COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Whether it’s a single-season franchise record for shutouts or an MLS All-Star selection, Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin continues to pad his soccer resume.
But the first-choice keeper for the Rapids isn’t the only position he’s poised to lock down. Off the pitch, Irwin is an up-and-coming, yet opinionated, media personality whose work has been featured in Sports Illustrated and The Telegraph in England, among other publications.
“A lot of athletes have moved into media after their career, so I want to see what it’s like and keep options open,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “You definitely need something to fall back on. It’s not like the NBA where you can play four or five years and set yourself up for the rest of your life. Pretty much everyone here is going to have to find another job or career after this.”
As a writer, Irwin doesn’t shy away from much. He’s covered a broad range of topics, including the financial plight of the non-millionaire professional athlete, how games should be refereed and even some political commentary on the US general election.
“The topics that I delve into are things that I’m passionate about or things that I don’t think have been shared yet,” Irwin explained. “Sometimes I’ll just write things up and pitch it. I don’t think people hear some of the perspectives of athletes. They don’t have a lot of say in how they are portrayed or the questions they are asked. I think it’s increasing more, but generally people don’t think athletes have thoughts outside the game.”
To go along with his athlete’s perspective, Irwin also developed a strong mind for writing and analysis as a political science major during his time at Elon University.
“I wrote a lot in college with my studies,” he said. “Political science was always a little bit dry, but it was definitely helpful, helping me organize ideas and make them coherent. When you have time to put something coherent together it means a lot more than just a conversation or Twitter.”
With an eye on the changing media landscape, he’s also been working on his on-camera persona.
“Hosting is something that I enjoy, and it’s another medium,” Irwin said. “Video is becoming such a big part of the landscape.”
Conversely, head coach Pablo Mastroeni admittedly doesn’t pay much attention to outside media. But the Rapids manager isn’t discouraging Irwin from exploring those outlets of expression.
“I was a little shocked to find out,” Mastroeni said. “But it’s where our game is going, it’s where society is going, it’s where our culture is going, and it’s great.”
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Yet even though he looks well prepared to “turn pro” in the media industry, Irwin is approaching his other interest as more hobby than side job, for now.
“I think it’s a good way for me to get away from the competitive aspect and decompress,” he said. “I don’t think there is much in common between the two. You are using a different part of the brain than when you’re on the field.”
At just 26-years-old, Irwin has plenty of soccer ahead of him. Nevertheless, he’s keeping an open mind for when his professional soccer career has concluded.
“I think it’s an exciting time to be a part of MLS,” he said. “With new teams in the MLS and USL coming in, it means more opportunities in terms of covering the game. I don’t know what the media landscape is going to look like, but if that is something I want to explore, I’ll be able to show those skills off.”