Gary D. Rowcliffe Knoxville, Tenn.
As a long, long, longtime subscriber I have always been delighted with your magazine. I have over the years come to also rely on World Soccer magazine for information, and over the past three years have come to rely on the team publication "Manchester United" magazine for even more in-depth information. As of this Christmas, I am now online with the Soccernet and get the "Daily Mail" match updates shortly after the match ends. Now if only I could get a satellite dish that beamed into Old Trafford, I would be very happy.
Anyway, the reason I am writing is to suggest a series of features on supporters clubs of overseas teams, here in the USA. Not only do we fans rely on them to keep up with our favorite teams, but there is a camraderie amongst members. One common thread has been the satisifying weekly news stream from SA. Anyway, let me know if you decide to pursue such a series. I'll put you in touch with the USA supporters branch secretary of Manchester United! Thanks.
Everyone out there should let us know about supporters clubs of foreign clubs here in the United States and how fans can get in touch with them and know of their activities. We'll publish in one of our upcoming Q&A sessions the responses we get.
William H. Stafford Santa Clarita, Calif.
Can you tell me why Soccer America mostly covers the East Coast and why isn't high school soccer covered.
People in the West, South or Midwest will say the same thing about the East or regions other than their own.
We do publish the national polls put out by the NSCAA and Umbro, but frankly, we do not, as a national magazine, find there is across-the-board interest in high school soccer. It's simply too local. Also, high school soccer needs to work much, much harder on its fan support. It is not where it needs to be if soccer is to develop.
Jimmy Swansbrough Signal Mountain, Tenn.
How do boys and girls get on the Umbro all-American teams?
Players are picked by NSCAA coaches at their respective levels. For more information on how players are selected for the level or division that you are interested in contact the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) in Kansas at (800) 458-0678.
Mike Romeo Metuchen, N.J.
I enjoy Soccer America and have been a subscriber forever. I consider Paul Gardner's "Soccer Talk" the best feature in your publication. I was wondering why he's not listed here as part of your staff?
All those listed on the Soccer America staff bios are those who are employed at Soccer America here in Berkeley, Calif. Paul Gardner is a free-lance writer based in New York. For those who have asked, he does not currently have an e-mail address.
Matt Schreck Syracuse, N.Y.
I am writing to ask you about the opportunities in the field of reporting for soccer and other sports magazines. I am a freshman in the Newhouse School at Syracuse, and I am very much interested in becoming a sportswriter. As soccer is my favorite sport, writing for a magazine like yours would be the type of job I would most enjoy having. There are not many magazines in this country, however, that cover the sport of soccer, and none nearly so comprehensively as Soccer America. So, in general, how difficult is it to become involved with a magazine such as yours?
Soccer America currently has seven full-time editors. All but one have been here a minimum of six years and three have been here 10 years or more. Two began as correspondents and four others began as interns or part-time editorial assistants. The best way to start out writing about soccer is to cover it for your school paper, string for local newspapers (daily or weekly) or write for state association publications.
Kevin Pope Newark, Calif.
The final of the Brazilian national championship was played Dec. 17, yet not a word of coverage on Soccer America Online. Why?
Soccer America Online is concentrating on events related to outdoor American soccer since there are many other web sites devoted to international soccer.
For your information, Botafogo won the final series 3-2 on aggregate. It won the first leg 2-1 (Gottardo 18, Tulio 44; Giovanni 44) and tied Santos 1-1 away in the second leg (Marcelo Passos 48; Tulio 25). Here are the lineups from the second leg:
Santos --Edinho, Ronaldo, Marinhos Capixaba, Narciso, Marcos Adriano, Carlinhos, Marcelo Passos, Robert (Macedo), Camanducaia, Giovanni, Jamelli.
Botafogo --Vagner, Wilson Goiano, Gottardo, Goncalves, Andre Silva (Moises), Jamir, Leonardo, Beto, Sergio Manoel, Donizete, Tulio.
Cam Lewis Roswell, Ga.
Who is the best pro goalie?
Here was the voting for the 1995 World Goalie of the Year, conducted by the IFFHS, the internatioonal society of soccer historians and statisticians.
1. Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay) 37 points. 2. Peter Schmeichel (Denmark). 3. Thomas Ravelli (Sweden) 24. 4. Michel Preud'homme (Belgium) 23. 5. David Seaman (England) 21. 6. Vitor Baia (Portugal), Edwin Van der Sar (Netherlands) 19. 8. Gianluca Pagliuca (Italy) 16. 9. Bernard Lama (France), Andoni Zubizarreta (Spain) 15. 11. Fernandez Alvez (Uruguay), Claudio Taffarel (Brazil) 13. 13. Ed De Goey (Netherlands) 12. 14. Jorge Campos (Mexico), Andreas Koepke (Germany), Sebastiano Rossi (Italy) 11. 17. Luca Bucci (Italy) 10. 18. Kasey Keller (USA), Borislav Mikhailov (Bulgaria), Erik Thorstvedt (Norway) 9.
Donald P. Moroz Cassopolis, Mich.
Will the A-League survive next year, given the startup of the MLS?
It will not be easy, but the A-League is plowing ahead. For all the criticism of A-League commissioner Richard Groff, he has got his owners focused on tackling management issues and the nuts and bolts of small-time sports operations. Also, the A-League ownership group is in its best shape ever. Several owners have deep pockets like those in Seattle, Colorado and Atlanta, and the teams in Canada (Vancouver and Montreal) have nowhere else to go.
On the down side, Seattle did have disappointing attendance in 1995, however, while Colorado and New York (invisible in its first season) face competition from MLS teams, and the Ruckus will face a difficult time during the Olympic year in Atlanta. The loss of the best American A-League players, generally speaking, won't help.
Pablo A. Bejarano Cincinnati
Will any of the commentators from ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 have the courage (guts) to call a goal as Andres Cantor does on Univision? Many of us would rather watch Univision just to have access to a colorful coverage. Don't you think gooooooooaaaallll!!!!! certainly brings everybody's attention up?
Yes, Cantor's calls of goals during the World Cup drew a lot of interest, but they have simply not come across as being genuine when done by American broadcasters. The emotional and dramatic tones to Cantor's play-by-play naturally lead to his calls of goals. Also, something major must be at stake for such dramatic calls to work -- which is why Cantor's call of World Cup goals come across so well.
Rand Swenson W. Lebanon, N.H.
I understand that larger goals is one of the rules changes that FIFA has asked the MLS to consider. What is the status of this? Won't a 15-yard wall restriction just increase the importance of dead-ball situations at the expense of the flow of play?
From what we hear, FIFA has asked MLS to consider experimenting with larger goals, but MLS does not want to be the only guinea pig. MLS officials are very sensitive to their being portrayed abroad as those crazy Americans and their rules experiments.
If anything needs to be changed to increase the flow of play and more goals, it's less fouling. Since that's unlikely to happen, the punishment for fouls near the goal area must be greater -- i.e. the greater likelihood that a goal can scored against a wall 15 yards away.
Glenn Sheldon Miami, Fla.
Is Richmond too cold? Will their success entice warmer climes to pull the NCAA south? Would you happen to know what kind of investment is required to start acquire and run an MLS team. What's the smallest stadium the MLS will play in? What's the biggest? What's the maximum questions I can ask before you quit reading and kick the computer...
(1) Are NFL games in December in the Northeast and Midwest too cold? Rain and snow is another matter.
(2) Perhaps to Charlotte, if the old stadium can be renovated to the standards of Richmond Stadium. There simply isn't the demonstrated community interest to general (college) soccer any farther south.
(3) There is no limit on the minimum size of a stadium. I think MLS officials would gladly move into 20,000-seat facilities if all the amenities American fans are used to are there. RFK is the smallest stadium for '96 (55,000).
(4) The Rose Bowl is the biggest (102,000-plus).
(5) We try to answer as many questions as possible, but there is unfortunately no way we can answer every question.
Josh Warren Upper Saddle River, N.J.
What do you think about the MLS contradicting itself. "We're not going to sign aging foreign stars," they claim ... but who do they sign? 37-year-old Hugo Sanchez, aging Carlos Valderrama, and who are they after? The likes of Bonner, McGrath, Aldridge, Donadoni, etc. What is your opinion on this?
Since it decided not to spend big money on foreigners, veteran players are the only ones MLS can afford until it can develop appropriate networks for acquiring (cheap) young African and South American players.
Larry DiBernardo Wallingford, Conn.
How about an article on Southern Connecticut State University, playing perhaps the best soccer in the country?
The Owls' national championship run was featured in the Dec. 21 issue of Soccer America.