[TELEVISION]Following his dismissal from the Galaxy last summer, Alexi Lalas eased his way back into television by appearing on the MLS Cup 2008 and 2009 SuperDraft telecasts. There's lots more to come.
The former U.S. international defender has signed a contract with ESPN to appear on its soccer coverage for the rest of the year.
"I think this is going to be a great way for me to stay involved and still have plenty of time to be with my family," says Lalas, who has remained in Southern California. "I went through an extensive de-briefing when I left the Galaxy, and it took some time to get over it, but in the last few months I've been getting back into my music and a few other projects. There's certainly a lot of soccer on ESPN this year and I'll be involved in a lot of it."
Pending an official announcement, Lalas wasn't at liberty to divulge all the details. He will be in the ESPN studios Wednesday to complement on-site coverage of the USA-Mexico Hexagonal qualifier in Columbus, with much of his assignment schedule yet to be determined.
On some occasions he'll join regular announcers JP Dellacamera and John Harkes at the games, at other times he'll work out of the studio. "I'm not really sure what they have in mind, except to see a lot of soccer and talk about it," he says. "But I'm definitely looking forward to it."
Lalas worked one MLS season as the color commentator for San Jose's regional broadcasts, appeared on the MLS highlight show, "Extra Time," on ESPN2, and handled analyst duties on the men's soccer competition at the 2000 Olympic Games on NBC.
He's had about six months to reflect on his dismissal, along with head coach Ruud Gullit, from the Galaxy, which was his third job as an executive that had previously taken him to San Jose and the MetroStars.
"There were plenty of mistakes made and I certainly did my share," he says. "I do miss some of the people but I definitely don't miss going in every day and having to deal with all the stuff that was going on.
"I have no idea what's going to happen with David Beckham but it may come to the point that everybody reaches an agreement, shakes hands, and moves on."