Media Musings: Thoughts on Color

Listening to Taylor Twellman’s color commentary during the Philly/Columbus game, we got to thinking about some of the color commentators now populating national broadcast media in American soccer. Twellman is a recent addition to the group and has shown some flashes in his first few outings in the booth.  Having a recent player is often an advantage because he can add insights not available to most commentators.  Twellman is still a bit reluctant to criticize players and has the unfortunate habit of referring to players by their first names, but he has been solid in the booth and if his career on the field is over, he could be a mainstay for ESPN going forward.

Another former player who has been a large part of ESPN’s coverage over the last couple of years has been Kyle Martino. Martino serves as the color commentator for the Phildelphia Union and on the World Wide Leader.  Martino has steadily improved over the years and is now a solid stabilizing voice with whomever he has been paired.  Martino has been out of the league for more than two years, but still has knowledge of the players and coaches on the field.

Christopher Sullivan has been a mainstay in the FSC booth for MLS and other games.  The former US International has been out of the professional game for more than a generation.  Sullivan is a solid pro who has been paired with numerous partners over the years.  Although he tends to rely on a series of standard analytical points, his game analysis is clear and informative.

FSC has also recently employed former US International Paul Caligiuri to provide color commentary.  Caligiuri is new to the booth and his commentary shows that inexperience.  He struggles to find openings to speak and much of his analysis is fairly basic and uninformative.