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Joe Tolleson and Ian Joy’s best calls

¡Ai Chihuahua Santa Maria! We mark the end of the duo’s run announcing NYCFC games for YES with a look back at their finest on-air moments over eight seasons in the broadcast booth

E.H. Wallop/YES Network

New York City FC have had few constants since their inaugural 2015 season, but one has been the YES Network broadcast duo of Joe Tolleson and Ian Joy. They’ve been there through the young club’s highs and lows, consistently delivering entertaining, enthusiastic commentary. Now, with MLS striking a $2.5 billion deal with Apple for the rights to their live match broadcasts starting in 2023, the Decision Day win over Atlanta United appears to have marked the final time Joy and Tolleson will be behind the mic for an NYCFC match televised on YES.

It’s a sad day for NYCFC supporters, as Joy and Tolleson have become a big part of the club’s culture and have been embraced by the fanbase. They haven’t been afraid to tell it like it is when witnessing some of NYCFC’s uglier displays, and have always risen to the occasion to properly capture electric, ecstatic moments of NYCFC success.

Even if the process of watching NYCFC matches is poised to become simpler with the move to Apple, losing these two voices that have been there from the start is tough to accept. As a way to both mourn and honor the end of seeing Joy and Tolleson in the YES booth, we take a look back at some of their best on-air moments through the course of their eight seasons.

So much has changed in the club during their broadcasting tenure, that watching their highlights over eight seasons is a bit like looking through an NYCFC time capsule. It was a monumental task to try to whittle down that many goals to find the highlights, so much appreciation goes out to the members of the NYCFC family who provided suggestions via Twitter of which calls to include here.

With all that said, let’s look back at some of the standout moments from Joy and Tolleson’s eight seasons calling the NYCFC action.

The Fan Favorite: ¡Ai Chihuahua Santa Maria!

If someone unfamiliar was wondering what made this announcing duo so beloved, both their reactions to this Gabriel Pereira banger in the hallucinatory 4-4 draw at Cincinnati is all the proof anyone needs. This was the call singled out the most by people who shared their favorites for this post, and it’s easy to see why. Ian sees the run from Pereira developing and his anticipatory excitement is palpable, with his astonishment at the finish from distance only topped by Tolleson’s incredible bilingual exclamation point of a goal call.

A Classic Poku-Mix Linkup

No roundup like this could be complete without a dose of 2015 expansion season magic. Hearing Tolleson’s excitement as ultimate NYCFC cult hero Kwadwo Poku forces a turnover, cuts inside and sets up a nice finish from first-ever NYCFC goal-scorer/current Champions League participant Mix Diskerud feels like a perfect encapsulation of what life was like way back in that often-dreary inaugural season.

The Last-Second Stunners

Dramatic match-winning goals and good announcers go great together. Two perfect examples, starting with what was likely Frank Lampard’s signature goal from his brief NYCFC tenure. He completed a brace with a 93rd-minute winner over D.C. United back in 2016, and it was a joy to listen to. Tolleson’s prolonged pronunciation of Lampard’s name was a particularly nice fit for the moment.

Thiago Andrade had to one-up Lampard with this last-gasp, match-winning solo stunner against D.C. The YES booth was up for the moment, with Joe nailing the call and Ian providing excellent analysis as the replays rolled.

A Tatygol to Remember

Joe and Ian had a front-row seat for many of the wow-inducing goals scored by Taty Castellanos during his dominant tenure in the Bronx. The quintessential Tatygol came in Columbus during his first full season with NYCFC, an absolute blast from distance that brought out the best from Tolleson and Joy. There were other more significant goals scored by Castellanos in an NYCFC kit but this one stands out as a great marriage of announcers and goal scorer.

The Yankee Stadium Tenant Crossover

A perfect summer of 2019 call from Ian Joy, riffing on the now-infamous Aaron Boone hot mic rant about the Yankees’ “savages in the box” as a way to punctuate Heber’s eighth goal of what would be his prolific 15-goal campaign. A perfect storm of YES Network synergy but also a clever, funny, apropos call from Ian. Impressively, this isn’t the last to be heard about NYCFC’s “savage.”

Grand Finale?

If the final match of the 2022 MLS regular season really was the end of the road for this announcing duo, then at least they got two goals in a winning NYCFC performance for their swan song. The beautifully worked Gabriel Pereira goal that opened the scoring in this match deserves a watch of its own, but for the sake of finality, I’ll highlight what could be their final goal call. Heber’s clincher was handled with the usual aplomb, with newfound attacking threat Alexander Callens’s assisting header getting a rightful shoutout, and Ian getting one more chance to call back his “savage in the box” line for Héber.

We can all hold out hope that Joe and Ian will remain connected to NYCFC in some form, but if this is it, at least things ended with one last memorable day of goals in a meaningful (first-ever win in Atlanta! No. 3 seed clinched!) win for NYCFC.

Kudos to eight seasons of stellar work, and you can hear goodbyes straight from the sources as Joe Tolleson and Ian Joy signed off for YES viewers following their final match.