Zanaboni brings flair to hometown MLS team

One of sports broadcasting’s most millennial voices is heading home to where his family roots run 100 years deep. Joey Zanaboni is the new radio voice for Major League Soccer’s expansion St. Louis City SC.

He calls the opportunity “the greatest honor of my professional career.”

The Zanaboni family roots in the Gateway City date back to the early 1920s. That’s when his great grandparents immigrated from Italy. Zanaboni grew up in the city and graduated from St. Louis University High. It’s the same alma mater as Taylor Twellman, Zanaboni’s new partner on St. Louis City SC broadcasts.

This isn’t Zanaboni’s first chance to call games in his hometown. He’s broadcast St. Louis Ambush indoor soccer and St. Louis Junior Blues hockey. Mostly, though, his career is built around baseball. Zanaboni has called games for six teams, from summer collegiate ranks to affiliated ball. He was most recently the lead voice for the Low-A affiliate for the Washington National’s. In August, he was part of MLB Network’s broadcast of a Mariners-Angels game.

It is in baseball where Zanaboni’s enthusiastic calls have drawn the most attention. When a catcher stole home, Zanaboni described him as “dancin’ like a Spice Girls cover band inside an earthquake simulation.” A pitcher in the midst of a great game was “pitching smoother than a balding hedgehog slather in baby shampoo.”

Zanaboni has said, “I want to be the first real millennial sports announcer who reflects the endless optimism, relentless anxiety and glorious randomness of this generation.”

Now Zanaboni brings optimism, anxiety and glorious randomness to his hometown.

He said on Twitter, “I will do everything in my power for the opportunity, at season’s end, to look myself in the mirror and every fan in the eye and says truthfully, ‘we had the most entertaining broadcast in Major League Soccer.”