Top 20 North American Soccer TweepsAbram Chamberlain and Chris Enger identify the best of the best in North American soccer twitterers
by Abram Chamberlain | Thursday, May 31, 2012
Twitter is the greatest technological advance in North American soccer.
When I first began watching soccer seriously, I would sit often times alone and shout random obscenities at the television screen to no one in particular. However, about two years ago I discovered that with Twitter I could shout my obscenities – or rather type them – to an audience of people who would then agree, disagree or repeat/retweet what I said.
In the age of technology, soccer-watching has no longer become a solo activity. As the sport grows and thousands upon millions of twitterphiles create blogs, podcasts and more the world of soccer fans shrinks.
Yet even on Twitter a vast majority of people who cover the sport seem to have much more respect for European soccer. But the presence of American journalists, podcasters, bloggers and organizations are out there using Twitter to spread the gospel of soccer in America and Canada.
Chris Enger (@RSLShow) and I (@MindOfAbram) use this beautiful tool of social media to shamelessly plug both our podcasts (“The RSL Show” “Soccer Newsday Podcast” and “The Nameless All American Soccer Podcast”) as well as our writings. Together, Chris and I sat down to come up with a list of the most important North American Soccer Tweeps that everyone should be following.
Firstly, we did not rank anyone associated with Soccer Newsday (@soccernewsday, @jeffmaurer1980, @winslowbobbins, @mikefirpo, @hscribner, so let’s plug those right now). Secondly, we worked together and came up with a list of over 50 tweeps who primarily use their Twitter handles to espouse their views, break news or link to interesting soccer stories on the internet.
From there, Chris and I then ranked each of these people from top to bottom (1 through around 60), then averaged out the scores to come up with a list of top 20 North American Soccer Tweeps. But 20 was not enough, as some of our favorites were cut off the top 20, so we also came up with a list of honorable mentions. This just goes to show that not only is The Beautiful Game growing in North America, but it is growing on the Twitter profiles of North Americans as well.
There are a lot of people we should mention that did not make the 20, but who should be followed based on their profile (listed alphabetically):
· Brian Dunseth, The Original Winger, (@BP_Tow), is also an entertaining follow.
· Luke Lohr (@MLSReserves), covers both MLS and NASL.
· Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan), the editor of SB Nations soccer log, a writer at MLS Soccer and Sounders at Heart springs to mind immediately.
· Ted Westervelt (@SoccerReform) is perhaps our most “controversial” addition. He is also possibly the name people will read on this list and stop reading. Yes he constantly pesters – some may say bully - journalists in his pursuit of open clubs, but he also has some fascinating finds on the history of North American soccer.
· Zach Woosley (@GingeFC), a podcaster for Radio Cuju and writer for several blogsites is well known as the black cloud of American Soccer.
And now onto the Top 20…
20. John Godfrey (@jhGodfrey)
Of all the soccer writers for New York Times’ Goal Blog, John Godfrey seems to have the most active Twitter handle. An ever growing voice in the North American soccer scene, Godfrey can be read on the Goal Blog and often heard discussing the USMNT on several different podcasts.
19. Brian Straus (@BrianStraus)
The first soccer reporter at the Sporting News, Brian Straus will more likely than not continue his steady move up the list. Like many, he uses Twitter to plug his own articles and break news, but he also will involve himself in conversations with other journalists, fans and players from time-to-time.
18. Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta)
Curious about a certain American player who is dominating the third tier of Portugal? Want to know more about a dual-citizen kid who is one of the top players in Japan? Heard rumors of an American dominating the second division of the Ukraine? It is likely that Brian Sciaretta has. While more so covering America than Canada, Sciaretta and Yanks Abroad will keep you informed on how former MLSers are doing in Europe and Asia as well as give trinkets of transfer rumors for current MLS-based American players.
17, Free Beer Movement (@FreeBeerMovemnt)
This is one of only two blog-sites that is on this list. The Free Beer Movement is all about growing soccer in America. Its Twitter account provides everything from funny pictures, new hashtag games, game reports on all tiers of the pyramid and just an overall sense of just how available soccer is in North America.
16. Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper)
Based in Philadelphia, Jonathan Tannanwald covers the Union, but his feed is much broader than that. Reporting on everything from coaching conventions and youth soccer, Tannenwald has established himself as maybe the best “local” newspaper reporter in his coverage of MLS, the USMNT and North American soccer in general.
15. Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman)
Taylor Twellman, who has taken the job of ESPN soccer color commentator and ran with it, is one of the most prolific tweeps out there – if only judging by sheer number of tweets. Oft times, Twellman espouses his views on concussions, but mostly his Twitter is filled with insights into games, players and tactics for North American soccer.
14. Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas)
Former player, current analyst and all around good guy, Alexi Lalas is another commentator that loves meshing his love of music and soccer. Lalas will surprise many people by responding to several Tweets directed towards him, but even if you are just reading his thoughts you will find a man who is informed about MLS and the USMNT.
13. Earl Reed (@earl_of_reed)
A diagnostic view on Major League Soccer and someone who is always willing to have open and honest debates about the running of MLS, Earl Reed is an up and comer on this list. One of the lead writers on MajorLeagueSoccerTalk.com, Reed has an analytical insight on all things North American soccer related.
12. Jared Dubois (@Jrodius)
Podcaster extraordinaire Jared Dubois finds the simple humor of life, the 80s and 90s and combines them with soccer. While not always soccer related, his Twitter handle can oft times be one of the more introspective soccer tweeps for the North American game.
11. Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)
Carlisle will always engage the fans via his Twitter feed. There are constant back and forth between him and supporters of the game in addition to his own writings and thoughts.
10. Drew Epperley (@wvhooligan)
Another forbearer in the fan-blogging scene, Drew Epperley’s Twitter handle is an extension of his wvhooligan.com – in 140 characters doses.
9. Matthew Doyle (@MLS_Analyst)
The only out-and-out MLS employee on the list is Matthew Doyle. Analyzing moves, tactics, discussing rumors and fully living up to his handle, Doyle is unafraid to comment on both the positive and negative aspects of MLS, SUM and the USMNT.
8. Eric Wynalda (@Wynalda11)
Eric Wynalda is the Charles Barkley of American soccer. He is perhaps the most open, honest and critical voice on the way MLS and the US Soccer Federation run their operations. Wynalda is the leading American voice on Fox Soccer broadcasts and quite possibly the most interesting man in the room.
7. Phil Schoen (@PhilSchoen)
Formerly a long-time commentator and face for GolTV, Schoen is a key conversationalist in North American soccer. Appearing on numerous television shows and podcasts, Schoen’s next move to Al Jazeera owned beINSports will be an interesting one to watch. Undoubtedly some of the news will be leaked by Schoen himself on Twitter.
6. Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves)
Ives Galarcep is the creator of one of the original soccer blog sites. Breaking news for Fox Soccer, his own site and many times giving analogies to great music and television Galarcep is a great way for people new to the game to slowly break in to a better sense of understanding.
5. Jason Davis (@davisjsn)
An all-purpose writer and podcaster, Jason Davis has slowly grown into one of the leading voices in North American soccer. Never one to shy away from interactions with fans, bloggers, journalists, fellow podcasters or even people who hate soccer, Davis’s even and professional tone carries through on Twitter.
4. The Shin Guardian (@shinguardian)
The Shin Guardian is one of the best North American specific soccer sites out there. Their Twitter handle serves the same purpose - humor, analysis and a fairly unbiased view of North American soccer.
3. Leander Schaerlaecken (@LeanderESPN)
The top voice for ESPN on the Beautiful Game, Schaerlaecken is not nearly as well-known as some of the other names on this list. However, his tweets do more than just deliver the links to his own stories at ESPN.com. Following Schaerlaecken will give you a chance to peer in on conversations that he holds with soccer journalists, typical sports journalists and many times fans of the sport.
2. Steve Davis (@SteveDavis90)
Formerly of SI.com, Davis has moved over the NBC’s Prosoccer Talk where he serves as an all-knowing, ever writing author. Davis’s wheelhouse contains a strong list of MLS and USMNT news, but also covers foreign leagues and Americans overseas. Very topical and oft times humorous, yet very important, soccer tweets filter in from Davis.
1. Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl)
If you are on Twitter and even have a passing interest in soccer, you probably saw this one coming. There is no doubt that a man who is a Sports Illustrated senior writer and a former pseudo candidate for the FIFA Presidency will be at the top of this list. Wahl’s tweets are topical, news breaking and, on occasion, controversial. He is one of the best sources for soccer news not just in North America, but possibly the world.