show episodes
 
He was an American prodigy. The next Pelé. The savior of U.S. soccer. But he wasn't even old enough to drive. In 2004, Freddy Adu joined MLS at 14 years old, becoming the youngest American pro team sport athlete in 100 years. His story is a tale of talent, money, fame and fútbol. Journalist Grant Wahl, who covered Freddy and LeBron James in their teens, retraces the legend of Freddy as he went from superstar to one of the biggest "what ifs," asking: What determines who "makes it" and who "do ...
 
The biggest moments in sports history have stories behind them which have never been told. In 1999, Brandi Chastain kicked the winning goal for the U.S. at the Women’s World Cup. Her victory celebration in a sports bra made for one of the most iconic photos in recent memory. But how did we get to a moment where a women’s sport became a national obsession? To answer that question, we have to go back. In Season 1, soccer journalist Grant Wahl traces that ’99 Women’s World Cup victory back to t ...
 
Is Neymar already one of the greats? What is Martin Tyler's most memorable commentary? How important is a back-up striker? EIF Soccer features some of the most influential voices in world football, from journalists like ESPNFC's Shaka Hislop and SI's Grant Wahl to USSF Presidential Candidate Eric Wynalda, answering these questions and more. Tune in for all you need to know about the beautiful game.
 
The Hat-Trick” presented by ICC is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Charlie Stillitano, Ray Hudson and Neil Barnett. The show features interviews with international football newsmakers including Gareth Bale, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Gennaro Gattuso, and Lothar Matthäus among many others. The hosts will also tackle daily topics in the football world and debate the latest issues on and off the pitch. Video clips of the podcast will be available on Internationalchampionscup.com and all social channels.
 
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show series
 
Grant has a fun interview with Jason Davis, the host of a daily American soccer show on SiriusXM FC and co-host of The Best Soccer Show with Jared DuBois. Grant and Jason discuss the current American media landscape, which topics resonate most with American soccer fans and whether soccer will ever be a regular topic on mainstream U.S. TV sports deb…
 
In a special bonus episode of the podcast, Grant interviews USWNT and Portland star Crystal Dunn, who Grant thinks has become the USWNT's best player in 2021. They discuss the first two games of the SheBelieves Cup ahead of Wednesday's finale vs Argentina; what she's hoping to achieve in 2021 on and off the field; whether she can be a candidate for…
 
Grant interviews his friend Wright Thompson (at 32:04), a senior writer at ESPN and the author of the recent New York Times Best-Seller Pappyland: A Story Of Family, Fine Bourbon and the Things That Last. They discuss his book, his interest in Kentucky and his approach to writing, including an anthology's worth of Thompson's phenomenal soccer writi…
 
This week we talk to Bradford Pearson, author of the new Book, The Eagles of Heart Mountain. It’s the true story of a group of Japanese American teenagers sent to an internment camp in Wyoming, and how their high school team became one of the greatest football squads in state history. We also have “Choice Words” revisiting that time recently deceas…
 
How he ended up in the J.League and Vissel Kobe The international development role at FC Koln The difference in communications requirements between Germany and Japan The need to actively pitch stories in the J.League The dominance of newspapers in the sports media market in Japan The media requirements in the J.League and the organisation of the co…
 
Grant has a wide-ranging interview with Ivan Gazidis, the CEO of AC Milan, which has become a contender again this season for the Scudetto in Italy. Gazidis, who previously was the chief executive at Arsenal and the MLS deputy commissioner, explains why he decided to take the Milan job; his strategy for the club on and off the field; what it's like…
 
This week, we speak to journalist Natalie Weiner about her piece on White Feminism and the ways in which Barstool Sports is utilizing different techniques in an effort to whitewash much the racism, sexism and homophobia they enable including attacking NWHL (National Women’s Hockey League) staff and reporters. We also give listeners an understanding…
 
Grant has a fascinating interview with La Liga TV's Semra Hunter, the only American who's working in television in a top-5 European soccer league. Based in Barcelona, Hunter explains what she does week to week with the Spanish top flight and tells her story. That includes growing up in the Los Angeles area, attending the 1999 women's World Cup fina…
 
Grant interviews Lutz Pfannenstiel, the recently named sporting director for St. Louis City, which starts in MLS in 2023. They talk Pfannenstiel's new project in one of the U.S.'s most historic soccer cities, and then they dive into Lutz's incredible soccer journey as told in his memoir The Unstoppable Keeper. Pfannenstiel, a German-born goalkeeper…
 
Grant connects with Leeds United's Jack Harrison, formerly of NYCFC and Wake Forest, and they have an entertaining discussion about Harrison's productive year in the Premier League; what he has learned about playing for the legendary manager Marcelo Bielsa; and his story of growing up in Man United's academy, deciding to decamp to the United States…
 
After seeing CNN New Day anchor John Berman tweeting about USMNT hopeful Owen Otasowie, Grant decided it was time to get Berman on the podcast, and they have a fun conversation about how Berman became a die-hard fan of the U.S. national soccer teams. This episode of Fútbol with Grant Wahl is brought to you by Fanatiz. Frustrated that you can't get …
 
This week we are speaking to the cowriter of Jim Brown's 1989 autobiography Out of Bounds, former ESPN Outside the Lines reporter Steve Delsohn. We are talking about the portrayal of Brown in the lauded film, One Night in Miami. We are also talking to Michael Lee of the Washington Post about the passing of NBA journalism icon Sekou Smith. I also ha…
 
Grant checks in with Brenden Aaronson, the 20-year-old USMNT and Red Bull Salzburg midfielder who made his debut with his new club over the weekend and got an assist in his first start with Salzburg on Wednesday. Aaronson explains how things have gone since he arrived in Austria earlier this month; the welcome he got from Salzburg coach Jesse Marsc…
 
The two golden eras of British speedway - immediately post-war and 60/70s How Wembley drew more than 1m speedway spectators in 1956 The downward spiral since the 1980s - from over 90,000 watching Bruce Penhall at Wembley in 1982 to just over 1,000 at top-flight meets The origin story of speedway. High Beech in 1928 The World of Sport days and the s…
 
Grant catches up with Pia Sundhage (at 30:59), who won two Olympic gold medals and a World Cup silver medal coaching the USWNT and currently coaches the Brazilian WNT. Calling in from Porto Alegre, Sundhage addresses why she took the Brazil job, how she's trying to unearth the next great Brazilian generation, how the Brazilian women ended up gettin…
 
This week we talk to former All-Star pitcher and cosmic genius Bill “Spaceman” Lee. Bill talks to us about his unique life, his new book, and his many experiences playing baseball and the philosophies that guide him. We also have “Choice Words” about the media’s treatment of Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. In addition, we have “Just Stand Up” and …
 
Grant interviews Drake Hills, a rising-star journalist covering Nashville SC and the soccer beat at The Tennesean and co-host of the Plugged In Podcast. Hills explains why expansion team Nashville did so much better than expected in 2020, describes the Nashville soccer culture and describes his journey from growing up in Augusta, Ga., and San Diego…
 
Grant has a fun conversation with Lyon superstar Ada Hegerberg, who has won the past five UEFA Champions League titles and stars in the new ESPN+ documentary My Name Is Ada Hegerberg. They discuss the making of the video doc; the influences of her parents and sister; her excitement over American Catarina Macario joining Lyon; her reasons for contin…
 
Chris Mosier is a hall-of-fame triathlete, and six-time member of Team USA, the first transgender man to represent the United States in international competition. Here he speaks to us about the right wing attacks on trans kids, especially the attacks on their access to organized sports, and why we should all take up this fight. We also have “Choice…
 
Grant has a wide-ranging conversation with his old friend Raphael Honigstein, who's the world's leading journalist on German soccer and does work for The Athletic, CBS Sports television, Der Spiegel and the podcasts Steilcast and the Totally Football Show. (He has also written the terrific books Das Reboot and Bring the Noise, a Jürgen Klopp biogra…
 
Grant sits down with producer Harry Swartout and goes behind the scenes of the making of American Prodigy: Freddy Adu. What did it take to get the interviews done in a pandemic? Did Freddy’s penchant for trash talk ever land him in trouble? What really went down between Grant and Jaleel White at the MLS Cup? Grant tells all and plays quality audio …
 
Grant has a must-listen interview with his friend Henry Winter, the chief football writer for The Times of London and one of the world's top writers covering the sport for the last 35 years. Winter tells fun stories from his globe-trotting career, including from covering World Cup 1994 in the U.S., and explains why the on-site match report still ma…
 
This week we—a DC-based show—talk about the fascist mob that hit the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6th, and explain why this should be seen as an attack not only on the federal government but also on the city. We also have “Choice Words” about what should have been the news of the week: the Georgia senate elections and the role of the WNBA in makin…
 
Grant has an in-depth conversation about US soccer TV rights with John Ourand, a longtime reporter for the Sports Business Journal. Ourand explains why NBC is putting marquee games like the upcoming Liverpool-Man United showdown on the Peacock pay-streaming channel; why he thinks NBC will win the rights to extend its Premier League coverage; what's…
 
While this podcast was being made, 31-year-old Freddy signed with Swedish third-division club Österlen, his first pro club in two years. Playing now for the love of the game, Freddy discusses his unexpected opportunity and what he has learned from being an American Prodigy. Is this the beginning of a great comeback? Or are we letting unreasonably h…
 
Grant kicks off 2021 with a fun interview of Soccer Girl Problems (at 31:24), the trio of Alanna Locast, Carly Beyar and Shannon Fay that has become a digital powerhouse resonating throughout the women's soccer community. SGP tells their origin story of how they met as teammates at Fairfield University, how they made their first viral videos back i…
 
This week we speak to former St. Michael's College coach Joshua Meyer and one of his former players, Winston Jones about their experience taking a knee during the National Anthem in the 2017 season. You don’t want to miss this conversation. We also have “Choice Words” about the USOPC’s decision to defend olympic athletes’ rights to protest. In addi…
 
Trends of 2020 - "clubs have 'thought beyond the norm' and I don't think it will go back" The 'two extremes' from Covid - the need for fans to support them v the need for money from sponsors What activities created by the Covid crisis will persist after the virus is beaten Getting by giving - the authenticity of the Marcus Rashford story The way cl…
 
Grant has a festive end-of-year interview with one of the most interesting people in world soccer, Rubin Kazan coach Leonid Slutsky. Slutsky went viral globally this week with his hysterical music video rendition of Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You. He speaks to Grant about the idea for the video and tells the story of his career, fro…
 
Grant has an enlightening interview with Bex Smith, the Los Angeles-born former New Zealand national team captain who currently hosts The Players Podcast with top players from the women's game for Copa90 and the BBC. Smith explains how she approaches her podcast, including interviews with Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis; her background at Duke Universit…
 
Grant has a fun interview with Melissa Reddy, one of the rising stars of global soccer media. Reddy, South African-raised and Liverpool-based, is the author of the new book Believe Us: How Jurgen Klopp Transformed Liverpool into Title Winners. She's also the senior football correspondent for The Independent, hosts the podcast Between The Lines and …
 
TOPICS "In 1988 there was absolutely no systematic research on sports fans in the US" Why sport fandom was linked with the economy and wealth until 2010 "If you go to your first baseball game before you are five you go to 58% more games per year than if you go to your first game at 14." The problems of seasonality, looking only at one sport, studyi…
 
It’s been two years since Freddy played competitive soccer, but at age 31 he’s still trying to make a comeback, even as he teaches the next generation. Today is a new world in American soccer, where the best prospects leave for Europe and developmental academies stateside grow to provide support for America’s next prodigy. What happens to the next …
 
Grant has a candid interview with Columbus Crew head coach Caleb Porter (at 37:57) coming off Porter's second MLS Cup-winning title campaign. Porter reveals that he cried upon learning that Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos wouldn't be available for the final, and he explains in detail how he has changed as a coach and a person in the years since h…
 
This week we talk to former NFL player Prince Daniels, Jr. about his book Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace. We also talk to the Coach Kevin McNutt about the upcoming basketball season. In addition, we have “Just Stand Up” and “Just Sit Down” awards to the courageous activists that pushed for decade…
 
Grant has a fascinating interview with Brianna Pinto of the University of North Carolina, who's on the verge of breaking into the senior USWNT pool, and Nick Mayhugh of the U.S. Para 7-a-side team about their recent election to the powerful Athlete Council of U.S. Soccer. They were joined on a ticket called Next Gen United (average age: 22) by Smit…
 
After a championship-winning rookie season, anything seemed possible for Freddy. Yet over the next 14 years, Freddy would play for more than a dozen teams in MLS, Europe, South America and the USL, slowly turning from an American Prodigy into a cautionary tale. Short flashes of success in summer tournaments provided flickering glimpses of hope that…
 
Grant interviews two longtime friends from his teenage days (at 23:37): Angie and Chris Long, the owners of the new NWSL team in Grant's hometown of Kansas City. They explain why they wanted to invest in the NWSL, what their plans are for the team and reveal that they want to build a new women's soccer stadium in the Kansas City area. Before that, …
 
This week we speak to Dave Bing about his new book, Attacking the Rim. Dave talks about his legendary basketball career, the deep influence of his parents on the person he is today, his time as mayor of Detroit, and what he’s been doing since. We also have “Choice Words” about Sports Illustrated’s decision to honor the activist athlete as sportspeo…
 
Ahead of Saturday's MLS Cup final between Columbus and Seattle, Grant has an entertaining conversation with commissioner Don Garber about a number of topics: The intriguing possibilities of an MLS-Liga MX merger; the landscape for MLS as it heads toward a new domestic TV contract after the 2022 season; the hardest thing personally for Garber during…
 
Freddy Adu had a million dollar smile. He flashed it on the field when he beat defenders twice his age. He showed it for the media when he gave interviews and posed for photographs. And he turned it on as D.C. United got hot down the stretch and made a push for the 2004 MLS Cup. But Grant Wahl noticed that as Freddy’s rookie season wore on, the 15-…
 
Grant has two fun interviews on this episode. The first is with Arne Friedrich (at 3:48), the sporting director for Hertha Berlin. Friedrich, who played in two World Cups for Germany and also for the Chicago Fire, explains how he got the job at Hertha; the challenge of trying to build a trophy contender with newly infused investment in the club; th…
 
This week we speak to producer William Horberg about The Queen’s Gambit, one of the most watched Netflix productions of the year. We talk to William about how the show came to be, compliments and critiques of the show, the show’s anti-cold war politics, and why it has been such a success. We also have Choice Words about the NFL’s handling of corona…
 
Grant interviews USMNT legend Landon Donovan about a number of topics, including his decision as San Diego Loyal coach to take his team off the field in a game it was leading after one of his players was abused with a homophobic slur; what he learned as a manager during his first season; and his thoughts on the LA Galaxy, USMNT and the passing of D…
 
Not even Freddy was ready for the passionate response to him from Black Americans, many of whom had rarely engaged with MLS or soccer before. American soccer has long been a country-club sport—largely white and upper-middle-class—but Freddy's race, potential and extreme youth helped make him a cultural touchstone who transcended sports. They also l…
 
Grant geeks out with Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt (at 9:50), who star in the brilliant show Ted Lasso on Apple TV+. They discuss the virtues of Midwestern kindness; the challenge of developing characters from Ted Lasso's origins as a short comedy sketch; the risk that comes with the show's ambitions; Brendan's history of living in Amsterdam and …
 
This week we speak to Melissa Ludtke about her legendary career, her iconic lawsuit that broke many barriers for women sportswriters, and women in sports broadly. We talk to Melissa about the elevation of Kim Ng to general manager of the Marlins, the first in North American male sports. We also have “Choice Words” about Colin Kaepernick’s decision …
 
Freddy stepped off the stage of his introductory MLS press conference and right onto The Late Show with David Letterman. Before Adu had even played a pro game, MLS promoted its fresh-faced teen superstar with commercials alongside Pelé, feature stories and magazine covers in order to save a league in desperate financial straits. Freddy Mania put bu…
 
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