Over the years, Kartik Krishnaiyer has established himself as one of the preeminent voices in American soccer. Never short of an opinion, Krishnaiyer is an encyclopedia of knowledge, traveling across the southeastern United States to watch the game at all levels.
Here’s our interview with the senior writer for World Soccer Talk, to give readers and listeners more insight into the man:
Christopher Harris (CH): What does USSF and Klinsmann need to change to increase the number of Americans coming through the system in order to be world beaters?
Kartik Krishnaiyer (KK): Start with how we identify and train players at a young age. I could go on and on with this topic but will say until we blow up the “pay to play” model at the youth level, we aren’t going to improve as vastly as we can. The United States COULD have competed for a World Cup victory by 2018 had Carlos Queiroz’s vision been fully implemented. Instead the “pay to play” youth system remained in place and the USSF can only do so much to work around it. The organizational structure provided by the USSF at the youth level is better than ever, but again until the system is overhauled it will never reach its potential. But the economic interests are too great to ever expect a change.
CH: You’ve had a rich history in working in politics as well as soccer. Given that you’ve consulted and worked for the Democrats in a large number of their campaigns, what Premier League best resembles the party?
KK: This only applies to Florida : Coventry City – once glorious, now fallen into financial ruin and continued losses. The color blue also seals the deal.
But seriously, I know you want a current Premier League club so it’s easy – Newcastle. Florida Democrats last won the Governorship in a balanced state back in 1994. Since then Democrats have basically carried the state FOUR times in Presidential elections. The party has the worst record in state elections since 2000 of any political party east of the Mississippi River. The party runs through staff like Newcastle runs through managers. Politicians ultimately perform better as Independents and Republicans (Like Charlie Crist) than as Democrats, much like Damien Duff, Scott Parker, Joey Barton, Jermaine Jenas, James Milner and so many others were far better players away from Newcastle than with the Magpies. Ultimately, like Newcastle, they have high expectations but after the season or the election, supporters are busy pointing fingers and making excuses. Like Newcastle, they have mastered making losing and internal drama an art form.