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Why Jermaine Jones could become the next great US studio pundit

Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here at World Soccer Talk, we have taken the lead in identifying the next generation of television broadcasters who will be “driving the bandwagon” by connecting with new viewers in their own unique ways to continue to grow the American soccer community.

We first identified John Strong in March 2013 as the best homegrown play-by-play commentator who has dedicated himself to professional soccer at all levels as his first priority. Strong’s ability to incorporate elements from three different styles of commentary (British, American, and Latin American) into his own, plus his hard work and his dedication to improving his craft with each broadcast, has earned him respect among the viewers. FOX Sports executives Eric Shanks and John Entz made the correct decision to hire Strong in January 2015 as their primary soccer play-by-play announcer.

We recently identified CNN International World Sport anchor and correspondent Kate Riley as the odds-on favorite to win the studio host position for Turner Sports’ U.S. English-language coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup starting August 2018, likely to air on truTV. Fun, friendly, and informative, Riley has shown with her work for World Sport during the past year that she is mastering many of the skills and techniques that the most gifted broadcasters possess. In many ways, Riley reminds me of one of the best American sports television reporters of all time regardless of gender, legendary NFL Network and HBO Sports correspondent Andrea Kremer, when Kremer first started working at ESPN 28 years ago.

With the recent departure from ESPN of studio pundit and co-commentator Tommy Smyth, we have begun the process to identify the next great American soccer TV studio pundit. We are looking for someone who is fearless, outspoken, and controversial. We did not have to wait very long to identify him.

In a recent podcast at ESPNFC.com, ESPN personalities Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez interviewed U.S. Men’s National Team and Los Angeles Galaxy defender Jermaine Jones. The son of an American father and a German mother, this former Bundesliga “Bad Boy” was dubbed the “filthiest player in Germany” by German news television network n-tv before he moved stateside to make his living in Major League Soccer (MLS).

Because Jones has become the “Alexi Lalas” of the current generation of USMNT players in more ways then one, Jones will be the perfect studio pundit for any U.S. TV network if and when he decides to hang up his boots.

The following excerpts from Jones’ interview with Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez (beginning at the 18:05 mark) have definitely riled up the American soccer community, from the hardcore fanatics to the casual observers:

The criticism is always on me. Everybody tries it, if we lose the game, they always try to find the next guy who can play for Jermaine. It is never somebody else, it is always me. I’ll be honest: That p***es me off, where I say, ‘Wait a minute — when we play the big tournaments, I’m almost or always the best player on the field for this country.’ But then at the end of the day, they try to kick me out when we lose games. That’s not fair.

People hate and try to find mistakes when you lose games. To me, the point is what I’ve said always: Bring me the guy who is better at that position and show that week to week in the league, against me, against other teams. I respect it and I say, ‘If he’s better, I step away.’ I’m 35 — I can step away and say I had a good career. But right now, if you be honest, ask my teammates, ask the people inside. There’s nobody who can take my spot.

If I go to the national team right now, name me a player who has more Champions League games, who played in the highest levels — name me one. I am not a legend. My name is always [highlighted] when we lose, but all other guys are legends.

I want that the people respect me for what I did. They respect Timmy (Howard), they respect Clint (Dempsey), they respect all of the people. I have no problem when you want to criticize me when I play a bad game. But if you want to go against me and say I’m a poor player and all kind of stuff, I’m sorry man, but there’s nobody in that national team who have the same games and have the same success where I’ve been.

I’ve played over 15 years in Europe at a high level. Not 10, not five years, not one year. But sometimes it’s tough to look at numbers. I’m a German-American and maybe not a full American that you can sell like a product.

As one would expect, the most fearless former USMNT member-turned soccer TV studio pundit of his generation, Alexi Lalas, went into full “campaign mode” for Jermaine Jones during the pre-match show of the FOX Network broadcast of Orlando City vs Los Angeles Galaxy on April 15:

“I love Jermaine. I want Jermaine Jones on my team. He is big, bold. He is beautifully arrogant at times, but that’s what you want in a villain. Is he a pain in the neck sometimes? Yeah. But you know what, I like these big, bold personalities. Jermaine Jones is a gamer. When it comes down to it, Jermaine Jones delivers.”

Was Lalas talking about Jermaine Jones the soccer player?

Or was Lalas really lobbying his bosses at FOX Sports to bring Jones into the studio as his debate opponent sometime in the near future?

We know the following:

We know that FOX Sports produces most of its soccer studio shows from its Pico Blvd. facility in the Century City section of Los Angeles.

We know that Jones has chosen Los Angeles as his new permanent home, as he and his wife, former Miss Germany Sarah Gerth, have purchased a mansion for themselves and their five children.

SEE MORE: FOX to broadcast Chelsea-Arsenal FA Cup Final followed by Seattle-Portland derby

We also know that the general manager of FS1, Jamie Horowitz, loves to launch shows with outspoken and controversial personalities engaging in fiery and passionate sports debates.

Can you imagine the fireworks that could go off if Lalas and Jones were paired in the same studio?

Could we be watching ‘Lalas and Jones No Holds Barred’ on FS1 sometime in the future?

Only time will tell.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Oliver Tse

    October 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    ICYMI:

    Jermaine Jones’ RANT on social media last Friday, calling out Jordan Morris for taking the easy way out by signing with the Seattle Sounders so that he can live at home and be near his girlfriend and dog instead of going to the Bundesliga and fight for his own professional existence:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zYLi0jPwFc

  2. Alan

    June 14, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Agree. These rambling musings are not cohesive. Bottom line…..
    Fox sports has gotten better as compared to their own previous coverage, whether its commentators, pundits, overall production.
    They are still minor league compared to ESPN and NBC. Period. They spent all their money on the rights to major competitions but can’t back it up with their on air talent, one exception, Kate Abdo. I can see her moving networks.

    • Oliver Tse

      June 14, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      FOX Sports (U.S., in English) do NOT have enough work to keep Rob Stone and Kate Abdo as soccer TV hosts beyond the 2018 World Cup because FOX Sports will lose U.S. rights in English to UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and English FA Cup.

      Assuming that FOX Sports will keep Rob Stone, Kate Abdo will have to 1) move to another FOX network outside the U.S., i.e. Sky Sports U.K. or Sky Sport Deutschland, or 2) leave the FOX organization for another entity.

      Kate Abdo was born Kate Giles. As Kate Giles, she was working for Turner Broadcasting from CNN’s London bureau, as anchor and correspondent for World Sport on CNN International and CNN Airport Network, and as contributor for Deporte CNN on CNN en Espanol, before she jumped to the FOX organization as the #1 anchor for Sky Sport News Deutschland when that channel launched in Germany.

      Based on observable information, the probability of Kate Abdo going back to Turner is less than 5%, as Turner Sports already has at least 2 candidates living in Atlanta (current CNN International World Sport anchor/correspondent Kate Riley, and current MLS Atlanta United and former beIN Sports USA host Brittany Arnold) who are younger than Ms. Abdo (and in the case of Ms. Arnold, much cheaper than either Ms. Abdo or Ms. Riley) for the host role of UEFA on truTV (presumed working title.)

    • Oliver Tse

      June 15, 2017 at 6:58 am

      Disagree with your observation that FOX Sports is “minor league” compared to ESPN and NBC, presumably because FOX Sports is NOT using British talent except for Kate Abdo.

      If one were dropped into in the U.S. and were asked “Which company would you imitate if you were asked to produce a soccer television product other than the English Premier League, English FA Cup, English Football League, or the English League Cup to target American male viewers ages 12-25 and 18-34?” and you were to answer “I will produce authentic British soccer television by copying the BBC and hire only British talent”, you will NOT be hired and you should NOT be hired. The likes of Simon Green (who is now head of talent at BT Sport and was the founding General Manager of FOX Sports World 20 years ago when he was based in Los Angeles) would laugh at you.

      The BBC way of producing soccer television is at least 30 years behind the times.

      Watch the BBC broadcast of the 2016 women’s friendly between USA and England and you can see how bad the BBC is at producing soccer television. There was no thought on talent selection, no thought on wardrobe selection, and not much thought on the studio show content.

      youtu.be/OrpVI9Zy34E

      And you want the likes of FOX Sports and ESPN to imitate a company such as the BBC that produces “rubbish” television like that video above?

      The BBC didn’t have to compete with expanded pay TV (it still doesn’t, as pay sports TV channels in the UK are all a-la-carte.) The BBC didn’t have to compete with the Internet. The BBC didn’t have to compete with social media. The BBC didn’t have to compete with mobile smartphones.

      As NBC Sports is now finding out, copying the BBC will only get you so far. Viewership for PL on NBC on season 4 is down double digits compared to season 3 and is down compared to season 1. The novelty has worn off and the product has gone stale. Not to mention that the post-match programming is NOT working. There is nothing on Goal Zone that I cannot get via social media on my smartphone. Having a Men in Blazers show that is completely detached from the rest of the studio talent is also NOT working. Why won’t NBC put Men in Blazers inside the studio and have the two Men in Blazers do something fun with Rebecca Lowe (i.e mocking divers, cheats, and bad referees during a “Villains of the Day” segment?) during the last 5 minutes of Goal Zone? Because the BBC does not do “fun” sports television, which is not “authentic British”?

      One U.S. media company figured out how to produce fun, passionate, and informative soccer television that is designed to capture and retain American male viewers ages 12-25 and 18-34 over 30 years ago and that company has been refining its “secret sauce” ever since. That company is not afraid to shake things up every 4-5 years by bringing in new people to introduce new ideas in order to keep the soccer television product fresh.

      FOX Sports is now copying ideas from that company and is now hiring talent let go by that company.

      That company is NOT British. That company is NOT Mexican. That company is NOT Argentine.

      That company is American.

      That company went from a small startup 50 years ago to joining the benchmark Standard and Poor’s 500 Index 15 years ago before being taken private.

      I was once a minority shareholder of that company during its heydays in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

      You should know the name of that company by now.

  3. rkujay

    June 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Hey ‘author’. Learn the difference between then and than. And it really is weird you are always have the most and LONGEST replies to your own work.

  4. eddie

    June 14, 2017 at 8:10 am

    what job that he will get
    For example like NBC Sports(nbc/nbcsn) and fox sports(fox/fs1) and ESPN and possible turner sports in fall 2018 on (trutv)

    • Oliver Tse

      June 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      I don’t see Jermaine Jones getting TV work anywhere else at this point beside FOX Sports. He lives in a mansion in Los Angeles with his family.

      If Jermaine Jones were to sound like he did on Sunday after he retires i.e. in 2018, then he won’t make it as a studio TV pundit. He’ll need to work on his English-language skills and his communications skills (to learn how to say what he wants to say.)

      Michael Ballack was NOT good during Euro 2012 on ESPN. Alexi Lalas had to carry Ballack in 2012 by coming up with manufactured debates that appeared to me to be heavily scripted. Ballack’s English-language and communications skills improved by the time he returned to ESPN during Euro 2016.

      —–

      As for Turner, it has a “nuclear” option it can use to keep studio talent cost to an absolute minimum:

      1. Eliminate the entire CNN International Sports Department, including Bill Galvin, all 6 talent (Kate Riley, Patrick Snell, Don Riddell, Alex Thomas, Amanda Davies, and Christina MacFarlane), and all 22 staff members. That will eliminate all qualified internal candidates from Turner Broadcasting and force everyone who has been laid off to apply as external candidates.

      2. Hire the cheapest available talent that is already living in Atlanta, namely Brittany Arnold as host and Dan Gargan as the only Atlanta-based pundit, at less than $50,000/season each.

      3. Use Bleacher Report UK correspondents and have them report remotely from the London bureau. Those correspondents are very young and are very inexpensive (unlike their counterparts at CNN International World Sport.)

      The “nuclear” option would cost Turner less than $500,000 per season in production and transmission cost, so that any profit (anywhere from $2 million to $4 million, depending on economic conditons) from advertising sales for UEFA on truTV can be used to cover the $10 million/year in annual losses incurred by the ELEAGUE video gaming TV project. Turner is on the hook for about $5 million of the $10 million in ELEAGUE losses.

      The only way AT&T is willing to tolerate continued losses at ELEAGUE after the AT&T-Time Warner merger is complete is for another product to cover the losses incurred by ELEAGUE. UEFA on truTV could be that product.

  5. Oliver Tse

    June 13, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    The TV ratings are in:

    MEX vs USA drew an average 4.5 million viewers combined for Univision and Univision Deportes, and another average 2.3 million viewers on FS1, for a total average of 6.8 million TV viewers (not counting streams).

    The NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 6 (Pittsburgh at Nashville) on NBC drew an average of 7.0 million TV viewers (not counting streams).

  6. Oliver Tse

    June 13, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    FOX Sports has released on YouTube a video clip of the post-match onsite studio show from Estadio Azteca:

    youtu.be/kZ9hTIOUoRQ

    FOX Sports is doing exactly what it is supposed to do with a big time international soccer to connect with and retain young male viewers (i.e. keep them away from Univision or Telemundo.)

    1. Have a personality-driven studio show with bigger-than life characters that is full of fun, passion, and energy. Alexi Lalas will always be Alexi Lalas so you know what you are getting with him. Fernando Fiore is a comedian so you know exactly what you will get with him.

    (I would like to see what would happen if FOX Sports would put Aly Wagner into that mix for the pre-match show, just as an experiment.)

    2. Let Stuart Holden handle the tactical analysis. That’s his strength.

    Jermaine Jones got his feet wet. Now the hard work begins for him if he really wants to be a TV studio pundit after he hangs up his boots.

    David Neal, Eric Shanks and co. need to send Jermaine Jones over to FOX Sports SVP of Talent Development Roy Hamilton so that Mr. Hamilton can schedule lots of training sessions for Jermaine Jones, who needs to 1) learn how to say what he wants to say, and 2) improve his English-language skills.

    To dismiss Jermaine Jones as a failure after this first experience would not be fair. Nobody thought that Jermaine Jones would be available to FOX Sports this quickly after Alexi Lalas’ “campaign speech” on April 15. But Jones became available after he got hurt in May and FOX Sports was smart enough to grab him just to get his feet wet before any other network has any ideas.

  7. Alan

    June 12, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Nothing lazy about ESPN. They simply hire the best commentators that are out there for hire,, likewise NBC with the EPL.
    Fox is lazy, they consulted with ESPN how to do this and just simply don’t have the talent on board to broadcast a gold standard presentation. This will be on display again on Sunday for Mexico/ Portugal.

    • Oliver Tse

      June 13, 2017 at 5:07 am

      ESPN had the money to do what it did in 2008-2014: back up the Brink’s trucks and pay what Tyler, Darke, etc. wanted.

      Tyler was FAR from the “best available”. His skills started deteriorating in 2010. Trained eyes and ears were able to spot that Tyler 1) could no longer keep track of the action on the pitch without having a spotter relay information to him even for simple touches, and 2) was losing energy, and 3) was losing the ability to process information quickly and relay the information to viewers using the flowery language he was known for.

      I was one of the first observers (around 2012) to put Martin Tyler on my “do not hire” list and I was skewered by many fans of Martin Tyler. I stood my ground and I have not budged an inch since then. The fact that the :”brain trust” associated with soccer at ESPN (i.e. Jed Drake and Amy Rosenfield) took the necessary action to get rid of Tyler prior to the 2014 World Cup (by terminating Tyler’s contract) in order to make room on the #1 team for Ian Darke told you all you needed to know. Only those viewers with Rose-colored glasses have not figured out that Tyler is now a shadow of his former self.

      ESPN doesn’t have to money to hire anyone it wants anymore. Two rounds of layoffs in the past 3 years, during a boom economy, tells you that ESPN got fat and sloppy. Cord-cutting caught ESPN management by surprise and ESPN workers are now paying the price.

      For Euro 2016, ESPN was short of money and had to hire Abby Wambach as a studio pundit and Kate Markgraf (who lives in Connecticut) as a co-commentator (match analyst).

      Wambach simply didn’t prepare enough. She tried to rely on her name and she tried to imitate Lalas. That didn’t work. Wambach is likely finished as a studio TV pundit, especially with the likes of Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, and possibly Carli Lloyd becoming available for TV duty after the 2020 Olympics.

      Markgraf tried to use the same “isolation analysis” technique other co-commentators who were part of the USWNT player pool used, and she got into trouble with the hardcore viewers, who picked her apart when her observation of Eden Hazard was off the mark.

      Furthermore, Markgraf butchered several names during one broadcast. That is unacceptable, as J.P. DellaCamera found out 23 years ago when he was mocked and laughed at by viewers around the world (Seamus Malin, myself, and others had to reach out to J.P. and ask him to fix the issue), and as Julie Stewart-Binks learned the hard way (after mispronouncing at least 7 names during her only on-camera appearance on FOX Soccer Report) when beIN Sports USA wouldn’t even invite her to Miami to audition and interview (beIN would likely have hired JSB on the spot if she hadn’t blown so many names in that one broadcast.).

      I have no issue with women commentating on men’s matches, especially in an era when production budgets are so tight to the point that a producer would hire a woman over a man in order to save as little as $200 per match, as long as the women 1) respect the viewers by checking pronunciation of ALL games before going on air (by using forvo.com or calling the embassies, the way Derek Rae and the father and son duo of Andres Cantor and Nico Cantor have done for last 25 years), and 2) put in the hours to prepare and study for each assignment, and 3) be committed to keep learning and improving with each broadcast.

      Only one woman is now able to call enough soccer matches in order to “pay her bills”: Aly Wagner (she has a LOT of bills to pay as she is the mother of 4 very young children). All the other ones (i.e. Kate Markgraf and Danielle Slaton) have day jobs and call soccer matches to earn money on the side. Julie Foudy is in a category of her own, as she re-invented herself as general market sports TV journalist with emphasis on women’s issues and she does soccer commentary on the side.

      Every soccer commentator has a finite “shelf life”, as Simon Green told me 20 years ago.

      In the case of Ms. Wagner, her “expiration date” as a soccer TV analyst (co-commentator and studio pundit) will be around September 2020, when Megan Rapinoe hangs up her boots. Rapinoe is the “Julie Foudy” of her generation: a creative midfielder who is fearless, outspoken, and is no stranger to controversy. Now that the U.S. Soccer Federation has determined that Rapinoe has served enough time in the “penalty box” for keeling down during the national anthem (and Rapinoe has no doubt learned her lesson that she cannot do anything that would cost her boss sponsorship money), Rapinoe will be in demand and she will likely have multiple opportunities for TV work.

      How will Ms. Wagner progress and evolve in the next 3 years in order to keep working beyond 2020? Will she take her analysis to the next level, i.e. to be able to do what Stuart Holden, Ian Joy, and the pundits during Premier League on NBC are now able to do? Will she be crazy enough to make the attempt to switch to play-by-play the way Glenn Davis had to do 20 years ago in order to stay in the industry (if she were crazy enough, she should start with sports that are simple to call, such as volleyball, where the play-by-play announcer lets the video do the talking and says nothing when the ball in in play?) Or will she simply move on and find another profession i.e. going back to run a mom-and-pop business (she used to run the company behind Eleanor’s VF-11 Plant Food) or obtain a real estate license the way her husband did after he was done playing soccer? What she does in the next 3 years will be fascinating to watch.

    • Oliver Tse

      June 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      NBC’s presentation of PL has numerous issues. Those issues are now being exposed as viewership is declining and is skewing older.

      Because the pre-match shows for PL on NBCSN are now 1 hour, NBC has to fill the time with manufactured debates. Because neither of the 3 pundits are fiery people, the debates sometimes fall flat.

      The biggest problem for PL on NBCSN are the post match Goal Zone shows. There is no reason why anyone should sit through that show because everything on that show is available via your smart phone. There is no “payoff” segment a la Shaqtin a Fool, C’mon Man, or El Villano de la Semana.

      By the time Men in Blazers airs on NBCSN, most viewers are long gone.

      Also, why isn’t Rebecca Lowe interacting with The Men in Blazers during Goal Zone? The only ones who can get the “fun” version of Rebecca out are the Men in Blazers. The 2 Robbie’s and Kyle Martino can’t do it.

  8. Alan

    June 12, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Jones was not good.He offered no insight, ” we must attack, defend, do whatever is necessary”. Asked about Pulisic ” he is the real deal” . The other two experts weren’t much better, Plus Fox messed up at the beginning with bad sound on the anthems,, cut aways to Taft were wrong and missing sound. this is what we have to look forward to next year… Can’t wait…

    • Oliver Tse

      June 12, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Like I said above: Jermaine Jones will need to do a LOT of work before he appears again as a studio pundit for FOX Sports, preferably AFTER he retires from soccer completely so that he doesn’t have to hold back his thoughts.

      Jones had to be careful not to offend anyone associated with the USMNT or the LA Galaxy because he is still receiving pay checks from both organizations. FOX Sports brought him into the onsite studio at Estadio Azteca to get his feet wet. FOX Sports knows that he has to hold back and FOX Sports knows that his English-language skills needs work.

      We’ll see if Jermaine Jones will pan out as a studio pundit AFTER he hangs up his boots. Until then, the jury will remain out on him.

      We do know one thing: FOX Sports Coordinating Producer of Soccer David Neal and/or someone working for him reads World Soccer Talk.

      I do have a history with David Neal going back to 1999. I was the one who recommended University of Washington Associate Head Coach Amy Allmann Griffin to send her demo tape to NBC Sports. David Neal hired her to call women’s matches for Sydney 2000 with Andres Cantor.

      The complete MSNBC telecast of the 2000 Olympic Women’s Football Gold Medal Match between Norway and USA has resurfaced on YouTube:

      youtu.be/xFNKfD4w22I

    • Oliver Tse

      June 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Rain will cause technical problems with remote sports TV productions, especially at an older stadium such as Estadio Azteca where all the wiring necessary have to be laid and are exposed to the elements (new stadiums have wiring, control rooms, and studios built-in.)

      FOX wanted a personality-driven studio show for MEX-USA, similar to FOX NFL Sunday (with Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, and Jimmy Johnson) and Turner Sports’ Inside the NBA on TNT (with Shaquille O’Neal, Charles “The Round Mound of Rebounds” Barkley, and Kenny “The Jet” Smith.)

      FOX paired Alexi Lalas and Fernando Fiore because they are both big, bold personalities who are completely different. Lalas is a former USMNT player and former MLS executive with no fear and a big mouth, whereas Fiore is a comedian from Argentina who established himself during his 14 years at Univision Deportes before he switched over to English. The pairing works because both are trained entertainers who know how to perform in front of cameras.

      Noticed that neither Fiore nor Lalas were asked to do any tactical analysis. FOX Sports has Stuart Holden in the broadcast booth for that purpose. Holden is one of new breed of American soccer analysts whose ability to dissect and explain (in short sound bites) both attacking systems and defensive setups can match British-born co-commentators and pundits.

      23 years have passed since FIFA World Cup USA 1994. 2 generations of young viewers from that summer have grown up to be counted in the ages 18-49 demographic.

      Like David Neal said in a recent interview with Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, there are now enough consumers of soccer who demand a much more sophiscated English-language presentation that combine fun, passion, and substance the way Univision has produced soccer television in Spanish for the U.S. audience for over 30 years.

      FOX is finally able to figure this out. The approach former FOX Sports World General Manager Simon Green (who is now the head of content for BT Sport in the U.K.) wanted to take when he arrived in 1997, namely hire Americans as soccer commentators, is now being implemented by Eric Shanks, John Entz, and David Neal (among others.) Green was 20 year too early and the U.S. market was not ready for his vision then. The U.S. market is ready now.

      ESPN was never able to reach this point. After the 2006 World Cup fiasco (Dave O’Brien as the #1 play-by-play man, going to commercials during national anthems), ESPN simply backed up armored trucks full of money to the garages of homes of British commentators such as Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, and Jon Champion. Anyone could take that approach, which I found to be unimaginative and lazy.

      The approach that FOX Sports is taking now takes imagination and guts. Shanks and co. will miss on a few hires, as he did with the way he mishandled Gus Johnson, but FOX has corrected that with John Strong. Many of the recently-hired studio pundits and co-commentators, notably Stuart Holden, are solid hires.

      I am intrigued with the progress and the direction FOX Sports will take with Aly Wagner, as she is being asked to be a pundit during men’s broadcasts (of the Confederations Cup and the Gold Cup) and her work will be scrutinized by much tougher viewers c0mpared to those viewers who usually consume women’s soccer on television.

      One has to be impressed with Ms. Wagner’s work so far, especially given what we know about her. The words her former teammate Danielle Slaton has used to refer to Ms. Wagner, “Super Mom” (she has 4 young children: a set of triplet 4-year-old boys and a 2-year-old daughter with her husband, a former soccer player-turned mortgage broker based in Silicon Valley), don’t even begin to describe her accomplishments.

      • ribman

        June 12, 2017 at 8:14 pm

        if you are going to do this you need to learn to make points succinctly. You meander over here and there and you need to be a more disciplined observer and writer. You also tend to answer questions no one asked. If you write an article it’s unusual to be the #1 commenter on your own piece.

    • Nosferatu

      June 13, 2017 at 2:26 am

      I also forgot that if I’m not able to watch live, if I set the DVR to start 15 minutes early, I’ll still never see the starting eleven for either side. Only broadcasts where that’s the case.

  9. Cantona

    May 12, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Have to agree … Oliver has absolutely NO credibility at all. His articles and comments have been debunked many time ls on other sites. He trys to position himself as some insider which has been proven he isnt. He drops names like he has known some of these people for years… he hasnt.. and then there is his fascination about getting women presenting jobs, which is nothling less than disturbing.

    WST would be best aligned to stay away from anything Oliver Tse.. he is an outright liar and imposter.. i would hate to see this site continie to be associates with this fraud.

    Cantona—

    • Oliver Tse

      June 11, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Hey “Cantona”:

      Guess who will be on set during the FS1 pre-match show prior to MEX-USA at Estadio Azteca?

      Jermaine Jones

      He was on set from Estadio Azteca during the FOX post-match show after the NOR-USA women’s friendly.

      I NAILED THIS ONE, exactly one month before it happened.

      Jermaine Jones got hurt a month ago.

      Of course FOX would put Jermaine Jones to work as a pundit.

      I will need to start charging consulting fees for now on.

      • Oliver Tse

        June 11, 2017 at 11:00 pm

        One would expect Jermaine Jones’ 1st experience as a studio pundit to be a bit rough. And it was rough, especially with Fernando Fiore (who is an Argentine comedian/actor: he played the role of El Presidente on Univision Deportes’ Republica Deportiva for 14 years before leaving) on set doing his schtick along with Alexi Lalas, who of course was just being Alexi Lalas.

        Jermaine Jones’ English-language skills need work, as expected. English is NOT his first language and he does not speak enough English at home (he was born in Germany and his wife is a former Miss Germany.)

        Jermaine Jones will need to put in a LOT of work, both preparation and presentation (including improving his English-language skills) for his next appearance in the FOX Sports studio (at Pico Blvd. or on site), whenever that will be.

      • Cantona

        June 12, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        You didnt nail a damn thing…. if i guess a thousand times the law of large numbers says i will get lucky too. How many times have you “predicted” young female talent that came to fruition… even with your oversexed solicitations about short skirts and plexiglass desks huh???!!!!?!! Why were you banned for worldsoccer??? You have more conspiracy theories than Alex Jones….

        I sincerely hope Chris doesnt use you in any articles going forward – that would be detrimentantal to the reputation of the site. You are the originator of Vaporspeak.

        Cantona—

        • LIguy

          June 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm

          Think the reputation of this site is what it is at this point, I don’t think Oliver Tse has anymore or any less insight than Kartik or Chris for that matter, this is pretty much an opinion page on the same level as awful announcing and the like, same as if anyone started up a website and gave their view.

      • Joe

        June 12, 2017 at 4:47 pm

        He doesn’t have an English accent so euro lover boy Cantona is mad! I be he has a “wank” to sky sports every night before bed.

        • TV Insider

          June 12, 2017 at 7:32 pm

          wow are you an Oliver Tse groupie? Is that what you “wank” to?

      • rkujay

        June 14, 2017 at 11:19 am

        That would be ‘from now on’, genius.

  10. Wrong Said Fred

    May 12, 2017 at 12:49 am

    On the plus side, he has a lot of dumbass opinions like Lalas et al. The problem is that he is not a native English speaker. I have nothing against accents etc (I actually resided in Germany for many years myself!), I am just telling you that a non-native speaker can only go so far on American TV.

  11. Socdoc

    May 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Is WST scraping the bottom of the barrel for writers now?

    • Christopher Harris

      May 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      No, why?

  12. Oliver Tse

    May 11, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Are there others you can think of from either the current U.S. Men’s National Team or the U.S. Women’s National Team pool who have what it takes to be a great TV studio pundit or a co-commentator (match analyst)?

    Feel free to throw out some names and justify your reasoning with your observations.

    One name off the top of my head is Megan Rapinoe. A creative midfielder on the pitch and an artist off the pitch, Rapinoe is definitely outspoken, fearless, and controversial in more ways than one.

    However, Rapinoe does come with significant baggage, as she has run afoul of U.S. Soccer Federation politics by keeling down during the national anthem (she was excluded from the USWNT during the SheBelieves Cup in March.)

    That means Rapinoe has virtually no chance of being hired by any TV network that has a contract with U.S. Soccer or MLS, i.e. FOX or ESPN.

    Furthermore, any network that might take a chance on Rapinoe as a studio pundit will be getting a “project”, albeit a “project” with potential upside, as she will likely need a crash course on modern men’s international soccer tactics in order to be ready.

    Knowing that most TV network executives are risk-averse, Rapinoe’s opportunities for TV studio pundit work may be very limited.

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