Joe Mansueto, Jason Sudeikis, Raphael Wicky discussed on Reset

WBEZ Chicago
| WBEZ Chicago

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What is the story behind? Coming to Chicago? Well, I have an aunt and Uncle Catherine Bill who live on the South side in Evergreen Park. And they paid for me as a third scene year old Sasha to come to to Chicago for three weeks. And it was it was a trip that completely changed and altered the trajectory of my life. I remember driving down the Dan Brian. Expressway, seeing downtown Chicago at night lit up for the first time, and you know, I didn't blink for five minutes. Apparently, my George's hit the ground. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen on a scale and like anything I've ever seen, The excitement of being in the United States just became ingrained in me. I saw my first Cubs game my first bears game that went to the top of what was then the Sears Tower went on a cruise out on Lake Michigan and just loved every single moment of it. So I've come back to Chicago as often as I possibly can. You know, Work brought me back with the Sounders and then with with NBC's coverage of Major League Soccer vacationed here, I brought my Children here. So so it's been a place. It's been very special to me and dear to my heart for for most of my life, you know, I'm 48 now, so we're going back way back to 1986. I actually lived here for six months after finishing high school, I took a year out and traveled around the country on the Amtrak rail system. Which was just amazing, so to get the offer, and I've kept in touch with quite a few people in the front office of the Chicago fire, and they're exciting times for the club because Joe Mansueto of Morning star has taken over and he's investing heavily in the structure in the foundations of the club, so it was an absolute privilege to be asked to come back. And so it's a call some games. Hopefully, next year's trip will be slightly longer is curtailed this year because of covid regulations. And, of course, I'm going to the Olympics in Tokyo in a few weeks, which should be interesting, but but well, that's an absolute. Let's talk about Joe for you mentioned Joe Mansueto. He's of course, the new fire owner. Mhm. He's been on the show, and he said that he's all in as far as bringing this team back to beam the contender that it once was. But right now it doesn't feel like the fire have been the kind of Success that the team and the fans can actually get excited about. So that's where Sasha Yeah, short term. So I'm looking to you because as someone who has, you know, a ringside seat To the best and the worst run clubs in the world. What is your impression then of the fire project? If you will, under Joe Sasha, I think with with any UM, sports organization and particularly in this instance soccer organization in this country. It's about the structure behind the scenes, you might be able to put a successful team on the field for a short period of time. But if the structures and the processes and the culture isn't in place than any any success would be fleeting. So what Joe is doing is building from the ground up a world class. Football club. It starts with getting out of the lease at seeking stadium in Bridgeview and coming back to the city back into Chicago, which is important and soldier field. There will be in the pipeline, potentially a massive new training center, which will be the hub for the club on the technical playing side, and for the front office people as well and all the Academy players, they can all be in one place. And that culture will be set in stone, so everything behind the scenes has been put in place. Raphael Wicky is coming as the head coach Georgi Heights is in as the technical director. They came in, and eight weeks later, we went into lockdown and covid. Has hit the sporting world, so they're just kind of getting going again now. So on the field, yes, things can improve, but they will do inevitably, as a result of Joe's investments and getting the right people in the right places and the relevance of the Chicago fire in the sporting landscape in this city is going to improve dramatically. In the years ahead. Well, you know, Soccer isn't some new, exotic sport, right? It's been played in this country for a long time. So with millions of kids playing soccer every day in America, what do you think has kept this country from being a true soccer powerhouse? Well, I think it has been marginalized up until I would say the last 15 or 20 years. It's always been the next big sport and it never quite achieved that status. But you look at the younger generations you mentioned the amounts of youngsters that do play the game. Now it is extraordinary and the explosion of this sport across America. It's almost like a runaway runaway train at the moment, and the more good players that are produced the better. The U. S men's national team Do the U. S. Women's national team have set the bar in world women's soccer for two decades or more, and I'm going to the Olympic Games to cover them in Tokyo, and they have been astonishingly good in terms of being role models and their success on the field. For young soccer players in this country. The men, you know we're trying to catch up at this stage. But you look at around Major League Soccer. We're nearly at 30 teams. Now. Most have their own soccer specific stadiums Now which are beautiful. They're you know, they seat between 20 and 25,000. So they're not too big, so fans are wrapping around in them. They're a fervent fan bases in places like Atlanta in Seattle, where I used to work, so so again is much like I said, with Joanne and the Fire. The foundations have been laid for a very successful domestic league, and it's about getting people particularly in Chicago, who maybe support teams in Europe. Man United Liverpool, 18. Milan Barcelona, getting them also into Major League soccer, so you can watch your club team in the morning and come and watch your local team in the afternoon or the evening. But soccer is very much here to stay and is thriving. Sasha, So I'm very excited about the future. Well, Arlo White is one of the best known most respected sports commentators in the world of football. He's done everything from calling NFL games for the BBC to being the voice in the booth for Jason Sudeikis is HBO show Ted Lasso this summer. He's here in town to call a number of games for the Chicago fire. And we are super excited, Arlo. Thank you so much. Good luck. You're welcome, Sasha..

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