Top Stories

Lalas set to move from ESPN to Fox Sports

Alexi Lalas 21

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports


A popular American will be moving from one established powerhouse to another this winter.

He’s just not a currently-active player.

TV analyst Alexi Lalas is set to leave ESPN to join Fox Sports within the next month, signing a multi-year offer with the latter. Lalas is expected to play a major role in Fox’s soccer programming, which will include the 2015 Women’s World Cup, 2018 World Cup, UEFA Champions League and some MLS games in the coming years.

Fox officially announced the move late Tuesday morning.

“We all work for money and financially (the Fox offer) was wonderful,” Lalas told “From a content standpoint, we ran down all the different things they have including the World Cups, which I’ve loved to do. But I want to be very clear: The World Cup is not the reason I am going to Fox and I don’t think it should be.

“Is it a wonderful carrot? Absolutely. But if the reason you go somewhere is because of the World Cup, then I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment and maybe disaster.”

Fox has the U.S. broadcasting rights for the next two World Cups, but there was more that appealed to Lalas. Fox is based out of Los Angeles, and as such provides a far less taxing commute for the former U.S. Men’s National Team defender. Lalas lives in LA and has two young children, and previously had to fly cross-country to ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut.

Lalas, who has not yet been told if he will be doing primarily studio or game analyst work at Fox, leaves ESPN after six-plus years. He will start working for Fox as of January.

“Look, this was not me saying I don’t want to be at ESPN,” Lalas said. “I love ESPN. This was an opportunity that came along that was so much more than what ESPN could offer — and when I say more I am not just talking money-wise. Collectively, (Fox) had so much more to offer and when ESPN didn’t (offer that), the choice became easier.”

Lalas’ usual on-air partner Taylor Twellman faced a similar situation recently, but opted to sign a new deal to stay at ESPN.


What do you think of Lalas’ move to Fox? Wish he would’ve stayed with Twellman over at ESPN? Wondering how much the transfer fee was?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Lexi, Twellman and Wynalda are brash and outspoken and that’s why I love them. While most American fans appear to be shrinking violets when it comes to all things European. It’s great to see an American soccer analyst getting paid. Shows you just how far the sport has come.

  2. “A popular American will be moving from one established powerhouse to another this winter”
    Is Julian Green signing with Real Madrid

  3. I hope Alexi truly decides to be more of a showman and entertainer like he claims, because I feel he’s been too reserved over the years as a TV personality/pundit.

  4. Lala’s brings an opinion and backs it up with reasoning. I loved how he and Ballack went back and forth during the WC’s.

    This is FOX saying that they want to change, a lot (I hope) because what they’ve had before won’t cut it. They need to completely remake their soccer broadcast image. Let’s all hope that happens.

  5. I love Lalas. Gotta respect a guy who states his opinions and will stand behind them regardless. He holds nothing back. Former teammates, friends and enemies get it all the same with him. That’s what a good TV pundit, announcer, color man or commentator should do. I lost all respect for Taylor Twellman during Brazil when he screamed like a 10 year old girl when JAB scored that header. Just a personal rule for me, I should never know the color man’s favorite team and when the US or the Revs play, it’s awful announcing. Another good thing to come out of this is that maybe Max Bretos gets a little more exposure than ESPN FC every 4 days. I like his style and announcing from the FSW days with Allen Hopkins.

    • I admire your balls for standing up for Bretos, even though I can’t say I really agree. The one thing I always liked about Bretos back in his FSC days was his insane work ethic. There were times that it seemed he was calling games 25 hours a day… even at 3am there would be some random Argentine friendly that he had wandered into the tape room to lay down audio for.

      I was actually happy for him landing the SportCenter gig as a reward for this kind of hard work (but also because I was confident I wouldn’t have to listen to his calls anymore). Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

      • The guy was insane. One second he’d be calling an Argentine First Division game and some obscure rugby match from Samoa the next. Call me picky but I want my color guys to add to the game and tell me things about the players I don’t already know. I’m also big on name pronunciations, I know American Soccer snobbery, but Twellman butchers them all the time. I also get the sense that when it comes to broadcasting games not involving the USMNT or MLS, Twellman talks about players as if his research was all done via FIFA 15.

      • I’m no Twellman fan but he is getting better.

        Of course, I don’t really listen to him when I watch as I’m paying attention only to Darke.

        What we don’t know is what the director is yelling into his ear. I think he has time to get better.

        What killed Harkes in the end, besides an inability to keep it in his pants, was his inability to stop himself from always talking about how he would have done it if he were on the field.

        Hopefully as soccer grows the pool of pundits will expand..

  6. Twellman isn’t strong. “It is a nightmare” seems to be his sole contribution to the field of broadcast journalism. And it is a bit creepy that Arlo White seems to be under orders to constantly remind us that twellman was somehow the greatest player of his generation.

    But at least it usually seems like Twellman actually watches the games. Lalas, on the other hand, seems to spit random and wildly inaccurate thoughts out of his head as if he’d just run into a goal post. He’s inconsistent in his opinions, frequently off-point on topics, often changes his mind on issues from broadcast to broadcast, and worst, sometimes appears to have been huffing paint in the men’s room when he was supposed to be watching the game.

    It’s a shame that these two guys are the only ones who can get consistent broadcasting gigs. I’ve got to believe there are better “expert” commentators out there, but don’t have the name recognition. Brian Dunseth in Salt Lake comes to mind.

    • Given all he has seen and done you would think Lalas would be a fascinating conversationalist and an entertaining dinner guest. Well, that may be true in real life but not on TV.

      Over the last 20 some odd years he has developed his media “persona”. And that persona is wearing thin. You can only be the loudmouth drunk at the party for so long before everyone gets tired of you.

      His insights on the game are not particularly refreshing, original, well informed or well thought out.

      Kasey Keller is far superior.

      Lalas’ insights are the same stuff you might get from any reasonably informed USMNT fan at a soccer bar during a USMNT game.

      ESPN has often encouraged their pundits to be “controversial “and “confrontational” on the theory that conflict sells. This SOP may well have been a perfect fit for Lalas and he took to it like a pig takes to slop.

      He has lasted so long mostly due to the lack of any serious competition.

      • It’s funny you say that. I met him years ago at a MetroStars event. He is one of the funniest, most insightful people I have ever met.

        On television, only a small percentage of what he has to offer comes through. Put him behind a plate of food & a drink, though, and he is terrific.

      • That just confirms what I long suspected which is that Alexi has one incredible talent for self promotion. He has made the most out of a modest set of gifts and has parlayed that into a great job and career. Lady Gaga did the same thing only she did it to a much greater degree

        My hat is off to him, but that doesn’t mean he is a good soccer commentator.

        There are so many people I would much rather hear from in terms of the content of what they have to say ( Frankie, Arena, Dooley, Earnie Stewart, Keller, Oliver Luck, Jimmy Conrad, any American owner of an EPL club) but the clown is what draws the ratings and Alexi knows that. Good for him, bad for us.

  7. Basically, I find Alexi so annoying that it is impossible to listen to him anymore. For me, it is best if he is in a studio doing after game analysis rather than on during the game so I can just avoid his comments.

  8. You folks out there who play/played soccer at a fairly high level — help me out here.

    Twellman loves to explain plays by saying that the player, or the ball, was “off so-and-so’s back shoulder,” or some similar phrase. What, exactly does this mean? And is it particulary insightful or important?

    • It generally means that the guy passing the ball intentionally passed it to his teammate’s side away from the defender marking the guy receiving the ball. It forces the receiver of the pass to change direction, but also ensures that the receiver will be between his defender and the ball, thereby improving the likelihood of maintaining possession.

    • Perhaps he was referring to the fact that some strikers like to position themselves parallel to the shoulders of the last defender, hoping to position themselves to beat the off side trap.

      Mostly, you will be off side but you only need one or two to be successful with that tactic.

  9. “A popular American will be moving from one established powerhouse to another this winter.
    He’s just not a currently-active player.”
    No Shi…. As if there are any american players in any powerhouse teams.

    • Oh please stop. I can’t take it, I know American soccer stinks, why do you trolls constantly need to remind me ????

      • Wow copy/paste didnt work there…don’t even know what that is !

        Try again….
        “why didn’t he try for NBC sports soccer coverage”

        Because he wants to cover MLS.

  10. Seems too few new Soccer broadcasters are groomed by the Sports networks. I suspect those at the head of sports depts know so little about the game, and what a well called game sounds like, when it comes time to hire a broadcast team and soccer journos, they simply fall back on default- the same ol’ same ol’ retreads.

    I find myself intuitively liking Lalas as a person, am trying hard to like him as a broadcaster, and sometimes do. But I am also often annoyed at the seemingly prefabricated, caricature of a cliche’ “Unbridled-outrageous-livewire” he tries too hard to portray. Relax dude…. instead of trying to do Lexi, just be him.

  11. Good bye Big Head Red Head. It was fund while it lasted!!

    P.s. Never really understood why people hated Lalas and Twellman, I personally liked them.

  12. Why in the world, doesn’t espn and fox sports recruit young talented enthusiastic soccer fans with any college degree, to work for them as soccer commentators/analyst/broadcaster.
    What’s so difficult about that?
    I have two college degrees looking for a job but he’ll yes I love soccer and I would be a soccer analyst or commentator in a snap.
    I’ll take 50,000 year to start with or even 45,000 just to watch and talk about my love sport soccer.
    Something has to happen, if not recruit some basketball or nfl commentators who also have a connection to soccer and maybe that could be better than what we have now.
    For instance,I think cbs has some good college sport commentators that would do god for soccer.

    • Did you send in a resume? Do you have any experience covering soccer. I hope the answers to your questions are yes otherwise……………

    • You want a job in broadcasting? You might want start by editing your grammar, dude. That counts for a LOT in the field of journalism.

  13. Lalas is a face that the unknowing soccer watcher is bound to think he knows what he’s talking about..

    Most people in this country love homogeny.. take a look around.. Lalas is the Mall that replaced the mom and pop

    • Lalas played in WCups, MLS, Serie A, and was in soccer management before being a journalist.

      Hedon ? He knows a lot more than me, who was tricked by Lalas’ pretending to know soccer.

      I don’t know who to believe anymore !!

  14. “A popular American will be moving from one established powerhouse to another this winter.

    “He’s just not a currently-active player.”

    So much for the Jozy Altidore transfer news….. 😉

  15. I’m OK with Lalas – his comments are often thoughtful, and he usually manages to maintain his dignity on camera, a refreshing change from most sports coverage. But Fox and dignity are mutually exclusive. When I think of their coverage, I picture Eric Wynalda rants and ex-USWNT players garbed as babes in miniskirts.

  16. surprised ESPN can convince anyone to work in CT over LA! should fit FOX’s more ‘in your face’ mentality.

    looking forward to who ESPN replaces him with. TT, Moreno, others are all good. i have seen Jorge Ramos on ESPN before, that would be great!

    question; what part of US Soccer has the most to improve?
    front office

      • +1. I actually really like the occassional ESPN El Tri broadcasts w/ Ramos. Guy reads the game really well.

    • Bristol vs. LA. Bristol suburb that is close to Hartford, NYC and Boston. LA has a lot of stuff going on. Lots of traffic, it’s a concrete jungle, there is a ton of violent crime, it is insanely expensive to live there and you can go on and on. Just a different lifestyle. For people like me I prefer the city but as I age I see the allure of a quiet New England town.

  17. Much respect for Lalas
    The only one with enough balls to ask Klinsmann a tough question.
    That deer-in-the-headlights look was priceless.

    • Loved the podcasts, will miss them.

      Lalas has strong opinions, so I get that he rubs some the wrong way.
      But he knows soccer, he loves soccer, and he is an American soccer hero who is entertaining ( or annoying, lol ).

      • Unfortunately for us.. and the rest of the soccer watching world…. his knowledge of the game is severely trumped by his ego and desire to BE the news instead of commenting on it.
        So even if he was a soccer genius (which he’s not) it wouldn’t matter.
        Lalas the player=Was my favorite
        Lalas the analyst=Makes me want to insert hypodermic needles into my eyes that are full of anthrax, cobra toxin, kimchee, and that green stuff the barber keeps his combs in while the guy from Red Dragon staples my eyelids to my forehead and makes me watch naked video of that dude Rosie O’Donnell

    • I’m interested to see if Lalas keeps the exact same demeanor and persona on Fox Sports. I often felt like he was “playing a character” a bit on ESPN (perhaps at their behest), constantly taking antagonistic and/or contrarian points of view in order to drive conversation.

      Or maybe that’s just how he is….People with strong points of view will not always be liked.

    • Most people who have nothing nice to say say it in the comment section of a blog. Those who do have something nice to say usually don’t. So I doubt you’re in the minority. I really enjoy Lalas. Notice not one troll out there gave specific quotes to back thier opinions of Lalas. Not one. That says it all for me. He’s pure quality. Now Twellman on the other hand is just so disengenuous he almost unwatchable.

  18. I hope he is not a game analyst is all I have to say. I don’t blindly hate Lalas like some but his work in the booth can be a bit brutal to listen to at times. He is better in a studio setting.

  19. This is just one more reason to fear Fox’s coverage of the World Cup. I have tried for years but I just can’t stand Alexi Lalas. If you add him to Eric Wynalda my head might explode from them one-upping each other. Just one fan’s opinion.

    • Regrettably, I cannot disagree. At one point, I came to respect Lalas’s willingness to go out of his way to stir the pot — to be outrageous in a way that seemed to say, “We Americans don’t have to toe the line, we have opinions too, and this is the way we talk about sports.” But over time, his act wore thin. I think/hope this is a sign that we have grown up a little as fans, and now demand cogent analysis and reasoning and not just bombast.

      Can you imagine Gus Johnson, Wynalda, and Lalas doing a game together?

    • I’d take Lalas over Twellman any day – at least Lalas performed for the national team and played in one of the best leagues. Twellman constantly comes out looking as though he was the Ronaldo of his era and playing to the ear of Garber and co.

      Let’s get controversial. Let’s have true color commentary. This isn’t baseball.

      • I find them both annoying, but I feel that Twellman is a better commentator in terms if analysis in the last 1 or so. He has definitely improved.

        On a side note, I am getting worried as a soccer fan because all Fox Sports and NBS Sports are doing is picking off ESPN employees. I am worried because, unlike NBC, the production and access is not as nice as ESPN. However, I now have 3 stations which solid soccer coverage: ESPN/NBC Sports/Bein Sports.

      • I think Twellman is slightly better, but here’s my beef with him: After a player makes a good play, he will ask rhetorically, “any question about [that player’s fitness/growth/ambition]?” And Ian Darke just kinda stays quiet, allowing the moment to pass, but he’s probably wondering why he has to share the booth with this kid…

      • Are you serious in that NBC Sports’ coverage is bad? It is THE premier way to do soccer. Great broadcasts on all NBC properties and very good studio work. Pure quality.

Leave a Comment