Where are the good soccer journalists?

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Mountainia, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. Mountainia

    Mountainia Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Section 207, Row 7
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Does anyone have links to good soccer reporters? I have been reading espn.go.com/soccer for a while, but they seem to have fewer good analysts than they did even a year ago. Also, I cannot ever find a soccer magazine at the newstands, or even a general sports magazine that covers soccer.

    If anyone knows good sources, please post them to this list. Thanks.
  2. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    They're not reporters but I always enjoy Marc Connelly and Jeff Bradley's columns. Grant Wahl's contributions to SI are excellent as well.

    What part of Virginia do you live in? In every city I've lived in, Barnes & Noble usually had a half decent selection of soccer magazines. Or you could subscribe to FourFourTwo, When Saturday Comes and/or Soccer America.
  3. Jose L. Couso

    Jose L. Couso New Member

    Jul 31, 2000
    Arlington, VA
    Steven Goff of the Washington Post is one of the best!
  4. Mountainia

    Mountainia Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Section 207, Row 7
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks, Skip. I didn't think. Of course a bookstore has much better selection. I'll stop by a B&N for a look.

    I like Goff's articles, and I also like Jeff Bradley's columns. I was hoping that there were some good analysts writing about individual players in MLS, their strengths, progress, etc. I remeber hearing Dave Dir talk about strategy on ESPN. For example, how players should be supporting the attack as well as positioning themselves in case the ball is lost. Things that help people who already know the game, not stuff for non-soccer people.

    I also like the series about Americans overseas. I forget who writes those. Anyway, thanks for the tips.
  5. Texan

    Texan New Member

    Jan 8, 2001
    Rob Hughes for the International Herald Tribune and Henry Winter for the Daily Telegraph are two of my favorites. David Lacey for the Guardian was also a favorite, but sadly has recently retired.
  6. Minnman

    Minnman Member+

    Feb 11, 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Craig Merz does a good job in Columbus.

    For the most part, I think the great soccer reporters are in the same place as are the hoards of soccer fans who demand their daily does of soccer reporting (i.e, they don't exist).

    What we have (as has been pointed out) are columnists (Bradley, Connolly, Wagman) who cover soccer, but don't necessarily report on the day-to-day happenings of the sport. The best (like Connolly) don't just spew out their own unsubstantiated opinions (as do Trecker & Jones). But until the fan base for the sport grows, and grows a lot, in this country, I doubt that we'll see much of a jump in the numbers of soccer reporters.

    The fun (if I can focus on the silver lining) is that this means soccer fans, in the Internet age, are free to roam countless websites looking for the diamonds in the rough; guys like Charles Gardner in Milwaukee who does a very good job covering the sport for the Journal-Sentinel. Hopefully, as the fan base grows, as the USMNT gears up for its WC Quals in 2004, and if MLS ever gets around to expanding into more markets, we'll see better coverage evolve. But it's gonna take a while.
  7. mpruitt

    mpruitt Member

    Feb 11, 2002
    E. Somerville
    New England Revolution
    Frank D'Apala of the Boston Globe is also very good. very in depth analysis
  8. bocatuna

    bocatuna New Member

    Aug 8, 2002
  9. Boro_lad

    Boro_lad New Member

    I got to say none. (when it comes to transfers)

    And very few as most are always negative towards middlesbrough. Southern b@$t@rds

    yea so good journolists....non from england as they are all biased....
  10. desertfox2

    desertfox2 Member

    Jul 18, 2000
    Trenton, NJ
    Well, all I have to say is that I want to be a soccer writer (especially about the WC) when I get out of college. I mean, I wrote a 167 page analysis on the 32 WC Finalists of this past WC, and that was just for fun. Hopefully one day I'll be travelling the world and you will all see my articles about the WC on some site.
  11. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member+

    May 28, 2001
    FOUR FOUR TWO is about 130 pages long and that includes the advertising.
    Most newspapers rarely have more than 15 pages dedicated to ALL sports and that also includes the advertising.

    So at 167 pages, I'd have to say you just might be guilty of overwriting a little...............:)
  12. desertfox2

    desertfox2 Member

    Jul 18, 2000
    Trenton, NJ
    I did not overwrite. Listen, I did a breakdown of each of the 32 nations. This is what I had for each team:

    1) General Statistics (FIFA Rank, different records in WC play, what region they are from, etc.)

    2) Qualifying Round story (I listed each result, and then gave what I thought that match meant at that time for whatever team I was writing about.)

    3) History in past World Cup Finals (Just listed past results in past World Cups.)

    4) Teams in their group (Just listed their group.)

    5) Past Encounters (Listed all (if any) of previous encounters with the 3 other teams in their group, the date, and what it was that they were playing in (friendly, World Cup, etc.).)

    6) My Analysis (Wrote my analysis on each team (usually was about 3/4 of a page long.)

    7) Their schedule (Just listed who they were playing, what day, what time, and which city they were playing in.)

    8) My Prediction (I then gave my prediction on the team and listed how far they would get and gave the scores that I predicted.)

    9) Top 3 Stars (Listed who I thought were the top 3 stars heading into the World Cup Finals.)

    10) Final Thought (Gave one last thought on the team.)

    I used a 14 font on my comp, which is not much larger than a normal 12 font. I only used it cause I thought it looked better. That's basically it. 167 pages total. And I thought all of it needed to be included. I mean, think what you want to, but I felt that it was close to being an ultimate breakdown of the teams going into the WC Finals. I wish that other journalists would do something like that. I mean, I've seen only people write about the history, or their predictions with an explanation, or just facts on the team, but I had them all.
  13. todda74

    todda74 New Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    Fox how long did it take you to write that?
  14. desertfox2

    desertfox2 Member

    Jul 18, 2000
    Trenton, NJ
    todda, it took me about 3 months to write it, and that was just on regular paper. Then it took me about 2 weeks just to type it up. I finished it in early March. It even took about 2 hours to print lol. It just stunk though when I wrote about players and then they got injured before the Finals began. Like for France, i wrote a lot about how Zidane was going to be their leader and then he is out for the first 2 games. With predictions, I was right on with some teams and way off on others (i.e. France, Portugal, Argentina). Right now I'm writing just my analysis on each group heading into EURO 2004 qualifying. Who knows, maybe I'll type it in the UEFA forum.
  15. Turk from Pigs Eye

    Turk from Pigs Eye New Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    Pigs Eye (St. Paul),
    Are you aware of SoccerAmerica Magazine?

    The Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, and Columbus papers have articles at times.
  16. sydtheeagle

    sydtheeagle New Member

    May 21, 2002
    Becoming a journalist has more to do with initiative than anything else. Speaking from experience, if you want to write (and be published), you will find a way if you have the nous and initiative. You'd be surprised...the "mystique" is not all it's cracked up to be.
  17. desertfox2

    desertfox2 Member

    Jul 18, 2000
    Trenton, NJ
    Syd, you're right. To get into the journalism world you must have initiative. It's how you can become successful, I know that. But I'm willing to take the initiative. I actually nearly did get my work published. It's just that papers in the US hardly could care about a breakdown of the teams in the World Cup. I did write about the World Cup however in my school paper and many people read my large breakdown of the teams as well. I'm just about to go into college and I hope that I will start working with people in my field. But yes, initiative is key.
  18. sydtheeagle

    sydtheeagle New Member

    May 21, 2002
    One point is, WRITE. Write about anything. Don't focus on becoming a soccer writer, just write and get published. Once you've established yourself (in print) as a capable writer, got some clips together, and hopefully built a reputation then it'll be much easier to leverage yourself into writing about something that interests you. Think of it like this: you have to play in the minors before you get to the big time.

    Also remember that 99% of journalism (a fact all too often forgotten today) is about REPORTING. No one cares about your opinion or what you think...great journalists know how to present the facts in plain, good English. That is why good writing about anything is what will get you into writing about something you love. Being a soccer lover (or even knowing a lot about soccer) is not as a good a qualification for getting a job as a soccer reporter as having a proven track record as a top rate reporter and writer in, say, the nursing home management sector.

    Well, hope this advice is of some use. If you do want more, send me a private message. Don't want this thread to be Syd's job clinic.
  19. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member+

    May 28, 2001
    OK you may not have overwritten in your estimation, but bear in mind a few things:

    This is too long to be published in any newspaper or magazine ever, except perhaps as a supplement and even at that, it's too much writing by one person. Supplements usually have 3-5+ people writing, to break up the monotony of the style of one writer.

    Now, if you're writing this to stretch out your writing muscles and for your own personal collection, fair enough. An interesting exercise would be to see how thin you can pare it.

    167 pages - even in 14 font - is too much. Can you get it down to say 10 pages? Then you've got the guts of an article.
  20. desertfox2

    desertfox2 Member

    Jul 18, 2000
    Trenton, NJ
    Samar, I wasn't expecting it to be published, as it is 167 pages. But I wanted people around where I live to check out a preview of whatever team they are rooting for. Plus, I did it for enjoyment. I like to look back on what I wrote before the World Cup Finals. Also, it gave me good practice with writing. And I try to write as unbiased as possible to please fans of all countries.
  21. Mel Brennan


    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Also remember that in the vast makority of popular media, this rarely happens, and that most of the time all other kinds of considerations, that have nothing to do with the facts, take precedence throughout the editing process, the article selection process, and the article placement process. Indeed, in today's media climate, you can be just as sucessfull being an "outrageous" personality with little talent/honed skillsets as you can be with "authentic" journalistic tenets as your guide, if not more so...

    WORLD SOCCER is a great magazine for the global perspective (albeit from an English perspective), AFRICAN SOCCER covers the African continent (although, again, from the perspective of reporters and editors who live in London), and SOCCER AMERICA, which recently went to a true magazine format, covers world football in the States.

    Whoever submitted that Glanville ws quality was correct; also flesh out your soccer experience with soccer books; I recommend Galeano's "Soccer in Sun and Shadow" and Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch" to start with...then maybe Andy Dougan's "Dynamo: defending the honour of Kiev" as well as Freemantle Media's 7-disc DVD collection, "The History of Football," narrated by Terence Stamp (aka "kneel, before Zod"/Supreme Chancellor from Star Wars Episode I)...
  22. listentobobmarley

    Jan 5, 2001
    Jeff Bradley
    Soccer America
    World Soccer
    cnnsi.com (the soccer page is descent)
  23. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We can make it "William's job clinic", instead, perhaps. I'll be glad to dish out advice, in PM's or otherwise. ;)

    I would echo what Syd had to say. Having been in the business for the last 13 years, and reporting on the sport of soccer for various endeavors and publications (I'm an online journalist now, almost exclusively; I used to do it in the print medium), and what the contemporary soccer writers -- Bradley, Goff, Wagman, myself, et al-- have in common is an ability to communicate facts and just a bit of opinion in a way that is entertaining as well as informative.

    Really, all one can do is to keep writing, as Syd said, on anything at all. It's really a craft that takes lots of hard work to perfect, and from my perspective, you really don't know if you're ever at that "perfect" stage, and it takes so much more effort to maintain that standard.

    But as it's been said before in other contexts, and with regard to getting that first article published, particularly, the journey is more important than the destination, but staying on top of the mountain is a harder process than actually getting there, as well.

  24. rauld10

    rauld10 Member

    Dec 7, 2000
    Sarasota, FL
    Four Four Two is the greatest soccer magazine ever! I picked up one issue of Soccer America and was dissapointed because most of the information contained in the magazine can be obtained from the Internet.
    All of you should check out a fairly new soccer website Cybersoccer News (http://www.cybersoccernews.com). It has good analysis of US National Teams (mens and womens) and MLS (all teams).
  25. houndguy

    houndguy New Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    just an observation

    Although I would agree that all the names listed so far are very good writers, they all have a backround in print or the traditional media.

    No one metioned any strickly electronic based soccer writers like Billy Fetty (www.a-league.com) or Rich Snowden (www.soccer365.com) just to name a few.

    On a personal note, I also write about soccer. I do it for a couple of websites and I do if for the love of the sport and the love of writing. If I make a few bucks at it great, but if you can combine two passions...more power to you.

    I would also mention the new soccer mag 90 minutes (www.90soccer.com/index.html). First issue is free!

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