When it comes to broadcasting matches live, AFC Ann Arbor take pride in providing top-quality streams that fans all over the world can watch. With that, it is necessary for top-quality commentary as well. AFCAA are pleased to announce lead announcer Josh Hakala ahead of the 2019 season. Hakala will supply the broadcast with an instant dose of knowledge about the beautiful game, while also bringing a Michigan flair as a native Michigander himself. He’ll be on the call for both the men’s and women’s home matches for the entire season.
When it comes to credibility, Hakala has it in spades. As the creator and senior editor of TheCup.us, he helms the most popular site dedicated exclusively to U.S. Open Cup coverage, a match made in heaven with The Mighty Oak entering their third straight USOC. Additionally, Hakala has worked for the Big Ten Network while also performing play-by-play duties for the likes of Chicago Fire, Charleston Battery, and Michigan Bucks, among plenty more clubs. He currently serves as an on-air personality for Michigan Radio.
On joining the AFCAA Family, Hakala said, “For nearly 20 years, play-by-play has been a passion of mine and to be able to call games in the city where I have called home for the last 11 years, and for a top-notch club like AFC Ann Arbor, it was an offer that was too good to pass up.” As a lover of soccer, he also said of his passion for the sport, “I have played soccer since I was 4 years old and I grew up following the sport…once I realized that I wasn't good enough to play the game at the top level, I made it a goal to cover the game as a journalist and a broadcaster at the top level.” He has certainly done so, and he will be able to bring those experiences to every AFC broadcast this season.
“I have covered soccer in Michigan for more than 20 years, and it has come a long way,” Hakala said of the sport in the state. “We used to have just a couple of amateur teams competing at the national level, and now there are so many more teams. And it's not just the number of teams, but the quality of those teams.” Comparing it to a conference he has covered, Hakala continued, “It's almost like the Big Ten Conference in most years in college sports, where there's so much talent, and so many top-notch programs, that they just end up beating each other up and developing some fierce rivalries.”
When asked about what about being a commentator appealed to him, Hakala said, “I love being a part of live events and being the eyes and ears for the fans.” He added that, “The role of conveying the drama of a sporting event to an audience, and making sure the fans at home have all the information they need to understand and enjoy the game, is a job that I enjoy and take very seriously.” As The Mighty Oak continue to strive to put forward a fantastic on-pitch, Hakala will make sure the booth is held down as well and is just as enjoyable to listen to as The Mighty Oak will be to watch.
“Fans can expect a passion for the game and they can count on an announcer that is well-prepared,” Hakala responded when asked about what fans can expect out of him as a play-by-play announcer. A well-studied announcer who takes the game experience very seriously, he said, “Fans deserve a quality production and I plan on delivering that during what should be an exciting 2019 season.” He would add that, “It's a great time to be a soccer fan in the state of Michigan,” and that is certainly the truth.
About AFC Ann Arbor
Founded in 2014, Association Football Club Ann Arbor launched it’s men’s semi-pro team in 2015 and has competed in the NPSL since 2016. Led by Head Coach & Sporting Director, Eric Rudland, the team has found great success winning back to back Great Lakes Championships (‘17 & ‘18) and earning US Open Cup bids three straight years (2017-2019). In October 2018, the club announced the launch of the women’s side, who will be skippered by Andy “Pritch” Pritchard in their inaugural season of the United Women’s Soccer national league. Owned and operated by a group of local soccer fans and entrepreneurs, AFC Ann Arbor has become a fixture in the greater Ann Arbor community.