For Alex Abnos, the trip to Brazil to cover the World Cup has been a decade in the making.
The Kansas City native attended King’s College London his freshman year. After learning he was in London, a connection on an online message board asked Alex to write for Yanks Abroad, a blog about American soccer players who ply their trade outside of the U.S. He was able to cover Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League games as an 18-year-old. That was in 2004.
“London is where I fell in to soccer writing,” he recalled. “I said to myself, 10 years from now there will be a World Cup. Hopefully in 2014 I will cover the World Cup; that was my goal.”
After a year in London, Alex transferred to GW. A journalism major, he worked for WRGW radio and covered the Colonials soccer teams for the GW Hatchet.
Degree in hand, Alex returned to his hometown of Kansas City and worked as a press officer for Major League Soccer’s Kansas City Wizards (now named Sporting KC).
“I enjoyed working for the team, but it was frustrating at times because I wanted to be on the other side of the microphone, asking questions and writing stories,” Alex said.
So he attended Columbia Journalism School, which led to positions with SI.com and Howler magazine. Though Alex enjoyed the work, it looked like his goal of covering the 2014 World Cup in Brazil would not come to fruition.
Then, he was approached by the staff from the U.S. Soccer Federation who were looking to add a beat writer for ussoccer.com for the World Cup. The writer would travel to Brazil with the U.S. team. Alex accepted the offer.
“I am writing for the [U.S. soccer] site, but I didn’t want it to just be public relations job,” he said. “I am allowed to analyze the game. On game days and training days, I am more or less like any other journalist. If the coach or the players say it, I can address it.”
Like many of the players representing their national teams in Brazil, this World Cup is the culmination of a decade of hard work for Alex. And he’s focused on making the most of the experience.
Passion: Who are you rooting for in the World Cup?
As an American, I obviously want the U.S. to do well, but I also had a rooting interest in Iran, since I’m half-Iranian.
Prediction: Who will win the World Cup?