Archivos en la Categoría: Qiana Martin/Eat Soccer
The world of soccer is known for its personalities off as well as on the field. I have the honor of interviewing Qiana Martin of the soccer blog: Eat Soccer.
Ms. Martin has also written a book with the title: Sports In Translation and a DVD Self Massage for Athletic Warriors. She appears in various forms of media including the shortwave radio station WRMI (Radio Miami International).
She is with us today to discuss all about soccer.
1. How did you begin your love affair with soccer?
Well, I started playing pickup games with all guys in a Los Angeles park, and became consumed with learning how I could be the difference maker on the field. Figuring how to get more touches on the ball, more respect on the field as a player and get more shots ignited my competitive spirit. To this day, these questions fuel my motivation to continue living this passionate soccer journey around the globe.
2. What are your favorite teams?
Some people may call it a cop out or simply being “politically correct” with soccer fans, but I follow individual players and not necessarily clubs. I am a diehard Rafa Marquez fan. Ronaldinho, Adriano, Kaka, Cafu, and Robinho keep me bright eyed with fascination. I can’t say enough about Michael Essein. I look forward to watching Spain, Argentina and Portugal in friendlies.
However, there is one club that I do readily claim as near and dear to my heart. It is Rio’s Flamengo FC.
3. How did the concept of Eat Soccer begin?
One day, I made up my mind that I wanted to travel the world participating in soccer at its highest levels. I decided that the only way that I could achieve this dream was by surrounding myself with any and all aspects of the sport. Therefore, I began eating, drinking and breathing soccer every day.
As a way of sharing that idea with participants and fans of the beautiful game, I named my company Eat Soccer. From day one, our goal has been to satisfy insatiable soccer appetites by serving up a buffet of news, voices and products!
4. I heard about your program via Radio Miami International. Besides Radio Miami International, are there other ways Eat Soccer reaches the world?
Yes, our company’s mission is to introduce new communities to, and inspire participants of, the beautiful game. Therefore, we use a variety of media channels to distribute content, create products and services that can help players and harness the universal language of the sport to assist with global dialogues.
The Eat Soccer program on Radio Miami serves as a compliment to our Eat Soccer News Page on Issuu and our blog. The documentaries that we produce provide a platform for international players and coaches to tell the world their stories. Our Amazon distributed content provides solutions to players when they encounter common obstacles within the sport.
The latest addition to our offering is an adult soccer experience package in Portugal. It is an opportunity for a previously excluded yet active demographic, in the soccer community, to continue their development as players. Moreover, it allows them to learn how the universal language of this sport can provide a unique view into a different culture. It is a win-win situation for participants, coaches and communities.
5. Your book titled “Sports In Translation & Self Massage For Athletic Warriors” is an inspiration for many athletes. What inspired you to write the book? Where is it available?
Both of these products were developed in response to obstacles that I personally had to overcome on my soccer journey.
Sports In Translation is an electronic book that assists athletes in the transition process to another culture. Adapting to a new environment, communicating in a new language and encountering a different way living can be overwhelming for anyone. If these feelings are not addressed and proactively attended to, it can have a detrimental effect on player performance. By weaving examples of my challenges in Brazil with practical solutions, readers are able to identify the signs of culture shock and take measures to minimize those effects.
Our injury prevention DVD, Self Massage for Athletic Warriors, was developed as a tool that players, coaches and parents can draw from to prevent unnecessary injuries. This 30 minute video teaches an easy, self massage protocol that uses items from your everyday environment. I provide the demonstrations while international massage expert, Vickie Torrey provides the answers to common questions that athletes will have when performing these rejuvenation techniques.
Sports In Translation and Self Massage for Athletic Warriors are available on Amazon.com.
6. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has been the success story of Manchester United during the 2010-2011 EPL season? What has set Hernandez apart from other Premier League players including those in Manchester United?
I believe it comes down to the totality of his skill set. His varied running patterns make him hard to mark, he has the ability at any given moment to be the fastest guy on the field with the ball and his instinct allows him to capitalize on defenders when they blink too long. To put the icing on the cake, he has laser like finishes.
7. In the UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals [April 2011], Real Madrid is expected to face the Tottenham Hotspurs, Internazionale will face Schalke, Chelsea will face Manchester United, and FC Barcelona will face Shakhtar Donetsk. What are the strengths and weakness of each team and what would be your predictions?
Real Madrid: Strengths (The Special One and a great group of attackers) Weaknesses (Ronaldo’s tender hamstring and the long shadow of championships past that weighs heavily on their shoulders.)
Tottenham: Strengths (Gareth Bale, Steven Pienaar and Niko Kranjcar are fit for the upcoming match). Weakness (Too many injuries to list, especially in central defense).
Real Madrid will have too much for Tottenham.
Internazionale: Strengths (The scoring power of Samuel Eto’o , Giampaolo Pazzini and Thiago Motto) Weaknesses (Coming off a highly charged matched with rivals AC Milan. It may just be too much in too short of time)
Schalke: Strengths (Raul has experience winning in big games) Weakness (A team rebounding from a string of poor performances and a new manager)
I think if Inter is not worn out from the Inter v. Milan showdown then it’s a clear victory for them. If Schalke has them on their heels early, it may be a different result.
Chelsea: Strengths (A collection of young and experienced talent. Ashley Cole’s no prisoners, attacking defense.) Weakenesses (We will have to see which Petr Cech shows up. The one who has conceded 20+ goals in 26 Premier League appearances or the guy who has made some amazing stops.)
Manchester United: Strengths (A highly motivated Chicharito, solid midfield and defense), Weaknesses: (Wayne Rooney’s questionable ankle)
I think Chicharito is going to give Cech a long day on the pitch. My vote is for Manchester United will take it.
FC Barcelona: Strengths (Goal scoring and great defense 18 goals scored and 1 conceded in 8 UEFA matches & Championship experience)
Shakhtar Donetsk: Strengths (The team’s stats in this tournament are equal to that of FC Barcelona-18 goals, 1 concession) Weaknesses (This dream come true campaign may be just too much.)
I think experience will put the stats in favor of FC Barcelona.
I base my question in that my feeling that Real Madrid, Internazionale, Chelsea, and FC Barcelona will win the UEFA Champion League Quarter FInals? My reason is their sense of consistency and discipline although Chelsea and Manchester United may be a surprise.
8. What are the teams to look for in the English Premier League?
I think the competition has opened up with 5 clubs (Arsenal, Man U, Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea) jockeying for positions at the top of the table as opposed to in years past when Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal traded off the top spots. This makes it more interesting and less predictable for EPL fans.
Manchester United’s pickup of Chicharito and this player’s immediate impact on the field could be a significant factor, going forward, in keeping this club’s standing at the top of the table. Chelsea is going to give them a run. As for Tottenham, and Manchester City, I think it will be interesting to see how the new acquisitions of Steven Pienaar (Tottenham) and Edin Dzeko (Man City) enhance the campaigns for these clubs.
9. Mourinho talks about a return to the English Premier League after his contract with Real Madrid expires in three years. Is it possible and why?
It is most certainly possible. Look at the guy’s record. He ushered in 17 titles in 7 years to teams in 3 different countries. Although there few clubs fit to meet his asking price, the opportunity exists. Even serving as the success to Sir Alex is an eye catching option even despite the possible cut in pay and player acquisition limits.
Even if he parts ways with Real Madrid prior to the completion of his four year contract, the departure will be more of a reflection of the self-destructive pressure that the club has placed on itself. Mourinho has publicly commented that the shadow of a 9 championship legacy still plagues the club and is the main contributor to Real’s inability to capture La Liga or European glory.
10. We are now in the beginning of the MLS Season. The MLS has experienced tremendous growth within the last decade. What has been fundamental in its growth? What can be done for the MLS to continue its growth?
I believe that there were several factors working in tandem that allowed the MLS to experience a decade of growth. First, they took a page out of the NASL’s book, and brought internationally respected players to league in the latter stages of their career. The club owners were strategic in selecting players that would cater to particular a particular demographic. For example, David Beckham was easily regarded as a Hollywood type personality. It was perfect to bring him to Los Angeles. There was a large latin American in Chicago so it was a great fit to bring Blanco to the Chicago Firl.
The ownership mixed the older internationals with highly accomplished, American collegiate/semiprofessional athletes and aggressively sought to become a new market for young international players. What resulted was a melting pot of players that caters to several niche markets within soccer’s fanbase. Just as importantly, the clubs were flexible enough to change their marketing strategy from a “family centric” focus to that of one which targets the 18-34 demographic.
So where do we go now? Although it’s fun to see Henry, Becks and Blanco, the league has to get more people in seats and an influx of homegrown players that will have the ability to compete at an international level, but would prefer to stay in the States. The MLS has to work to change the perception of the sport in the inner city and rural communities. There is a group of talented athletes who could be the future of the league if solutions are put in place to allow them to continue playing soccer past 10 even if they pick up basketball or football. If there is a collective effort to simply get balls into these communities and educate youth, parents and civic leaders as to the benefits of playing the sport and the opportunities it can afford, I am confident the MLS can have a larger pool of talent to select from. The indirect product of an effort such as this would be not only families and new market segments supporting the sport, but also players who transition away from being on the field to becoming season ticketholders as well.
11. What is your opinion of Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals playing for the MLS?
I am going to step out on a limb and say that Chad Ochocinco’s pursuit of his childhood dream to play professional soccer is going to serve as a catalyst for more African American children to become involved in the sport. I am confident in this statement because I have had a number of experiences that display that young people in this demographic only need to receive a green light, such as Ochocinco’s tryout, to give them the go ahead to participate.
The bulk of my speed and agility training has been alongside male athletes, many of which are African American football players. The icebreaker conversation that I get from those in the NFL players starts off with “I didn’t know black people play soccer.” With the high school and collegiate guys, I have had some of them to come up to me and tell me how much they play FIFA ’11 or about a Ronaldo or Ronaldinho highlight that they saw on ESPN. These conversations aren’t forced, and on the days that they spot one of my balls, there is a rush for them to play with it. I even had one former NFL player go as far as to challenging me to a 1 on 1 competition. He bothered me so much over the course of the week that I finally gave in, and I played for a couple of hours with him and four or five other challengers. Although this football player was brave enough to ask, after our first match, there were other guys chiming in to say that they had next.
So, I give you those examples to say that now Ochocinco’s actions will change the perceptions and perspectives of many African Americans about the sport. Some may follow Sporting KC just to find out more about these guys who could outrun and outplay Ocho. Others may hang on the comment Ocho said that he would be honored to just train with the reserves so he can return to the NFL after the lockout and outrun all the other players on the field. But still others, and there are many, will say Ocho has made it okay to take the leap and actually do the tricks, dribbles and shots that they see highlighted on ESPN or in their FIFA ’11 games.
When I was in high school, I was a basketball player. A girls’ soccer team was created my junior year. Now, I had no exposure to the sport outside of playing one year on an all boys team when I was six years old. However, I had this crazy thought to try out for this new soccer team as a way to build endurance for the following basketball season. You know the only person I asked for permission was the only black guy, in our town who played soccer (and he was a star at it), I said, “I am thinking about going out for the team” And his response was, “Do it.” Ochocinco has just said, “Do it” to the African American community.
12. What are the teams to look for in the MLS?
The Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake know what it takes to win it all. With Real Salt Lake building confidence with its victories inside and outside of the CONCACAF Champions league and the Rapids fueled from last season’s title, it is sure to be a fight to the finish in the West.
More specifically in the Pacific Northwest, I am curious to watch how the rivalry triangle between Seattle, Vancouver and Portland will play out this season.
In the East, I am going to watch the Red Bulls and the Union carefully. Once the Red Bulls’ players on international duty and the injury list are available, I think we will see the kind of play that we expect of a MLS Cup contender. After finishing out their freshman year with a decent showing, the Union have all of the makings of a MLS city. A new stadium, sold out opener, a place at the top of the table and goals from the likes of Carlos Ruiz can be just the confidence boost needed to carry this club into a post season campaign.
Judging from that cool promo video to the Chad Ochocinco tryout to a solid roster, I believe Sporting KC is going show that their revamped image translates to increased respect and league standings in the division.
13. The new MLS teams [Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps] are making their presence felt. What can these teams do in terms of advancing in the MLS?
As far as being a contender in the West, I think the Whitecaps have already shown that having the right personnel in place will carry them far. Look at their recent FIFA approval for Salgado, Hassli scoring two this past weekend and the acquisition of Harmse. They have the ability to give some more tested clubs a hard go.
Now, Portland hasn’t been as fortunate. Despite performing well in the preseason, Portland’s mix of young and veteran talent has been able to put pressure on the defense. However, the team has lacked an ability to close. It’s still early, but let’s hope that Portland doesn’t go the way of Toronto FC with an amazing fan base and less than stellar field play.
14. What are the teams to look for in the CONCACAF Champions League?
We are now down to four teams, Real Salt Lake, Saprissa, Cruz Azul and Monterrey. An important factor in both of these matches was Real Salt Lake and Monterrey establishing the upper hand in their respective matches. Another point to note is that both of the victors were competing in front of their home crowd. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if Real Salt Lake and Monterrey will be able to focus and execute their game plans on Saprissa and Cruz Azul territory.
15. What message would you want to leave for soccer fans all over the world?
I have several messages that I would like to leave with the soccer community. Within the United States, I would like for youth, in unexposed communities, to know and believe that soccer is a universal language that will allow them to communicate with the rest of the world. For those passionate fans and players abroad, I would like to inspire them to harness their love for the global game to acquire education, create business and civic opportunities, and develop community enriching, business models for soccer clubs.
My goals are lofty, I know. However, dreaming bring has gotten me pretty far up until this point, so why change what’s working
Thanks for accepting my invitation