"I had never seen anything like Providence Park." - MLS broadcaster Jake Zivin opens up on starting PTFC coverage
Long time Timbers play-by-play announcer Jake Zivin was recently unveiled as one of Apple TV's lead commentators for the upcoming MLS season, now that the media company has acquired the league's TV rights for the next decade. Zivin was not the only member of the roster of broadcasters and studio analysts revealed by the league to have a connection to the Timbers, club legend Diego Valeri is set to be a studio analyst on the Spanish speaking coverage.
For Timbers fans, the voice of Jake Zivin will be a welcome sound for the upcoming season as the era of local broadcasts begins to fade away in the rearview mirror. And in an interview for the club's official website, Zivin opened up on getting his start covering the green and gold.
"It was the first home game in MLS. April 2011. I was a relatively new sports reporter at KEZI in Eugene, the ABC station there. It was Eugene, so obviously we were covering the Beavers and the Ducks, first and foremost.
"The Ducks and the Beavers, as I should put it. There are a lot of Blazer fans in Eugene, too. We covered the Blazers, we showed highlights every night, but we wouldn't necessarily come up for games except in the playoffs.
"When the Timbers joined MLS in 2011, they were getting ready for their first ever home game against, ironically, the Chicago Fire. My childhood team. I think it was a Thursday night—It wasn't a Saturday night so it wasn't as busy. And also April's a slower months: the college football and college basketball seasons are over.
"At that time, we were one-man-bands. Now people are one-man-bands even even in bigger markets now. That means you should shoot your own stuff and edit through everything.
If you go back and watch the game, you'll see me behind the goals. Not in every shot. But you can see me shooting game though all 90 minutes, with the biggest smile on my face and biggest goosebumps on my arms. And not because of the rain and the cold.
"I had never seen anything like Providence Park—I didn't think that something like that could happen in this country, in this league, as quickly as it did."
MLS is reported to be announcing another round of studio personalities and play-by-play broadcasters in the coming weeks as the clock ticks down until the start of the 2023 campaign. You can view all of the names that they have announced so far here.