Meet the Insider

Writer Matt Gaschk has taken the baton and will be the new SounderFC.com Insider

After today, SoundersFC.com will have a new Insider.

Taking the baton is Matt Gaschk, heretofore known to the local community as co-host of the online Seattle Soccer Show and as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer correspondent covering the USL Sounders for their final five seasons.

Now Matt’s got a new forum, where his passion for the game and pursuit of information will bring us all closer together and closer still to this intriguing new team which has got the land all abuzz, Sounders FC.

“My goal is to take the fans with me behind the scenes, whether it’s to training, on the road or away from the field,” says Gaschk. “This is a high-class organization, and the fans are expecting us to keep them close.

“We want to do that by all means, whether it’s through blogs, video or audio clips. I’m excited; I can’t wait to get started.”

A Gaschk-powered website is great news for the supporters. The guy is gung-ho and prepared to give all he’s got. The game has long been part of his DNA.

Gaschk grew up in Gig Harbor and crossed the Narrows many a night to watch the Tacoma Stars play in the Wood Shed. Preki’s cutbacks and Gregg Blasingame’s backflips off the dasher boards are seared into his memory bank.

So, too, are the reincarnated Sounders. Soon after returning from college, Gaschk got the P-I gig in 2004. He’s already on a first-name basis with Sebastien, Sanna and Schmetzer.

In a newspaper, space is limited. Online, not so much.

Gaschk wants to use that virtual canvass to portray the Sounders FC family from a variety of vantage points.

“We’re going to find out idiosyncrasies of the people playing and coaching,” he says. “We want to find out what they’re like, what they off the field that’s interesting and what drives these guys to play at such a high level.”


The Next Step

Taking the mantle of Insider is a natural progression for Gaschk. He’s been banging the drum for soccer at the KJR studios for going on six years. He will continue producing Mitch in the Morning as well as covering the Huskies football and basketball fortunes.

He teamed with Mati Bishop to create the Seattle Soccer Show, giving the soccer community a voice just as MLS arrived on the scene.

“Soccer has been a niche sport in a lot of ways and the show has helped adjust their way of thinking,” Gaschk explains. “At the station, we’ve been pushing doors and making own presence known.”

As Sounders FC season ticket sales have mounted and the team has taken shape, Gaschk claims attitudes have changed.

“Now when we tape on Thursdays, everyone wants to know who’s on the show and who we were bringing in,” he says. “It’s always been fun to put together. Now it’s fun to see people growing into Sounders FC fans and understanding who they are.”


It’s Finally Here

So, Matt Gaschk has got the Insider tag. We’re still kicking around titles for other contributors, such as myself.

With the clocks ticking over to 2009, Sounders FC is reality. This is the year which was emblazoned on those T-shirts, way back in November of ’07.

You remember, that’s when this website launched as MLSinSeattle.com. No name, no coach, no players.

Back then, stories were more about the idea of big time soccer coming to Seattle, of what it could become and exploring the history of the game in this community.

Now, 14 months later, there is club and it truly is making history.

Once figments of the imagination, there are now Sounders FC players and coaches here in the flesh. Together with the ownership, management and staff, they are all assembling in Seattle to make the dreams of you, the supporters, come true. This will be a year to remember.

Thanks for reading. Like I told my mom, I promise to keep writing. That is, if Gaschk hasn’t written about it first.


Turn On, Tune In

Saturday, Jan. 3

4:30 a.m. (PT), Setanta, Hearts v Hibs
Why Watch: Edinburgh derby to be replayed at 9:30 at Fado

7 a.m. (PT), Setanta, Macclesfield Town v Everton
Why Watch: Silkmen’s tiny ground to be overflowing in 3rd round FA Cup tie

9:25 a.m. (PT), FSC, Preston North End v Liverpool
Why Watch: Premiership leaders visit Deepdale, home of England’s first champions

Sunday, Jan. 4

5:30 a.m. (PT), FSC, Gillingham v Aston Villa
Why Watch: No less than 74 places separate this pair; look for Guzan in goal

8 a.m. (PT), Setanta, Southampton v Manchester United
Why Watch: Saints near the bottom of second tier and Man U

5 p.m. (PT), FSE, Chivas v America
Why Watch: Mexico’s two giants meet in Interliga matchup

Monday, Jan. 5

12 noon (PT), FSC, Blyth Spartans v Blackburn
Why Watch: Conference North side hosts struggling Rovers

Tuesday, Jan. 6

11:40 a.m., Setanta, Tottenham v Burnley

Why Watch: Harry won an FA Cup at Pompey, now Spurs nearing Carling final

Wednesday, Jan. 7

11:40 a.m., Setanta, Derby v Manchester United
Why Watch: Will United use a rested B team in Carling Cup semifinal first leg?


Throw-Ins

Who’s that ball magician featured in the TV spots promoting Sounders Super Search, presented by Disney? It’s Eugene Poublon, a former Sounders player and now coaching for Northwest Nationals. Remember, the Sounders Super Search culminates on the evening of Feb. 1, and will be televised live on KING 5-TV following coverage of the Super Bowl…For the past few weeks they have been bidding, now clubs around the world are getting ready to spend as the transfer window opens. Struggling teams tend to spend more during the winter, and Manchester City is not only sinking, it is presumably flush with cash to splash about…Seattle native Marcus Hahnemann, although sidelined at the moment with a calf pull, has been mentioned as a possible target for Premiership teams possessing shaky keepers, with Spurs mentioned most…Incidentally, Hahnemann’s replacement in goal, Adam Federici, scored the Reading equalizer at Cardiff on Boxing Day, coming forward on a last-minute corner kick…It’s the halfway point in England’s Premiership. Liverpool lovers no doubt realize that the last four teams to lead at this stage went on to lift the cup.

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