Journey to the Booth: Stockbridge Native Jason Longshore Takes Unorthodox Route to Become Voice of Atlanta United

Yet, every match, Longshore can be heard on 92.9 the Game. Alongside play-by-play announcer Adam Schick, he is part of the Atlanta United announce team, serving as a color commentator and analyst for the broadcast.

Longshore’s journey to the announce booth has been a long, winding road, centered around one constant — his love for the game of soccer. He has worked within the game in various roles since he graduated from the University of Georgia in the late 1990s, and those experiences prepared him for his current role.

“It was a mix of right place, right time, but also capitalizing on all the soccer work I’ve done since I was in college,” Longshore said regarding his gig with Atlanta United and 92.9 the Game.

Longshore was born in Riverdale and grew up there before moving to Lexington, Kent., with his family. He returned to Stockbridge and attended Eagle’s Landing High for his junior and senior years, where he was a part of a sub-region championship soccer squad.

As a youngster, Longshore first fell in love with the game during the 1986 World Cup. Soccer was still relatively new to Americans, but something grabbed a hold of Longshore that summer.

“I really liked it, but I had still never seen real soccer before. What hooked me that summer was the World Cup,” Longshore said. “I got to see soccer on TV for the first time ever and fell in love… I got into it at the end of the tournament. The semifinal game Argentina beat Belgium when (Diego) Maradona scored twice, that 100 percent hooked me.”

Longshore recalled wanting to wear Argentina’s trademarks blue-and-white shirt, the number 10 and Puma cleats — all of which were nods to Maradona, who is widely considered one of the best players of all-time.

“I wanted to be Diego Maradona as a kid. It just flipped my world on its head,” Longshore said.

Making the Most of Limited Opportunities

Longshore had found his passion, but there was a slight problem — the rest of the country hadn’t caught up.

“Now soccer was in my world and I didn’t know really what to do with that because there wasn’t a professional league,” Longshore said. “It was real limited. I checked out every soccer book in the Clayton County Library System as a kid, just trying to learn as much as I could.”

The United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, and the sport began to gain some traction. By the time Longshore graduated high school, there were more opportunities in the soccer world, albeit few and far-between.

Longshore signed up to be a part of the North American Soccer List, which led to an opportunity with professional team, the Atlanta Ruckus. He wrote game reports for the Ruckus, which later became the Atlanta Silverbacks, and was able to dabble into other areas such as writing press releases, working with sponsors and scouting players.

Longshore also spent 10 years as the Chief Development Officer for Soccer in the Streets, a non-profit organization started in Jonesboro and currently based in Atlanta. With Soccer in the Streets, he acted as an advocate for the game at the grassroots level, hoping to encourage young athletes to give soccer a chance.

Transitioning to the Booth

By the time it was announced that Atlanta would be getting its own Major League Soccer team, Longshore had established himself as a key figure in the state’s soccer community.

With Soccer in the Streets, Longshore worked closely with Atlanta United executives on various projects. At the same time, he had started an internet radio show called “Soccer Down Here” with longtime friends Jarett Smith and Jon Nelson. The show focused on not only Atlanta United, but the rise of soccer in the southern states.

“Soccer Down Here,” which has recorded more than 100 episodes and generates more than 2,000 listens per day, opened the door for Longshore to announce an Atlanta United preseason game in Savannah for ESPN Coastal. Those with Atlanta United and 92.9 the Game were impressed, and reached out to Longshore the week of the first game to be a part of their radio broadcast team.

Longshore has had to learn on the fly, but his ability to relay his passion for the game to both new and long-time fans has made his transition to the booth relatively seamless.

Source Article