It’s time to lift the lid on a secret that I’ve been carrying around for a bit: your boy SF is leaving MLSsoccer.com for a new writing opportunity in another corner of the American soccer world.
As excited as I am for my new gig I would be lying if I didn’t say that departing MLS HQ was anything but bittersweet. Being a long-time fan of the league, the opportunity to act as an evangelist for a game and an entity that I care deeply about was one that I’m honored to have had.
For the past 3 years I started and finished my day with MLS. The first thing I would do when the alarm went at 6:30a.m? Check @MLS_Insider to see if any of the outspoken & engaged followers and friends I’ve had the pleasure of servicing --and in many cases meeting-- hollered at me overnight. Last thing I would do before I went to bed? On matchnights, I’d drop a “Parting Shot” photo on Facebook to send you all to sleep with sweet dreams if your club won, or nightmare fuel if your side was on the receiving end of a blowout.
In between then there was everything from standing in the wings when Thierry Henry was unveiled in NY to hotel elevator small talk with David Beckham to countless late-night rendezvous in soccer bars coast-to-coast with my fellow fans.
I have a lot of love for the players, coaches & staffers that make this league work but it’s the latter that I think I’ll miss the most; I can honestly say that I may be the person in American soccer that holds the title for Most Beers Received from Strangers and for this I thank you all.
But I won’t reach for misty-eyed memories right now or ever when it comes to my time at “MLS Insider”. I mean seriously guys, I got paid to go to the combine, the SuperDraft, the All-Star game and MLS Cup every year so let’s save the sympathy for someone who didn’t live the dream.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Chris Schlosser for giving me this opportunity; can you believe this all came about after a chance meeting on the subway? I’m also indebted to Commissioner Garber and Mark Abbott for trusting me to run around the league’s offices, hotel bars, locker rooms & after-parties with a video camera and a 113K follower-strong Twitter account with the only restraints being my own good judgment. I hope your trust was paid back in kind gentlemen.
And I hope you guys enjoyed letting me take you on the ride. We had a hell of a run, didn’t we?
Follow Shawn Francis on Twitter: @TheOffsideRules.
Are you interested in becoming the next MLS Insider? Check out the Social Media Manager job description here.