League Hires Veteran Journalists

League Hires Veteran Journalists

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 17, 2010
  • 6 Comments
  • Greg Lalas, Jonah Freeman

For months now we’ve discussed Major League Soccer taking a big step with their web sites by taking things away from the current MLB-run system to their own set up. Today they’ve announced the hiring of a pair of veteran soccer journalists Greg Lalas and Johan Freeman.

Lalas will step in as editor in chief while Freeman will be the new managing editor of the league’s new website that is set to launch in early March. The two will over see the editorial staff for MLS and help relaunch the clubs new websites as well.

Its very interesting to see the league take this step. Lately a lot of soccer journalist have been moving around with Ives Galarcep going from ESPN to Fox Soccer, Grant Walh making a permanent move to SI.com and now Lalas and Freeman making this move.

Some folks aren’t fans of this by MLS, particularly due to Lalas. But you can’t argue with how well he has ran Goal.com over the last couple years, if he has the same success as he has seen with Goal.com, the league’s new website will be much better for it. Like him or not because of his stuff on ExtraTime or in Revs broadcasts, Lalas is probably the best hire for this position for the league.

Now the question comes down to is it good thing for two of the top soccer journos to be writing in-house for MLS? There are unfortunately some ethical questions that have to be raised here with this. I’m not totally bothered by it because that is just the way things are going these days. Believe me bloggers will and are going to be hired by teams before long whether you like it or not. It just comes down to whether or not the league or the clubs will let these writers do what they do best, and that is be honest.

Overall I think this move will work out for all involved. The league gets two solid writers (and people for that matter) and we all get better coverage from the league…something that has lacked in years past if you ask me.

  • tcompton

    I don't see how there ethical questions here. Lalas and Freeman now work for MLS and are responsible for the content that is published on MLSnet.com. They're job is to publish content that support MLS' mission and goals. There's no real “ethical questions” that arise out of that.

    There may be questions of what MLS' mission and goals are and how they related to the points of view of the website's audience, but I don't see how this becomes controversial. It's just a job.

    Can they be openly critical of MLS? No. But no job would allow that. Mine certainly doesn't it. Can they take sides of MLS' opposing points of view? Probably not? Can they share the opposing points of view to MLSnet.com's audience, sure, if it's done so in a manner that still supports MLS' mission and goals.

    The good news about this isn't so much that they've been hired by the league. It's probably that there are more and more communication jobs available related to soccer in the US… and that is a very good thing!

  • joshuarollins

    With my dabbling in Sports Journalism over the past few years, MLS has been the most accepting of new media. I think with Lalas taking over I think it is a great step for the league. Speaking of journo work, can you email me or call me? I need to ask you something!

  • I only brought up the ethical stuff because I know someone out there will bitch about it at some point. I honestly think both will do a hell of a job with these new roles and take the league into a new direction on the internet that it has needed for years now.

  • tcompton

    I don't see how there ethical questions here. Lalas and Freeman now work for MLS and are responsible for the content that is published on MLSnet.com. They're job is to publish content that support MLS' mission and goals. There's no real “ethical questions” that arise out of that.

    There may be questions of what MLS' mission and goals are and how they related to the points of view of the website's audience, but I don't see how this becomes controversial. It's just a job.

    Can they be openly critical of MLS? No. But no job would allow that. Mine certainly doesn't it. Can they take sides of MLS' opposing points of view? Probably not? Can they share the opposing points of view to MLSnet.com's audience, sure, if it's done so in a manner that still supports MLS' mission and goals.

    The good news about this isn't so much that they've been hired by the league. It's probably that there are more and more communication jobs available related to soccer in the US… and that is a very good thing!

  • joshuarollins

    With my dabbling in Sports Journalism over the past few years, MLS has been the most accepting of new media. I think with Lalas taking over I think it is a great step for the league. Speaking of journo work, can you email me or call me? I need to ask you something!

  • I only brought up the ethical stuff because I know someone out there will bitch about it at some point. I honestly think both will do a hell of a job with these new roles and take the league into a new direction on the internet that it has needed for years now.