Derek Rae

Derek Rae

Derek Rae (born 1967[1] in Aberdeen, Scotland [2]) is a Scottish football announcer for ESPN, working as a sports commentator for its coverage of the UEFA Champions League and Scottish Premier League.[3] He is also the host of ESPNsoccernet's PressPass.


Rae grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland, attending matches with a tape recorder to work on his commentary. He began his professional broadcasting career at age 15, calling games for a radio station that broadcast to local hospitals. He got his big break at the age of 19, when his broadcasting idol, David Francey, suffered a knee injury and Rae filled in on the radio call of a Scottish Premier Division game. Rae was then hired by BBC Scotland to call a match between rivals England and Scotland. The BBC liked what they heard and hired Rae as its Scotland soccer correspondent, a job he held for five years. Rae was the 1987 British Sports Broadcaster of the Year.[4]

Rae moved to the United States in anticipation of the 1994 World Cup. He was a press officer with FIFA during the '94 World Cup, overseeing the World Cup games that were held at Foxboro Stadium. Rae met his wife Beth Powers while working on World Cup preparations and the two would later settle in Beverly, Massachusetts.[4]

Rae called Major League Soccer games for the New England Revolution from 1996–1999 and again in 2001, for the Metrostars in 2000 and the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1996. However, with his extensive background in high-level international soccer, Rae proved a poor fit for MLS games.[4]

Following the World Cup, Rae joined ESPN International, lending his voice to Eredivisie and Campeonato Brasileiro Série A games. His role has expanded to calling more than 150 games a year for ESPN International and hosting a weekly studio-based soccer discussion show, ESPNsoccernet PressPass.[4] He also writes a column called "Rae's Say" for ESPNsoccernet.

Most of the games Rae broadcasts are done in ESPN's studios in Bristol, Connecticut, using a foreign video feed. Rae is fluent in German and dabbles in several other languages. He is so particular about pronouncing a player's name correctly that he has been known to call consulates to confirm the pronunciation.[4]

As of August 2009, Rae will split his time between the States and Scotland after being hired as lead commentator for Scottish Premier League matches on the recently launched UK version of ESPN.

In June 2010 he was in South Africa to commentate on 12 matches at the FIFA World Cup finals for ESPN USA partnered by Robbie Mustoe and Ally McCoist. In the summer of 2010 it was announced that Rae would be making the move back to the UK to continue commentating on a wider basis for ESPN's London based channel.


Rae speaks fluent German and still supports the club Hessen Kassel from his student exchange days in Germany.[5]


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