It was July 2010, the World Cup was coming to an end after the United States went out in the Round of 16 to Ghana, and somewhere between the beers and the tears, "The Scoring Third" was born. Who would have thought that what started as a drunken joke would not only make it to see the tender age of two, but make one hell of an impact in the process.
It started off as a casual conversation between myself and "The Professor" as we were enjoying several domestic lagers at his place during the World Cup. Being co-workers we talked soccer just about as much as we did actual work, perhaps even more. It was the Professor who encouraged me to stop talking to him about soccer and to start up a blog where I could share my thoughts with a bigger audience (by bigger I mean a few friends).
I still remember the pride I had in setting up the website considering I had never done anything like this before. My first article, it was a reflective piece, "The 3 R's for soccer in America from this World Cup", where I talked about how all was not lost because the USA lost to Ghana when everyone else had them moving onto the Quarterfinals or even the Semifinals. Reading that article again now I can remember how excited I was to finally write something and publish it on the web, but boy was I long winded.
As the first few months went on I tried to find topics that were interesting to me and potential readers so I started doing some research projects. One of the big stories from back in the summer of 2010 was the issue of Division 2 soccer and it's future with either the USL or NASL. I wrote the piece, "Me Census Something's Wrong with D2 Soccer", where I looked at the idea of regionalizing the league to save on travel costs and to build rivalries. I realized that these research or "what if" articles were my calling, I had a knack for digging up information and proposing future scenarios.
With the English Premier League season kicking off that August, I decided to start a weekly re-cap of the matches called, "Monday Morning Keeper", with the name coming from NFL fans who play "Monday Morning Quarterback" around the water cooler after their weekend games. "The Keeper" is the most popular series on our blog scoring lots of traffic for our site in the early days and it continues to do well and will be back again this fall.
We were lucky enough to network in our first year and get in touch with some big name players to do another series on our site called, "11 Questions". The idea behind the series was to ask a variety of questions to various players from around the world, not just on soccer, but on life. Andy Najar, Brian Ching, and Stuart Holden were some of the biggest articles from our first year and offered up unique looks at the players.
When year one came to a close I felt like I had accomplished a lot with the blog, but started to lose my focus. I didn't write as often, the topics seemed harder and harder for me to find. So naturally, I turned to "The Professor" who told me that maybe I should try to focus on one area or team for a change. And that is when Orlando City came into the picture.
I was able to convince "The Professor" to join the blog and be our lead reporter for Orlando City, following the team at the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. Our first OCSC article was about the topic that was on everyone's mind, "Is it time for MLS in Orlando?", which the loyal Lion followers read in masses breaking records for our blog; I had found my focus. Following the championship victory we put out an article, "Orlando City... the morning after", where we offered up suggestions for fans to do during the off season. Our relationship with Orlando City grew even stronger last winter when we met with the front office staff to discuss further coverage of the team. When word leaked out that MLS Comissioner Don Garber would be paying a visit to Orlando to meet with supporters, we were at the front of the crowd. In our "Dawn of the Don" article we did a live stream of the day's events including discussions with fans, team staff, and the commissioner himself. The next day we published our full re-cap of the events in, "Mr. Garber goes to Orlando", including "The Professor's" interview with Garber. Things with the club only continued to improve after the MLS visit whether it was the announcement of pre-season matches or the summer friendlies coming up in July.
I decided that instead of carrying to load by myself, that maybe bringing in more friends to help write for the blog would help. "The Newb" joined us late last year as a brand new fan to the game writing some great articles about how to pick an EPL team, resources for soccer news, and more. We added "Blon Dee", "Frosted Tips", and "Straight Red" over the winter to give us more of a national presence covering MLS and other topics. Neeedless to say, the
I have a lot of people to thank for having the chance to make this blog possible. My wife for being understanding about a sport she didn't initially understand, but now embraces nearly as much as me. My kids for attempting to sit through matches and countless nights of daddy blogging away on the computer. "The Professor" for encouraging me to put my thoughts online instead of always boring him with the details. The friends and family who were some of the first followers of the blog back when I was just getting started.
But the most important thanks goes to our loyal followers. It's one thing to know that you friends and family take time out of their days to read something you write, but it takes on a whole other meaning when it is a total stranger. Our growth over the last six months has been exponential, with last month break our all time record for site visits. Reading the articles, leaving comments, starting a thread on our message boards, all these things motivate me and the rest of the staff to keep bringing you the best we have to offer.
I don't make any money off the blog, I do it in my spare time between my full-time job, parenting, and everything else life has to offer. Maybe someday I will be in a position to do this full time, where I can sit at a desk and write all day instead of sneaking in a line here and there during my lunch break or between the kids crying. The bottom line is that I do the blog for the same reason I started the blog, because I love talking about soccer.