Alexi Lalas And Brad Friedel Close to Joining FOX Sports, Says Source
UPDATE (December 9, 2014): FOX Sports has confirmed that Brad Friedel will join the broadcaster as an analyst in 2015.
FOX Sports is close to finalizing deals to acquire Alexi Lalas and Brad Friedel as its newest soccer analysts, says a World Soccer Talk source.
If finalized, the move to acquire the talents of Lalas and Friedel will bolster FOX’s soccer coverage, where the two former US Men’s National Team players can lend their expertise to FOX Sports’ coverage of MLS and select US games (beginning in 2015), as well as coverage of the UEFA Champions League and, of course, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in addition to the possibility of working the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cup tournaments.
A FOX Sports spokesperson declined to comment regarding the news. ESPN was reached for comment, where a spokesperson said “We are currently in negotiation with Alexi Lalas about his future with ESPN. We are hopeful he will remain with us.”
World Soccer Talk understands that Lalas’ contract with ESPN expires near the end of 2014, so the timing of a deal with FOX could be fortuitous to Lalas and FOX Sports in order to start 2015 on a strong note. Lalas lives in Los Angeles, where the FOX Sports studios are based.
The prospect of Friedel and Lalas joining FOX Sports means that the network could feature four former USMNT stars as talent, joining Eric Wynalda and Brian McBride in studio.
Friedel has appeared on FOX Sports several times in the past as a guest analyst. For example, during the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, Friedel was in the studio at Wembley Stadium alongside Curt Menefee and Eric Wynalda for the network’s coverage of Barcelona against Manchester United.
Friedel is currently the third string goalkeeper at Tottenham Hotspur, and is an ambassador for the club. His 2014/15 Premier League season is expected to be his final one as a professional athlete.