All posts by drakehills2019

Drake Hills is a sports media student at Medill, covering soccer primarily as well as basketball. A San Diego native, Drake has written for his hometown Union-Tribune and strives to continue covering soccer for a newspaper after graduation.

Young female soccer journalists chase dreams through Football for Friendship program

By Drake Hills
Medill Reports

MADRID — More than 14 million people in the United States watched this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup final in France, beating the total for the men’s World Cup final one year ago and the previous Women’s World Cup title match in 2015. As the growth of country participants and its viewers continue, so may the total number of women capturing its moments.

USA Today, ESPN, The Athletic and the Los Angeles Times were just some of the media outlets represented by women covering the World Cup. Nancy Armour, Alyssa Roenigk, Meg Linehan and Helene Elliott, respectively, proved that women are emerging in sports press boxes around the globe.

Just a week before the tournament began, a series of youth soccer events were held at the Dehesa de Navalcarbón Sports Complex, found in the western limits of the Spanish capital. Nearly 100 12-year-olds representing 57 nations sported their ocean blue, green and white Football for Friendship jerseys, blending in as one soccer contingent. On the sideline closest to the stands were youth journalist participants. Since the Football for Friendship’s birth in 2013, a growing number of those aspiring storytellers have been girls. Continue reading

Family in Football: the story of Edgewater Castle FC

By Drake Hills
Medill Reports

Soccer in Chicago has a new team. With the lack of soccer clubs in the city, many youth players and aspiring professionals seek the suburban neighborhoods to better their skills and play for nationally-recognized clubs. Not only that, the pay-to-play model has left thousands of potential stars in the shadows as the wealthy represent the local grassroots soccer community.

Edgewater Castle FC is committed to changing both, the locale and financial restrictions to include the heavily diverse neighborhoods it represents and the underrepresented players that live within them. Based in Edgewater, Uptown and Rogers Park, general manager and founder Andrew Swanson has teamed up with director of soccer operations James Kitia and head coach Wojtek Piotrowski to ensure collegiate and professional opportunity for all.

Photo at top: Edgewater Castle FC sideline (Drake Hills/MEDILL)