Journalists To Watch

Written by Leah Ling

In every World Cup, regardless of which teams make it out of the group stage, which players perform better or worse than expected, and which team is eventually crowned victor, journalists hold the power to determine how players, coaches, teams, and fans are represented to viewers around the world. If a player comes of the bench, battles for the last thirty minutes of a match and is instrumental to a team’s victory, but his performance is not covered by the press, did it even happen at all?

In the following post, I will outline journalists who have been covering women’s soccer in the months leading up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Grant Wahl


Wahl began his journalism career in 1996 at Sports Illustrated [1], quickly becoming one of the world’s foremost soccer journalist with articles about FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich [2, 3], as well as Jose Mourinho and Luis Suarez [4, 5]. More pertinent to the upcoming Women’s World Cup, Wahl has written an impressively thorough article about Alex Morgan in which he chronicles her relationship with Mia Hamm and her experiences playing with the national team and fledgling women’s professional teams [6]. Additionally, Wahl joined the Fox Soccer team a year ago, so expect to see future contributions from him during World Cup coverage this summer [7]. Follow Wahl @GrantWahl.

Laura Vecsey

Laura Vecsey is the FOX Sports Women’s World Cup Soccer Correspondent. Prior to working as a sports journalist, Vecsey worked as a political correspondent for The Patriot News and also wrote for The Guardian. In her time as the FOX Sports Soccer Correspondent so far, Vecsey has written articles in anticipation of the Algarve Cup,  speculating whether the USWNT can win it all at the World Cup, and catching up with Pia Sundhage [8, 9, 10]. However, Vecsey’s writing has been met with some contention, as SB Nation writer Stephanie Yang criticized Vecsey for supporting Abby Wambach’s position on the USWNT roster based on legacy alone [11, 12]. Follow Vecsey @lauravecsey.

D’Arcy Maine

D’Arcy Maine is a writer and editor for ESPN who covers women’s soccer, paying close attention to USWNT members’ social media accounts. Maine does a thorough job of keeping tabs on Sydney Leroux’s #tbt, alternative USWNT training sessions, Abby Wambach cackling like a “Bachelor” contestant, and St. Louis’s love for the USWNT [13, 14, 15, 16]. Follow Maine @darcymain_espn.

Jeff Carlisle

Jeff Carlisle is a soccer journalist for ESPN who formerly covered the San Jose Earthquakes and San Jose CyberRays before picking up MLS and USNT coverage for ESPN. He has recently written a detailed match report of the USWNT’s 4-0 victory against New Zealand and an excellent interview with Christen Press[17, 18]. Follow Carlisle @JeffreyCarlisle.

[1] Grant Wahl. Sports Illustrated. n.d.

[2] Wahl, Grant. “The World’s Team.” Sports Illustrated. October 8, 2012.

[3] Wahl, Grant. “Inside the SuperClubs: How Bayern Munich emerged as a world power.” Sports Illustrated. November 17, 2014.

[4] Wahl, Grant. “An inside look at Jose Mourinho.” Sports Illustrated. March 17, 2011.

[5] Wahl, Grant. “Luis Suarez is the Hottest Player on the Planet, But Can He Keep His Cool?” Sports Illustrated. June 3, 2014.

[6] Wahl, Grant. “Alex in Wonderland.” Sports Illustrated. June 24, 2013.

[7] “FOX Soccer Signs Grant Wahl.” FOX May 21, 2014. 

[8] Vecsey, Laura. “USA prepare to silence critics ahead of all-important Algarve Cup.” FOX Soccer. March 3, 2015.

[9] Vecsey, Laura. “U.S. Women will win the moment, but can they win for history?” FOX Soccer. April 15, 2015.

[10] Vecsey, Laura. “Pia Sundhage kindly offers no advice for her old team USA.” FOX Soccer. April 11, 2015.

[11] Yang, Stephanie. “How Fox Soccer Got Abby Wambach’s Story Wrong.” SB Nation. April 21, 2105.

[12] Vecsey, Laura. “Abby Wambach earned her spot as a TIME 100 Icon.” Fox Soccer. April 19, 2015.

[13] Maine, D’Arcy. “Proof Sydney Leroux didn’t always strike fear in opponents. ESPNW. March 12, 2015.

[14] Maine, D’Arcy. “Proof that the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team has more fun than you.” ESPNW. March 6, 2015.

[15] Maine, D’Arcy. “Abby Wambach Can Cackle Exactly Like a ‘Bachelor’ Contestant.” ESPN. February 10, 2015.

[16] Maine, D’Arcy. “Definitive Proof That St. Louis Loves the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.” ESPNW. April 1, 2015.

[17] Carlisle, Jeff. “A Day of A’s for the USWNT D.” ESPNW. April 5, 2015.

[18] Carlisle, Jeff. “Peak Performance Isn’t Too Far Afield, But It’s a Process for Christen Press.” ESPNW. April 3, 2015.

How to cite this page: “Journalists To Watch.” Written by Leah Ling (2015), World Cup 2015, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on (date)).

One thought on “Journalists To Watch

  1. Laura Vecsey

    Thanks for the mention. In the past, maybe it was true that journalists primarily shaped reality and perception about athletes and sporting events, but with TV, the web and social media, that has changed. Interesting idea you pose, though. I wanted to mention, too, that in addition to the work I did in Harrisburg and for The Guardian, I was a sports columnist for almost 20 years in Albany, New York, Seattle (Post-Intelligencer) and the Baltimore Sun. I covered the 1994 World Cup and the 1999 Women’s World Cup, as well as soccer during my time at the Olympics in Atlanta (’96) and 2004 in Greece. Cheers!


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