Rise of the Harsh Comments By Soccer Journalists

722 0

What does it mean: soccer has officially landed in the United States.

Seattle Sounders Fans
Seattle Sounders Fans

Has soccer made it in the United States? I think so. Want some proof? Here it is: new soccer specific stadiums, intense local rivalries, and now, to top it all off, soccer journalists calling out players by name on Twitter, the game has finally made it.

Kansas City Wizards Stadium
Kansas City Wizards Stadium

It’s a bit harsh though, naming names, but it does make for a much more interesting sport and discussion – it brings to light what is said behind people’s backs and perhaps makes those in charge, the coaches, make some different decisions. Or at least the journalist might like to think it does.

What does it do to the players? They have to let it roll off their back. However, at the same time, there might be some truth to the statements, and they can use it to make themselves better. The good ones will. They’ll learn to cut out the negative criticism and just take those morsels of constructive criticism.

New York Times Goal soccer writer, John Godfrey, took some direct shots at a few players after the U.S. Men’s national team match versus Spain, calling out Oguchi Onyewu and Sacha Kljestan directly on his Twitter account. Over at his NY Times Goal blog he gave Onyewu a player rating of 2 and Kljestan a 3.

Take a look at these Tweets. And what’s funny about Twitter is you can add the players Twitter account to the comment, so they can read the Tweet themselves.

@jhGodfrey john godfrey
anyone is better than @OguchiOnyewu5 “@FCUptown: @jhGodfrey Be careful what you wish for. Goodson has a nickname. #Badson. #usmnt.”

@jhGodfrey john godfrey
@Omar4Gonzalez should be on the bench, not @oguchionyewu5. I bet BB agrees #usmnt

@jhGodfrey john godfrey
Credit to BB for starting Goodson/Ream instead of Onyewu, and for keeping @jonnybornstein off the field. Progress! #usmnt @ussoccer

@jhGodfrey john godfrey
@SachaKljestan wants nothing to do with the ball. Panicky. #usmnt

@jhGodfrey john godfrey
@SachaKljestan too timid for this team. #usmnt

@jhGodfrey john godfrey
@sachakljestan pulled a silent sneeze on his scoring chance today. JUST LET IT RIP! @kylemartino Can’t figure out silent sneezers. #usmnt

There are all true and valid points by John Godfrey, and refreshing in their directness. If anything, the game against Spain showed what players can walk the walk and who can’t right now. It showed that, like the Spanish defenders, we need players who can play the ball with their feet, and not just boot it away when they’re in trouble.

There’s a reason Onyewu didn’t last at AC Milan, he just doesn’t have the control on the ball to play with an elite team like AC Milan. And, if the United States wants to advance in the later rounds of the World Cup, he doesn’t have the tools to play for the U.S. team either.

If Sacha wants to shine on the U.S. national team, then he’s going to have to seek out the ball and make things happen.

And then there was the Tweet and article from Noah Davis, who covers the United States national team for MLSSoccer.com. His piece on Jozy is here: Don’t read too much into Altidore’s match.

Davis essentially calls Jozy Altidore lazy in the article and then asks if Altidore might want to do an interview in a Tweet after he sees that Altidore is upset. I don’t think Jozy is going to give Davis any good quotes for a while, unless Davis gave him a free iPad2 or something, since Jozy just lost his.

@noahedavis noah davis
@jozyaltidore17 Didn’t mean to offend you; just writing what I saw. You game for an interview?

Jozy Altidore tweeted back though, which it looks like he has since deleted:

@JozyAltidore17 Jozy Altidore
@noahedavis coward.

Game on as they say. The game of soccer is now here in the United States. Journalists are naming names and people are talking. You might say the game is even exploding here in the United States. Could soccer break into the top three in the U.S.? Maybe at some point, perhaps in the next ten years.

Sure, a lot of it has to do with Twitter itself, where everyone can discuss whether so and so played well enough or whether the referee made a bad call and it should have been a penalty kick. Videos, pics, articles and comments can all be instantly shared on Twitter and Facebook. Goals and poor calls can be watched live and videos shared latter.

This all unites the fans who love the sport. They have places to speak their minds. What was it, just ten odd years ago where you had to work hard to find soccer on TV or in those things they call newspapers.

Update: It looks like this all might have fired up Jozy Altidore. Check out his blast versus Guadeloupe in the Gold Cup. I think Noah Davis deserves a little credit.

Related Post

Alexi Lalas the General Manager

Posted by - 2019-06-26 0
  Lalas…Lalas..Lalas…Is that what the fans will be chanting when LA finally wins the title under his management? I doubt…

Road to South Africa

Posted by - 2019-06-26 0
All six parts of the documentary are posted below. Part I The USA created history at the 2009 Confederations Cup.…