I grew up in a wonderfully diverse, increasingly Latino neighborhood, where me and bunch of other young goofballs played as much soccer as baseball or fooball. I liked all the other sports – but I loved soccer.
After graduating from the University of Texas in 1990, I was lucky enough to land at The Dallas Morning News and its blue chip sports section. I rehearsed the good tenets of solid journalism while covering high schools first, then colleges, and then while populating a gossipy, snarky Page 2 column on local sports personalities. (It looked and read a little like a first-gen sports blog.) All the time, I kept watch over the soccer scene, too.
So I covered World Cups in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 for the News. I was also stationed along the Major League Soccer watchtower the entire time, from first kick of that old school Mitre ball in 1996. Along the way, I introduced one of the paper’s first blogs, doing my part to drag the stubborn industry past its old ways.
I was on a train between Hamburg and Berlin smack in the middle of World Cup 2006 when I made the final decision to get out of newspapers (while the gettin’ was still good). I wanted to try life as a fulltime freelance journalist, specializing in soccer. Economically, it was a ridiculous plan. But you want what you want. And somehow, along with some other non-soccer writing assignments here and there, I’ve made it work.
I wrote for ESPN Soccernet through 2009 and then moved to SI.com. All along, I wrote regularly for MLSSoccer.com and daily for my own blog, Daily Soccer Fix (R.I.P.).
Now, I’ll be pouring all the prose, praise, appraisal and critique into one site. I’m thrilled to be heading up NBC Sports Digital’s new platform ProSoccerTalk (see previous post), and what a hoot this thing is going to be.
Just so you know, when I’m not writing about soccer or running with my dogs, I coach a good bunch of young men (under-13s) in a select league in Dallas. And I still play – although at a decreasingly competitive level! None of us are getting any younger, ya know.