Eric Altshule, Soccer Blogger, Dies at 44

It’s with great sadness to report that Eric Altshule, a blogger for both MLS Talk and EPL Talk, has passed away at the young age of 44. Eric died of a massive heart attack in Los Angeles Wednesday night. He leaves behind a wife and two beautiful young daughters.

Eric’s brother said that “Eric was a passionate soccer fan, and loved more than anything contributing to [MLS Talk and EPL Talk]. Please pass this sad news on to your readers, and we sincerely thank you for the opportunity to let Eric participate in your web blog. His passion for soccer is something we will keep in our family forever.”

Many of you may remember Eric for his passionate posts about the United States national team, his support for the L.A. Galaxy and his enthusiasm about the growth of soccer in the United States. He was the type of blogger who was humble and always willing to help, and who always wrote thoughtful posts that were well received by the majority of readers.

Some of my fondest memories of Eric was discussing with him on the phone his interest in interviewing some of the top names associated with the game. I worked with him and Fox to grant him access to the Fox Soccer Channel studios in Los Angeles for a behind-the-scenes tour and to get an inside look into what goes into a typical Saturday production. While he was there, he had the chance to interview Warren Barton, Nick Webster and Christian Miles. And luck would have it, it just so happened to be the day when a beachball played a major role in the game between Sunderland and Liverpool. In the interview, which perfectly captures the passion Eric had for the game, you had a unique glimpse into how tight an outfit Fox is during a typical Saturday.

One day, Eric told me the good fortune he had when he was on a flight and, completely at random, Alexi Lalas was on the same plane. Eric stroke up a conversation with Lalas. And the two men exchanged phone numbers and agreed to a phone interview. It’s a perfect example of how well-liked he was and what a joy he was to talk to.

But what I’ll remember Eric for the most is his patriotism. This was a man who not only believed in the growth of soccer in this country, but he was also a massive supporter of the US men’s national team. He must have been so proud of the United States this past summer when they achieved herculean results in the 2010 World Cup. The success of the U.S. would have been vindication for his belief in them. And, at the same time, based on his several articles putting England in its place as an overrated team, he was right on the money.

I asked his brother how we, MLS Talk and its readers, could contribute to his family. “If your readers would like to do something for the family, a small donation to any local AYSO or soccer club made on behalf of Eric Altshule would be a very nice gesture. If more kids participate in soccer, that would make Eric very happy.” To find your local AYSO chapter, visit the AYSO website.

Here’s a selection of some of Eric’s best articles he wrote for MLS Talk. And here’s some of his best articles on EPL Talk.

Eric was a graduate of Harvard High School for Boys in Los Angeles and Georgetown University. Eric spent a decade working on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, focusing on education policy and another decade working in international trade.

Eric, god bless. I will miss you and your passion for the game. I’ll never forget you and on behalf of Major League Soccer Talk, may you rest in peace.

Eric Altshule, 1966-2010.

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