To the knowledgeable and awesome readers of The Full 90:
The Full 90 is about to exit Year Zero of its existence (I'm not exactly sure when the blog's birthday really is -- date of conception: early January 2010; date released on unsuspecting masses: March 2010), and it has become a fully-formed blog that actually pulls in a fair amount of traffic on a daily basis.
I've stumbled at times through growing pains (learning both what needs to be covered and the mostly convoluted MLS rulebook) and weathered the attacks of non-soccer fans who'd rather eat a cheese sandwich than discuss soccer. But we've also celebrated the success of a new stadium rising from the ground in KCK and the joy of an MLS team triumphing over the biggest team in the world (albeit in an exhibition game without many key players).
I wasn't sure we'd live to see our first birthday. Seriously, I thought this would fold after the World Cup. So long and thanks for the few weeks of coverage, you know?
But that didn't happen. Things actually got better after the World Cup. Like, a lot better. For this, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to you the readers.* I like doing this blog and want to do more. See, writing this blog is fun for me and I enjoy every day of it. (Since I don't get paid for it, I guess I better enjoy it as much as possible, eh?) *I also owe a fair deal of gratitude to Manchester United, the U.S. national team, OnGoal for creating Sporting Kansas City and many other news events that spiked our traffic substantially.
With a year's experience under our belts and given the chance to regroup after the holidays and before the start of the 2011 MLS season, we are exploring a few changes this year. Such as: Covering Sporting Kansas City's off-season much more thoroughly than in years' past, developing new ways (think audio/visual) for you to get your Full 90 fix, new columns, more expansive post-game coverage, etc etc.*
*Among the first things you may have already noticed is a regular morning links post. You'll soon a regular Thursday column (written by me) about pretty much anything from the world of soccer I deem interesting. There's more to come, but we'll wait for the season to arrive before rolling them all out.
Also, as we enter this next phase, we'd like to get a little bit more of your input.
Mainly, I want to know what you want us to cover more of: What stories do you want to read (game analysis or player profiles, rumor posts or news reports) and what levels of the game should we pay attention to (MLS is a given, USMNT a given, but what about high school and college soccer? More EPL/La Liga/Serie A? Less EPL/La Liga/Serie A?). Is there something we devote too much time too? Something we don't devote enough time too?
I'd also love to do a semi-regular mailbag column. I get a few emails a week from soccer fans and I think the ideas that are emailed to me are often great topics for open discussion. So, if you've got a rumor, a question, a story that I missed completely, a video that needs linking, a voice that needs to be heard, a news tip, some gossip, a killer recipe for chicken salad, a theory (soccer related or not-soccer related) or an idea of any kind, please feel free to send them to email@example.com. I'll post 'em and do my best to answer them.
My goal is to be the very best soccer-specific blog we can be. To do this, I'll need your help.
*That video is posting only half self-mockingly.
A very, very sincere thank you:
Charles Gooch, creator/editor/writer/curator of The Full 90