The Editor’s 10 Favorite Backline Soccer Pieces


Backline Soccer has put out some really extraordinary content in the last year. I decided to highlight a few of my favorites. This wasn’t easy. At all. There have been some truly remarkable work done by the staff. 

Let’s dive in.  Here are 10 (okay, 11) of my favorite pieces–in no particular order–that I think you really should read to get a sense of who we are as people, as soccer fans, and as writers.

Pack For L.A.: Women’s Soccer’s Most Unlikely Champions

In all of my time writing about women’s soccer, this might be my favorite piece I’ve ever done. Being able to bring a little of the WPS history to the NWSL timeline was something I really enjoyed being able to do. And having both Pearce and Kai still on the team to answer a few questions was great. Gerry Marrone, the General Manager of Sky Blue at the time, was generous with his time and really bring some fascinating stories to life. In the piece I called the team, “the most unlikely champions in American professional women’s club soccer history” and I stick by that. They were something to behold. 

Fit, Focused, and Black Lives: Crystal Dunn Preps for Rio and Visibility Matters: An Interview with Crystal Dunn

When Sandra Herrera interviews players, I get excited. She is one of my favorite player interviewers. She often finds ways of asking questions that I haven’t thought of. She is smart, funny and has a way of bringing out the best in whoever she is interviewing. These two interviews with Crystal Dunn are no exception. 

The Downsizing of Fat Fans

This is one of my three favorite pieces ever on Backline Soccer. Elizabeth Wawrzyniak really nailed what it is like when the options out there aren’t made for you. Reading this really connected with me and I will always be a fan of her writing style–what she likes to call her “Liz Gets Angry” pieces.

Promoting Pride in Courage Country

Becca Kimble gave us a look inside of Pride Night for the North Carolina Courage. I really enjoyed the thought she put in the piece while writing what it was like to be on the ground. As a member of the LGBT community and a resident of the state of North Carolina, Becca was in a position to watch it unfold in real time.

The Battle of the Backups

The only person on the site who might like goalkeepers as much as I like goalkeepers is Jordan Small. Jordan took a look at the backup goalkeepers playing in the NWSL right now and what may or may not happen when the usual first choice goalkeeper came back. With only 20 real spots for goalkeepers in the league it is a constant issue of time for goalkeepers. I really enjoyed how Jordan put this together.

Nevertheless, She Played: What It Means to ‘Play Like a Girl’

The best thing I can say about this piece is it made me angry. Angry that it still needs to be written in 2017. Jacqui Porter’s piece was thought-provoking in a way that reminded me of how despite the progress of women in sports and women in soccer over the past few years, there is really so much more work to do. Jacqui’s writing is always good but this piece really showed what she can do when passionate about injustice.

A Long Year: From New Fan to New Media

We were all fans once. And then somehow we became media. Elizabeth Wawrzyniak takes on along as she recount how she made the leap from one to the other. It wasn’t always a straight line but it is an entertaining read about how the process happens. Her writing style really does lend itself to long pieces that suck you in.

The German Curse

Sometimes a piece is funny because it’s meant to be a joke. Sometimes a piece is funny because it’s true and you laugh at the missing connections. Leigh Nieves’ piece about the perils of winning against Germany in major events is one of the funniest things I’ve read because it is 100% true.

The Curious Case of Red Card Appeals

Luis Hernandez was given the task to write about the weekend of the Red Cards. And I really love what he did with the challenge. It’s really not easy to take a topic that everyone has a thought about, like they do red cards, and write a piece that will get people from all different options to read it. It really is great. 

In A Time When Our Country Is Most Divided, Is The National Women’s Team Most Inclusive?

Sandra Herrera writing about something she is passionate about is one of the best things in women’s soccer media. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times, she is one of the very best people you can read the work of when it comes to WoSo. You will learn something, always. This piece is one of my all time favorites I’ve read, on or off Backline Soccer.