Andy Scholes walks through US Soccer’s landmark equal pay deal at the time he became the first American-born head coach in the country, while working for the U.S. men’s national team in the 1980s. (1:29)
After his first day on the job as the U.S. men’s national team coach, Alexi Lalas was told that his players were taking notes — all he could hear was a steady buzz of conversation at nearly every training session.
Alexi Lalas has never heard of “drip, drip, drip.” This is how it goes on the U.S. men’s national team at its U.S. Soccer headquarters in Annapolis. Jonathan Newton/U.S. Soccer
“We have a lot of conversations after practice,” recalled Lalas. “They’re good, I’ve never heard a guy talk that much. But some of them are not very nice, like, ‘Hey, coach, what the hell are you doing?’ and stuff like that.
“I just listen to them and go back to coaching them and they tell me, ‘You need to get your own radio and tell people what you’re doing.’ “
A few years later, Alexi Lalas is still hearing that buzz on his first day at the helm of the U.S. men’s national team. And he’s still being told as he talks with players, “You need to get your own radio and tell people what you’re doing.”
The concept of a national team radio — something other than the Internet — began when Lalas was a player with the Seattle Sounders, who had the club’s own radio station.
What began with Seattle is now a national team tradition. The U.S. men’s national team has had its own radio station since the 2000-01 season — just the second time that has ever happened. The first was when it had its own radio station through Comcast. With