Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Know your sources

So I have had a few people comment that my posts are long. "Not that that's necessarily bad," they say. And it is fair comment. I have gotten it enough, though, that I figured it might be worth a moment to pull the veil back a bit.

For those who don't know me personally, let me take a brief (for me, anyway) moment to give you a little bit about me so you can judge for yourself the information I provide. Before going into the background much, let me state up top that my goal here is to share my observations and analysis in a way that I think adds to the dialogue. In general, I am not going to give you the 250 word "quick hit." I am definitely not going to give you video clips (for the most part). What I am going to give you is some detail and some thoughts that I have run through a variety of filters.

As such, let me share what those filters are.

First and foremost, know above all that I am what I call a "big umbrella" guy - if it grows soccer, I am for it. For the most part, that means growing soccer in the US, but not exclusively. For example, I got the opportunity in 2002 to join Costa Rica fans for their game against Turkey - I LOVED that experience, and still have the t-shirt. Literally.

I am an estate planning attorney with my own law firm - mostly to keep costs down and keep things simple. The advantage there is that gives me the flexibility to take turns with my wife taking care of our son, Kyle, but it has the added benefit of giving me the flexible schedule to work for as a writer covering FC Dallas. I have worked in the sport (Ticket Sales for FC Dallas for seven years, team executive with a lower division team before that), and have played the sport since I was really young.

I am also a referee. You will note that I do not discuss refereeing decisions. That is for a number of reasons, but suffice to say, even if I wanted to, it really isn't my place to comment on things that are way above my experience level. True, I have worked hard to advance where I am not a regular, run of the mill referee (technically I am a Grade 7 and a State Candidate, if you want to know that), but I am nowhere near at the level to knowledgeably speak about what MLS or FIFA referees deal with. I have officiated games (either as a middle, or at the higher levels, usually as an assistant referee) involving the USSF Development Academy, Dallas Cup, WPSL, USL Super Y-23 and NPSL.

I also attended the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, along with a variety of other US National Team games, as a member of Sam's Army. (Side note - I am very proud to see what the American Outlaws have done and am very glad to see their success.) Additionally, I attended the 1999 Womens World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl. Further, I was a long-standing member of The Inferno, the original supporters group for the Dallas Burn.

Bottom line - I have been a student of the game and had to study professional soccer from a variety of angles and situations for quite some time. That doesn't mean that I know more than the next guy, but rather that my opinions and insights are based on a variety of experiences and situations, some of which are at a professional level.

So there you have it. Now you know the filters that are in my head. Hopefully that can help you judge the opinions and information that produces.

Thank you for joining me here - I enjoy the process that produces these posts and am glad to see the increased readership. If you have any thoughts, questions, concerns, ideas, I can be reached at

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