Paul Kennedy, the Editor in Chief and General Manager of Soccer America, has been named as the second recipient of United Soccer Coaches' Media Career of Excellence Award.
The award was established in 2020 to provide an opportunity for United Soccer Coaches to recognize a media professional for a distinguished career covering the events and issues of soccer in the United States. The 2020 recipient was longtime Soccer America columnist Paul Gardner.
The 2021 award will be presented on Jan. 21 during the association’s annual Awards Banquet in conjunction with its 82nd annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
“Paul Kennedy has been a fixture in American soccer journalism for nearly 50 years and it is with great pleasure we recognize his work with our second annual Media Career of Excellence Award,” said Dr. Melissa Price, the United Soccer Coaches president. “On behalf of our member coaches, our association appreciates his commitment to bringing increased attention and focus on our sport through diligent coverage of the game.”
Kennedy began covering soccer for Soccer America magazine, based in Berkeley, California, as a young economics student at Colgate University in New York in 1974. Later as a law student at the University of Richmond, he became the U.S. correspondent for France Football.
Kennedy left his law practice in Richmond, Virginia, in 1985 to become Soccer America’s Managing Editor. In that position, he enhanced the publication’s reporting of the men's and women's college game and expanded coverage of the growing U.S. national team program. The presence of Soccer America reporters at such events as the 1989 Under-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia, where the USA finished fourth, and 1991 Women's World Cup in China, where the USA captured the inaugural title, brought unprecedented coverage of the sport to American soccer's growing fan base.
Over the last 20 years, Kennedy directed the conversion of the publication from a weekly print edition into a daily go-to digital source with the production of 30-plus e-newsletters each week. In 2021, Soccer America is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
As a respected voice in the American soccer community, he is the U.S. media voter for the men's Ballon d’Or, the annual award presented by France Football, considered the most prestigious individual award for a soccer player in the world.
Kennedy, who was appointed to his current position with Soccer America in 2008, is in his 37th year overseeing Soccer America's day-to-day overage of the soccer. He was honored by the National Soccer Hall of Fame with the Colin Jose Media Award in 2016.
Photo: Frédéric Neema/L'Équipe
Congratulations, Paul! Very well deserved award!
There's no-one better Paul. Thanks so much!
Congratulations! Well Deserved!
I've always enjoyed Paul's writing. Kudos