Taylor Twellman, a former U.S. Men’s National Team player and Major League Soccer MVP with the New England Revolution, is ESPN’s lead soccer analyst. He serves as lead match analyst for Major League Soccer, U.S. Men’s National Team matches and the UEFA European Football Championship, as well as the lead soccer voice on ESPN studio shows including Get Up and the network’s flagship program SportsCenter. Twellman joined ESPN in November 2011 after calling Philadelphia Union matches on local television during the 2011 season.
In June 2012, Twellman earned critical acclaim serving as a match and studio analyst on ESPN’s unprecedented presentation of the UEFA European Football Championship. In 2014, his match and studio analysis during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil garnered public acclaim, including his appearances on the unscripted, free-flowing “Last Call” studio segments. Twellman, paired with lead commentator Ian Darke, called all U.S. Men’s National Team matches in the quadrennial event, topped by the USA-Portugal match on Sunday, June 22, the most-watched men’s soccer match in the United States ever — seen by an average match audience of 18.220 million viewers.
Twellman further established himself as this generation’s leading voice for soccer in America on October 10, 2017, following his unscripted reaction on live television after the U.S. Men’s National Team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. His impassioned remarks asking “What are we doing?” captured the shock felt by most U.S. soccer fans after a 2-1 loss at Trinidad and Tobago knocked the U.S. team out of a spot in the World Cup.
Twellman played eight professional seasons for the Revolution and was one of Major League Soccer’s most prolific forwards before his career was prematurely cut short after suffering from multiple concussions. He scored 101 goals in 174 matches for the team.
Twellman was drafted second overall by Revolution in 2002 after he returned to the United States following a three-year (1999-2002) stint with the German Bundesliga club 1860 Munich. In his first MLS season, Twellman scored 23 goals and finished runner-up for the MLS Most Valuable Player and was named to the MLS Best XI. In 2005, Twellman led the league in goals scored with 17, won the league MVP, and was again named to the MLS Best XI.
With Twellman on its active roster, the New England Revolution enjoyed its most-successful era. From 2002-2007, the team played in four MLS Cups (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007), two MLS Eastern Conference Finals (2003 and 2004), won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2004 and the North American SuperLiga in 2008. Since Twellman retired in June 2010, the Revolution has not reached the playoffs.
Twellman played 30 matches for the U.S. Men’s National Team. He gained international acclaim as an emerging star after scoring four goals in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria, a performance that earned him a professional contract in the German Bundesliga.
A highly recruited multi-sport athlete who lettered in football, basketball, soccer and baseball at St. Louis University High School, Twellman chose to play soccer at the University of Maryland on an athletic scholarship. He was named a second-team All-America as a freshman in 1998 and finished as a runner-up for the Herman Trophy – awarded to the top college soccer player in the country – in his sophomore season (1999) before leaving college to play professional soccer.
Since his career-ending injury, Twellman has dedicated himself to generating awareness about the dangers of concussions and head injuries, particularly in soccer. He provides athletes and their families with relevant information and support for incidents of sports-related concussion through the THINKTAYLOR Foundation and has become a sought-after speaker and facilitator at conferences and seminars, focusing on increased awareness among youth players.