Is TV Killing the Game?
I realize that I've been doing a lot of Soccer on TV posts lately, but TV is the way that most of us in Northern Alabama get our soccer fix. Personally, I make it a point to take a trip to my old stomping ground in DC to catch an MLS match or two every year, and I've traveled to Atlanta and Charleston to catch some division two action in years past. I'm sure that I'm the exception, and other than Rocket City United and the odd USMNT game in Nashville, there just isn't much of an opportunity to watch live high quality soccer other than on FSC, GolTV or ESPN.
While we in Huntsville may find that the TV coverage is a godsend, some believe that the widespread broadcasting of pro soccer is stunting the game. The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson argues that the sports highlight show culture and celebrity lifestyle of big time pro soccer players is turning too many kids into Cristiano Ronaldo wannabes. Much like the lack of good fundamental basketball players followed the growth of Michael Jordan and his acolytes, Wilson believes that stepovers, flicks and tricks have taken over the game.
But fear not, Tom Dunmore of Pitch Invasion isn't quite so sure and believes that "television cannot kill the ultimate unpredictability of football’s development."
Behind the Scenes with a Player Agent
There is a side to the professional game that not isn't very well known to the general soccer fan. The player agent is the guy often portrayed as lurking in the shadows, spewing transfer rumors, and cashing in on the big fees for bigtime players. That's not exactly how it work in MLS, though. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes to find teams for players and vice versa but in the US, the fees for these players tend to be far from bigtime. Ex-player and current player agent Michael Wheeler spoke to This Is American Soccer about the reality of the American game and the chances most players have of becoming an MLS player and not just a flash in the pan.
One things for certain. It's really, really hard to become a high level pro.