US Soccer Media we like

Discussion in 'Business and Media' started by christopher d, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    This may be a quick thread, but I'm curious:

    I've heard and read plenty about some spectacularly poor performances from TV play-by-play folks, both for Nats games and MLS games. From Jack Edwards to Joe Tutino, I hear nothing good about TV commentators (with the possible exception of Veronica Paysee's figure).

    Similarly, while the San Diego paper has a half-decent soccer columnist (Mark Zeigler), the rest of the paper is @#$%, so I'm subjected to the mindlessness of Graeme Jones of the LA Times (who was probably the inspiration for the BBC take on US Soccer reporting during the World Cup).

    So, for the balance of the thread, I'd love to hear about the good writers / broadcasters. Who really knows the game, and who really reports it well? What newspaper columnists do you wake up early for, anticipating their column? What TV commentators would you watch, even if it meant buying some expensive PPV? Does soccer have a hidden Sterling and Kay (New Yorkers will understand) waiting to be introduced to the masses?

    Any language, but let's keep it to American media outlets. And just positive comments. :)
  2. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    No one likes anything around here. Most people on BigSoccer don't even like soccer.

  3. WarrenWallace

    WarrenWallace Member

    Mar 12, 1999
    Beer and Cheese
    No, we like soccer. We just don't like MSL cause it isn't in Europe. The MSL isn't even close to the level of the Mexican league. :rolleyes:
  4. Brrca Fan redded

    Brrca Fan redded Red Card

    Aug 6, 2002
    Chasing Tornadoes.
    MSL is it a new league?
  5. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    I like Jack Edwards. He's awful but I like him. :)
  6. fidlerre

    fidlerre Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    Central Ohio
    columbus crew beat writer craig merz from the columbus dispatch

    soccer writer marc connolly from

    soccer writer jeff bradley from espn the magazine

    soccer writer grant wahl from sports illustrated
  7. WarrenWallace

    WarrenWallace Member

    Mar 12, 1999
    Beer and Cheese
    Those three national writers are really good. I tend to like Grant the best out of the three. Usually pretty insightful. I haven't read anything by Merz lately, especially since Chicago got a team. But I think that he is one of the best beat writers that MLS has.
  8. concrete

    concrete New Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    IMO, the best MLS beat writers (not columnists) are, in no particular order......

    Frank Dell'Apa and Gus Martins in Boston
    Craig Merz in Columbus
    Steven Goff in DC
    Ives Galapares (?) in NJ
    and sometimes Michael Lewis in NY (when they give him some space)

    No one else comes close to these guys for regular coverage.
  9. dcajedi

    dcajedi Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    Steven Goff, Brian Straus, and William Gildea of the Washington Post. Goff gets the bright lights, Straus is a great up-and-comer who gets the Freedom and college news (not to mention a Penn graduate :)), and Gildea is one of the best writers in any profession in this town. I love his soccer columns.

    I'm also a big fan of Wahl (Princeton grad, no idea why though :(), as well as Chris Bergin (honorary American) and J Hutcherson.
  10. dcajedi

    dcajedi Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    I also think Jack Bell, George Vescey, and Alex Yannis do a very good job at the New York Times when they are allowed space (lack of sports in general is a big reason why I hate the NYT). Yannis has been a soccer guy since the NASL days apparently, and Vescey might just be the most prominent voice soccer has in this country, even if we don't realize it sometimes.
  11. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Where's the love?
  12. dcajedi

    dcajedi Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    The Emerald City Gazette is the best, I just love it, I really do...

    except I have never gotten up off my lazy behind and put down the money for a subscription.

    there is nothing wrong with shameless self-promotion on this board, man!
  13. Frank Deford
  14. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Are you suggesting that Sterling and Kay are good? God help us all.
  15. JerzyRebel

    JerzyRebel New Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Land of Paulie Walnuts
    Web and Magazine category: Wahl, Connolly and Bradley all do well although Bradley's output has diminished. I'll give the edge to Wahl and Connolly at present because they are more light-hearted and more likely to give you interesting factoids and a funny line than Bradley. No knock on him. When given the space in ESPN the Mag, he can write a great soccer story.

    Newspaper category: Nobody tops Goff in D.C. for sources and amount of breaking stories. Grahame Jones doesn't do MLS anymore but when he did he was great. Merz gets tons of stuff in Columbus but then again, he is the only guy there. Let's see him in the MetroStars market. NY Times guy Bell seems to just scour the web, rehash his findings and pass it off as a column. Times lost big points when Bradley was hired as coach. They were like three days behind on that one. Vescey is a best "writers in any genre" candidate so putting him here is a bit much. Yes, he was at the World Cup, but he isn't a soccer writer. He's a writer who loves soccer, which is a short list to say the least. Props to Miami writers Kaufman and Rusnak, who have kept on keeping on despite no longer having a team down there.
  16. dcajedi

    dcajedi Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    seems like the tv boys got lost in the shuffle:

    glenn davis and sean wheelock, for daring to say 'nil' on ESPN-- here's to more of it.

    dwight burgess-- for being the last resort for so many MLS fans across the country desperate for something live

    the guy in LA-- for seemingly doing everything out there

    dave johnson-- for comcast sportsnet, of course, but also for putting salvatore on dc's most listened-to station in the morning sports reports, and always remembering to give the freedom and united scores and news. has to be one of the all-time nice guys too.
  17. Juvenescent

    Juvenescent New Member

    Feb 21, 2002
    CSN's Llew Llewellyn. I hope to be reading his stuff instead of that criminal Grahme Jones' crap in the LA Times soon.
  18. Metros Striker10

    Metros Striker10 New Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Planet Earth
    JP, Tommy Smyth, Alexi Lalas and Rob Stone (on the Extra Time) are really good commentators. There's Ty and Jack who are in a different category, because of their famous quotes. Eric Wynalda looks like a possible candidate for later on.
  19. seahawkdad

    seahawkdad Spoon!!!

    Jun 2, 2000
    Lincoln, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    WBUR's Bill Littlefield

    WBUR has a very balanced, very clever sports commentator, Bill Littlefied. He covers all sports (his most recent, apparently, was power sander racing), including soccer. His Saturday show, Only a Game, is carried on a number of NPR stations, so you may have heard him.

    I guess he's not really too balanced, however, since in one of his soccer pieces contrasting MLB and MLS spring training he confessed to having abandoned baseball for soccer. It was a great piece--basically the question was where would you want to spend spring training--Florida and Arizona or Brazil, Italy and Spain...

    Here's a link to some of his work
  20. fiddlestick

    fiddlestick New Member

    Jul 17, 2001
    The 4 8 0
    Kevin Frasier formerly of Fox, now of ESPN did some national radio shows during the WC and was very knowledgable and enthusiatic, even defending soccer when the hosts were bashing.
  21. CSC-CrewFan

    CSC-CrewFan New Member

    Oct 29, 1999
    Dwight Burgess - The Crews main guy. He does both radio and TV. Also MLS draft, NCAA I Mens Championship radio. He is good and not too much of a homer.

    Craig Merz is a great beat writer. Always adds insight into the team. However, does not break many stories.
  22. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    After his playing days, I'd love to hear him call Galaxy games. Every once in a great while he gets an interview on the XTRA morning show. Very funny, very personable. I think he'd make a great color commentator.
  23. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    That's good news. He certainly couldn't be any bleeping worse
  24. BenchRobSmith

    BenchRobSmith New Member

    I love Dwight - I think he's one of the most talented, articulate, first-rate soccer announcers this country's produced. He's a hell of a nice guy. (And he's done a nice job as the head coach at Capital University, too.)

    But sometimes, when I'm listening to Crew games, I cringe at how much of a homer he is.

    Maybe he's a homer, maybe he isn't. But it's kind of funny how two people can listen to the same game and hear two different things.

    It's no knock on Dwight, though...I've yet to hear anybody this country's produced who's better...
  25. dcajedi

    dcajedi Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    IIRC Grant Wahl cited him in a piece a while back on people 'in the system' who support soccer. If you watch SportsCenter closely, Frazier is often narrating when the UCL highlights come on. He is a real up-and-coming talent at ESPN and will only help us.

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