006-07) and Dagenham & Redbridge FC (2007-08). The Player of the Year for Gravesend & Northfleet United following the 2005-06 season, Smith played his final season in 2010 with the Timbers’ second-division side.