Brad Guzan is on trial with Celtic.
I'm happy for Brad, but the entire situation with his move there has been frustrating for local reporters.
The official news of his trial broke abroad, but not because no one from LA asked him about the move or his plans. Brad was a brick wall, rejecting our questions with as much ferocity as he defends his net.
Even the simplest queries were smothered.
"Are you talking to Celtic?"
"I can't say."
Well, that gives us a whole lot of nothing to write about. Which, incidently, affects exposure and publicity for Brad, his MLS team, and the entire league. Nice going.
Earlier in the day, Grahame Jones had chided Sunil Gulati at the press roundtable for U.S. Soccer's similar stonewalling about upcoming games, citing as an example the news about the upcoming game in Spain breaking there first.
Grahame didn't understand why the organization couldn't even admit that such games were a possibility, pointing out that even if they didn't pan out, the media coverage would include both the original option and any revision, thus ensuring a double amount of the publicity US Soccer says it seeks. Instead, when all the news breaks abroad, it makes soccer look second-rate here in the U.S., when it's really the federation keeping local media in the dark.
I've got a similar gripe about the Galaxy. It's annoying when news about the team breaks on the East Coast because every question I've asked about the topic here results in a denial. If a trade gets to MLS headquarters in New York and someone is going to leak it there, for heaven's sake, admit that transfer to me, Luis, Grahame, Billy or Jaime first, so publicity for the team shows up where the team actually plays.
Instead, it's become harder to get any information from the Galaxy, especially since Beckham arrived. The trades are also killing the local reporters and their sources. Reporters talk to players and develop a trust there, but it takes time, and that's blown away when players leave. New players are often so nervous about making a good impression that they'll say essentially nothing for a long time. Same thing with new coaching staff.
No one wants the kind of regurgitated coverage we get stuck producing sometimes. We had Brad right in front of us, there's no way he didn't know he was flying out the next morning, but he couldn't say something simple like, "I don't know how it will turn out, but I'm flying over there tomorrow and I'm really happy for the chance."
Instead, we've got the after-the-fact crap. No, I won't hold it against Brad. He's a good guy, and his agent probably told him not to say anything, but it's depressing when the programming is so complete.
The media aren't the enemy. We're trying to cover the sport that so many involved with say needs more coverage, and instead of assistance, we're dealing with a lot of resistance. It doesn't really make sense. Agents and organizations such as U.S. Soccer and MLS and the individual teams need to think about how much they want to control their players and club information versus how much they want the public to even know who they are.