When we talk about Americans in England, we always mention the same names: Brad Friedel, Marcus Hahnemann, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Benny Feilhaber, Randy Lerner, Malcolm Glazer, etc, etc. But the American invasion isn’t just happening on the pitch. Listen closely and you’ll hear plenty more American accents associated with Premier League football.
The list includes:
Gabriele Marcotti. While he considers himself Italian, his accent is definitely American having spent many of his adult years in the northeast United States graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.
In addition to being the co-host of The Game Podcast from The Times, Marcotti can also be heard this season on BBC Five Live as one of their key analysts.
Bruce Buck. At the center of the Mourinho and Grant fiasco last week was American Bruce Buck, who is chairman of Chelsea Football Club. A lawyer by trade, Buck has been a Chelsea fan since the late 80’s.
Sean Wheelock. The veteran MLS analyst and broadcaster has been working front-and-center for BBC Five Live recently as one of the main guests on their World Football Phone-In Show with Tim Vickery as well as a key contributor to BBC’s Up All Night. His knowledge of the game is very thorough and is able to easily compare and contrast the differences between U.S. and English soccer for the British listeners.
What’s important about these three Americans is that they’re all respected individuals within England, and each position carries a lot of weight.
Now contrast that with the American influence within the newspaper business in England and you can understand, to a degree, why the British press seems to be anti-American or, at the very least, stereotypical in their reporting of American soccer and the impressions they have about how Major League Soccer compares with leagues in England.
Marcotti is the only “American” regularly writing for an English newspaper (in this case, the times). If more astute American journalists break into the British newspaper business, the better the chances are of the fellow Brit journos writing more intelligently about U.S. soccer.