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Thursday, June 5, 2008

SoccerBud: Jamie Trecker

Jamie Trecker has angered me more than once with his highly oppininated and blatantly negative comments about US soccer, the federation, and the MLS. He has received much hate mail from soccer fans, probably myself included although I can't remember. Some info on Trecker first from the Chicago Reader: "In addition to writing for Fox Sports, Trecker also works as the soccer research department for ESPN International, which contracts him to compile a weekly report of scores, statistics, and analysis of matches worldwide. The document, which the network consults when putting together its soccer telecasts and highlights reels, can run as long as 200 pages."
Just recently Trecker has posted highly negative chronicles on the national team's games against England and Spain, and lukewarm previews on the recent matches (the game against Argentina is this Sunday on ESPNClassic), as well as comments on LA's form during their first match.
I must say I disagree with Trecker on a lot of fronts. He may come from a renowned soccer journalism background (his father Jerry Trecker was an editor and sportswriter at the Hartford Courant for almost 40 years; he was among the first writers at an American daily to cover soccer regularly) and covering the sport with 5 TVs plugged into five different satellite dishes and anough knowledge of Spanish, German, Italian, and French to follow the sport from multidimensional angles, but his treatment of national players is sometimes ridiculous. We want to see the sport and the league grow in this country and although some negatives must be divulged along the way as a result of progress, it is also important to keep focused on what we should do to elevate the game in this country. He reminds me most of my uncle Mauro Velasquez, also a renowned figure in soccer journalism in Ecuador and most of the Spanish-speaking world (he has featured in several times on Spain's "Don Balon" magazine). Velasquez was often opinionated and extremely negative of Ecuador soccer, even during its recent surge onto the world scene.
But back to Trecker... Please take a breather, bud. Give us a hint of how the game can be improved. Give us positives about the league and the game. A man with such wealth of information should not constrict himself to the dark side of the sport. Yes, the US team looked horrible against England and yes, the MLS is not what soccer purists want. But recognize this... the US played a great game yesterday that only lost pace in the second half due to the absence of Adu and the unfortunate lack of play from Wolff. The MLS is still a work in progress and classic soccer league organization complete with relegation, salary caps and scheduling is still a few years away when the dust of league genesis settles.
I don't agree when he says that "life has more disappointments than anything else." Our triumphs eclipse all other things. What do we remember Maradona for most of all? Two things... Mexico 1986, quarter finals, Argentina 2 - England 1: His "hand of God" goal and the most beautiful play in World Cup history for the second goal.
Don't cheat us with the negatives... give us good. Soccer has come too far in this country to throw it all away with a few simple words.

2 comments:

Alastair McCandless said...

With that kind of negativity I would have given up on the Cubbies long ago. That dude has got to learn to believe! The MLS will get better as soon as they get some actual soccer fields. The American football fields restrict quality of play immensely when opposed to the huge amounts of space on a European pitch. As long as we keep building the game with our youth everything else will come in due time. The US looked great tonight against Argentina as well, Edu at times looking like the world class player many think he will consistently be and the defense doing a much better job on set pieces.

Robert Mera said...

Agreed. Soccer-specific fields for all MLS teams is a league priority. So far 7 teams have them now: HDC for LA and Chivas, Pizza Hut Park for Dallas, Toyota Park for Chicago, Crew stadium for Columbus, BMO Field for Toronto and Dick Sporting Goods Park for Colorado. 2 more will enter the scene this year and next season: Real Salt Lake, and Red Bull Park in NJ.