A year ago today, Backline Soccer stepped on to the women’s soccer reporting landscape.
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t think Backline Soccer would ever make it to one year. The move I made to an independent website, along with some current and some past staff, was made quickly and right before the 2016 Olympics. It was always something we talked about doing but it was never really something we covered the details on.
Until one day it just happened. The site was born as if it burst forward like Athena from Zeus’ head, formed quickly based on the idea, “if not now, when.” Articles were moved over, the podcast was renamed, and the editing and writing staff who knew they could work toward a common goal was reformed under a new name.
I’ve written in detail about how we were formed here, so I won’t rehash the story a second time. Needless to say, when we started, we were a little on the green side.
Over the last year, we have changed staff and changed game plans; changed how we handle breaking news and social media and editing. But at our core, we’re still the same site that emerged a year ago. To quote Chelsey Bush in Introducing Backline Soccer, “Backline Soccer is the perfect place for us to continue to provide insight, analysis, and conversations you can’t find anywhere else.”
It’s not easy starting a site. It’s not easy keeping a site running. We’ve had writers come and go, pieces go out that shouldn’t have, deep internal debates over big questions in the sport, and servers crash. But somehow, even through all of that, we have managed to keep the doors open and the lights on.
Now it’s time to thank those who have helped me, the site, and often both.
A giant thank you has to go out to Dan Lauletta. He was one of the first women’s soccer media people I was lucky enough to be able to speak with and over the last year he and I have had many conversations about many things. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t, but I can always bank on learning something new every time we have a conversation.
To my WoSo Fairy Godmother, Jen Cooper, thank you for all you’ve done for me. From a very long chat in Houston before the final to having me on your podcast to giving a standard for all of us to try for, you have been one of the best people I’ve met along the way. Thank you for everything.
To Susie Rantz, Jason Anderson, Stephanie Yang, all the staff at Sounder At Heart all the rest of the women’s soccer reporters I’ve learned from, debated with, and laughed about the FURT of it all with, thank you for always being up for a chat about the wonders of WoSo. Also thank you to teen wonder kid Caitlin Buckley, for always making me feel old.
To Chelsey Bush and Monica Esenwein, for helping to establish the site and for all of the amazing things we did together. Thank you. Without either of you, the site would never have gotten to see the light of day or been named the way it was.
To the readers and commenters and TSR viewers, thank you for supporting us and pushing us and sending in questions. Without you, none of this would have lasted a month let alone a year. We hope you stay with us for the future.
Now to those who make the site what it is. To all the writers, editors, photographers, and social media staff: Thank you. I could not run Backline Soccer without the truly amazing staff I have.
Thank you to Elizabeth Wawrzyniak. Without you this site would not run or look the way it does or be a thing on the internet at all. Thank you so much for all the work you do to keep me sane and make sure everything is prepared before it goes out.
Thank you to Sandra Herrera and Jacob Cristobal. Without the two of you, there might be only 15 or 20 things posted. It’s your support and ideas and the debates and conversations we have that help me and the site become better all around.
Thank you to Alanna Fairbairn and Charles Olney for all you do in writing and editing. You both always go the extra mile to make sure things get looked over and edited. And your writing never fails to make me proud.
Thank you to Allison Cary, Berea Jurgensen, Chantelle DeRose, Leigh Nieves, Luis G. Hernandez, Jacqui Porter, Jenn Hayes, Jordan Small ,and Lindsay Schwarz for all the reporting and writing you do. The site needs all of you and I thank you so much for all your ideas, your input, and your words.
Thank you to Adriana Hooper for all of the hard work you put in to make sure things run the way they should. You work hard and it shows.
The road to one year has not always been smooth. There have been lots of nights where I wasn’t sure the site would still be running by dawn. But somehow we’ve made it to a year. We’ve made it to our first of many years, I hope, and we are only getting stronger.