"Did you see the show?" he asked before I could say anything else.
"Actually, I didn't," I had to admit.
"What? Why?" Lalas demanded.
"I don't get Fox Soccer Channel," I told him. "That's an expensive cable package."
"How can you cover soccer without that channel?" Lalas wanted to know.
I didn't want to get into the topic of a reporter's budget, so I changed the subject, and eventually Lalas answered my questions about the show. Here's a sample.
"It’s a show where fans are given the ability to call in and state concerns. Obviously, it was an opportunity for us to give them the chance to talk to somebody who is in charge of the team they love."
"I’m not justifying, I’m answering questions. All I can tell our fans about the direction that we’re heading is that we’re doing everything in our power to fix the problems that exist and to try to, in some ways, give people a little perspective about what this organization has gone through and how that has affected us."
"Having said that, it’s not our fans’ responsibility to understand everything that goes on behind the scenes. Ultimately, they want a team that wins and it’s our responsibility to give them that."
"We are nothing if not self-critical. Looking at what was done and the way we went about doing things and trying to tweak things here and there to get things going in a positive direction."
"It was our job to do what we felt we needed to do to get a club on the field that was competitive, but it takes time to build the proper mix of players that can handle themselves in this type of environment. That’s what I repeatedly tried to emphasize on the show that we’re talking about – this new world that we find ourselves in is unlike anything any team has ever experienced. Trying to identify the individuals who will survive and thrive in that environment takes some time, because we won’t know until we throw them in there. Some of the decisions that we’ve made we believe are going to pay off in the long-term."