From his hip surgery to his retirement from pro soccer; from his broadcasting work with ESPN (and possible selection as a World Cup announcer) to his friendship with David Beckham; from his new career on Wall Street to his long association with Staples soccer, Kyle Martino talks about it all in today’s Connecticut Post.
Sportswriter Mike Cardillo’s long piece paints a full, nuanced picture of the former Staples star, Gatorade National Player of the Year, MLS Rookie of the Year and 8-cap US national team veteran.
Kyle’s most interesting comments include:
His decision to retire. “With red eyes, I decided it was time to hang up the boots and start the next chapter of my life. At 28 years old, I felt like I was 40. I didn’t want to be the guy that couldn’t play soccer with my kids in the backyard.”
His 1st work for ESPN. “I guess I had the natural ability to feel comfortable on the air and string together a couple intelligent sentences now and then,” Martino said. An early interview “was hilarious. Here’s me with my long hair during my MLS hippie days and (Freddy) Adu sitting there. It was like Joe Piscopo with Eddie Murphy on an SNL skit.”
Commenting on former teammates and friends. “I got my fair share of announcers bashing me. Players know I’ll hold them accountable. What I bring is a personality and a comfort on air that’s the person I am off air.”
The possibility of working the World Cup. “My goal as a player was always to play in a World Cup, so the second best thing would be to make it as a broadcaster. ESPN has been amazing with its mentoring, allowing a guy like myself with zero experience as a commentator to come in and not only get games, but work with really talented people.” You don’t need an English accent to broadcast soccer, he says. “I want to be a maverick in that sense, so that I’m one of the first guys you think of when you think of soccer and television. I want to be the personality for American soccer.”
David Beckham. “Our friendship had a lot to do with my ability not to pay attention to a lot of what was going on and treat him like a normal person. To be there on the ground level and to witness it and know him as a friend and teammate and to see the image of him and how he’s reflected as an icon is sort of hilarious. He’s used to the high stakes and isolation of very highly intense pressure of international soccer. To be able to stripe it down and have a normal conversation with the guys around him and to use as a sounding board was something he hadn’t experienced and why he’s kept in touch.”
His life in general. “For me, I’m 28. There aren’t too many guys that try to start this career this young. If you’d said my life would be where it is now, waking up and going to the subway in a suit as financial planner, and by night with the Galaxy in town and going out to dinner with David Beckham and Cobi Jones, and then flying out to Seattle for a game, I wouldn’t believe you. We’re talking bucket list stuff.”
(To read the entire story, click here.)