Several times over the last four years, Thom Beuning has received a call from a familiar number asking if he would like to fill in for play-by-play duties for the Sounders in one competition or another.
The longtime Seattle-area play-by-play man never hesitates to answer in the affirmative, getting back in the booth that he called home for eight seasons during the A-League/USL era.
“It seems like every summer here the last three years, they’ve given me a call to come in and do a couple of games on the radio,” laughed Beuning, a product of Tacoma’s Wilson High School and the University of Washington.
With play-by-play voice Ross Fletcher calling various events for the BBC at the Olympics, the club brought in Fox Soccer’s Mark Rogondino and Rob Palmer from Sky Sports to fill in, but also called on Beuning to call two matches on radio, tonight’s match against Caledonia in the CONCACAF Champions League and Sunday’s meeting with the LA Galaxy.
Both matches are nationally televised, so the local broadcast is on the radio side on 97.3 KIRO FM.
Beuning certainly has some familiarity with the team. In addition to his work with the second division side, he regularly works on the stats crew at home matches at CenturyLink Field and watches every game he can while they are on the road.
“It’s a different animal when you have to get in the booth and call the game,” Beuning said.
That’s when his well-conditioned instincts take over.
Along with his work with the Sounders, he has also spent over a decade handling play-by-play duties for the Seattle Thurnderbirds of the Canadian Hockey League, following the team from KeyArena to their new home at Kent’s Showare Center.
That regular gig had very little overlap with the Sounders schedule. However, on the two occasions when it did, it meant that Beuning missed the Sounders lifting the league title in 2005 and 2007, as both matches conflicted with the hockey schedule.
His experience has also taken him to national championships with the PLU football team, where he called games for Frosty Westering’s Lutes for seven seasons. He also handled the radio call for PLU basketball as well as high school football and basketball, but also called a few Tacoma Stars games in the last few seasons they played in the Tacoma Dome.
A man who broke into sports as the Tacoma Tigers mascot in the 1980s and was called in to fill in for their regular play-by-play voice to call a double-header, Beuning remains a fixture in the Puget Sound sports landscape.