Is the next generation of U.S. soccer commentators evolving before our eyes?
The likes of former U.S. players Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Cobi Jones, Taylor Twellman and Kyle Martino have all joined the national media ranks during their post-playing careers, and two current U.S. national team stars and one-time Everton teammates -- and, ahem, past Sports Illustrated cover boys -- are slated for television analyst roles this week.
Landon Donovan and Tim Howard will appear on Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network, respectively, to provide commentary on the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League. Donovan's role as Fox's studio guest is set for Tuesday in the build-up to a Champions League day that includes massive clashes such as Dortmund-Napoli, Arsenal-Marseille and Ajax-Barcelona. He is also slated to appear on Wednesday when former club Bayer Leverkusen takes on Manchester United.
Howard, meanwhile, returns to NBC Sports Network for a second time this season after providing color commentary for Arlo White in an October clash between Manchester City and Chelsea. He'll be at White's side again for Tottenham-Manchester United on Sunday (7 a.m. ET), a day after trying to prevent the American contingent at Stoke City from scoring in their clash at Goodison Park. Donovan and Howard have plenty left in their playing tanks, but they appear to be laying the foundation to remain in the American spotlight from the broadcast booth, should they choose to explore that route when the time comes to hang up the cleats.