ST. PAUL -- Minnesota United’s TV broadcast crew will experience changes for the 2020 season.
Callum Williams will remain in the play-by-play role and Kyndra de St. Aubin keeps her spot as color commentator for the Fox Sports North productions, but sideline analyst Jamie Watson is moving to MLS expansion franchise Nashville SC to be its color commentator, sources have told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
That trio had been together for the Loons’ first three seasons in MLS, and their contracts expired at the end of the 2019 season.
No word yet on what United does to fill the vacancy left by Watson. One option for the club would be to use FSN’s stable of sideline reporters. But that route would forgo an attempt to replace Watson’s insights as a former player, which were provided in pregame and postgame shows and during games, and his strong relationship with Loons manager Adrian Heath, who coached Watson with the Austin Aztex and Orlando City.
After a 12-year playing career, Watson has been positioning himself for this career move into the booth for years, and this promotion comes with the blessing and cooperation of United’s front office, sources said.
Watson filled in in the booth alongside Williams for Loons matches when de St. Aubin was away last summer calling games for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Watson also has commentated on college soccer games, United Soccer League games and was ESPN’s sideline reporter for an Eastern Conference game in the MLS Cup playoffs last fall. He also had a role in the ESPN-produced MLS SuperDraft show this winter.
In September, Watson called a USL game between Nashville and Birmingham Legion in Tennessee, which served as an entry point to eventually being hired by the new MLS club.
Watson’s playing career spanned MLS, USL and the North American Soccer League. He played four seasons in Minnesota: 2012 with the Stars and 2014-16 with United. He retired the offseason before the Loons went to MLS.
Watson joins three Nashville players with Minnesota ties: Abu Danladi, a forward Nashville selected from United in the MLS expansion draft; defender Eric Miller, a Woodbury native who played for Minnesota in 2018-19 before a trade to New York City and selection by Nashville in the re-entry draft; and Luke Haakenson, a Maple Grove native and Creighton midfielder selected in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft.