The reasons why fans feel so much skepticism and contempt for American soccer media is complicated, sociologically and politically, and some of it truly strains the bounds of credulity. But if you look at the landscape with clear eyes and few attachments…well, you might be a little angry too. The media that covers American soccer ultimately does have a stake in the growth and maturity of the sport in this country. But the expectations for the media have mutated so much that, whatever their mandate is now, is far beyond both that kernel of shared interest and the ability of soccer writers (professional and amateur) to meet.
I don’t know how to fix any of this. If anyone tells you that they do, you should probably be a little skeptical. I have a hunch it involves more funding for outlets in the middle of that gray area, more opportunities for writers and reporters who have the chops to get paid for their work, a slight loosening of the grip of the entities at the top of the pile on the power structures and financial pipelines that makes American soccer go, and (this one’s the hardest) a broad detente between all stakeholders (including fans) and a commitment to presume good faith a lot more often than we do now. You can’t just throw money at the problem (although some money would be good), and some aspects are so complex it’s hard to put it into words. But we have to try.