“They are raving in Seattle!”
Drew Wallen exclaimed this to his broadcast partner Payton Berens as thousands of Sounders fans erupted after an Obafemi Martins shot flew past Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy into the back of the net.
Wallen and Berens, both freshman at Central Washington University, have been selected as one of the broadcast teams for the inaugural Sounders FC 2 season following their submissions of stellar demo reels .
Fans will hear their voices over a portion of this season’s live-streamed home matches to be played at Starfire Stadium.
“Just as the players on the field are trying to prove themselves in the soccer world, I am trying my hardest to establish myself in the broadcasting field,” said Wallen. “I believe that with this, I can provide insight to that same passion that the S2 players have.”
Wallen and Berens, are both from Auburn, Wash., and have already made an impact at Central in their first year on campus. Wallen is the primary play-by-play voice for the both CWU basketball teams, and Berens is often alongside as the broadcast analyst.
The two will occupy similar roles with S2, Wallen calling the game as it happens and Berens, a midfielder for the Central men’s club soccer team and formerly of Auburn High School soccer, will provide in-depth analysis.
“This is absolutely an incredible opportunity,” said Berens. “Growing up listening to Dave Niehaus always made me want to be a sports broadcaster, and getting the opportunity to be able to be apart of S2 history as being one of the first broadcasters is amazing.”
The first chance to hear Payton and Drew in the S2 inaugural season is March 29 against Whitecaps FC 2, the first of four times S2 will face its northern rivals.
A different duo will be calling the game as S2 kicks off the season against Sacramento Republic FC on March 21.
Aaron Heinzen, a former University of Washington and Portland Timbers (USL) defender will join Nathan Murphy, a 2013 PDL Broadcast Team of the Year member with the North Sound Seawolves, in the booth for the upcoming season.
Heinzen also has experience in the booth, having broadcast for the Timbers in the team’s USL days from 2006-2010. Murphy will be calling play-by-play as Heinzen uses his years of experience playing in the USL to provide analysis.
“To be called ‘Sounders Broadcaster’ along with greats like Arlo [White] and Ross [Fletcher] is a tremendous honor and deeply meaningful,” said Murphy. “Knowing that some of the players whose names I'll be calling are the future stars of the First Team is incredible.”
Murphy is a Boeing employee, currently working on the new 777X, but outside of working on airplanes he referees several sports, including soccer, basketball and high school football.
Heinzen currently coaches for Washington Youth Soccer team, Washington Rush. He made more than 50 appearances for the USL Timbers from 2003-2005.
“I'm looking forward to being involved with one of the most exciting clubs in the USL,” Heinzen about this new opportunity.
The new voices of S2 will split a portion of the 14 home games this season. Each game will be streamed live on SoundersFC.com.
Broadcast Competition winners announced for inaugural S2 season
“They are raving in Seattle!”