Keith Strudler: The Ronaldo Metaphor

Jul 11, 2018

Ronaldo just cost me $50. I’m speaking of Cristiano Ronaldo, the global mega soccer star who’s amongst a handful of soccer idols here in the US. I know this because he’s my 10-year-old Sloan’s favorite player. In soccer camp — and it feels like every day is soccer camp in my house – Sloan dressed up like Ronaldo on dress as your favorite player day. That meant everything from socks to hair style like Ronaldo — which apparently is now a popular men’s do across the globe, kind of like Jennifer Aniston in the 90’s. Of course, it also included a Ronaldo Jersey, the cornerstone of any soccer costume. His jersey was, like all except Ronaldo’s National team jersey from Portugal, a Real Madrid Jersey, where Ronaldo has played for the last nine years as part of La Liga, the premier Spanish Soccer League. This is where we get to the $50. Despite efforts keep him, Real Madrid has released Ronaldo to the Italian club Juventus, which obviously plays in the top Italian League, perhaps a step below their other European counterparts. And when I say released, that was after Juventus agreed to pay around $100 million to Real Madrid, which is still only around 10% of the actual buy-out clause. Which means that now I have to spend another $50 to buy Sloan a Juventus jersey with Ronaldo’s name and number on it, which I’m sure will be available on Amazon before the ink dries on the contract.

Ken Bensinger has been a journalist for more than twenty years. He has worked at The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and, since 2014, for BuzzFeed News, as a member of its investigations team, and has written about sports, labor, art, automobiles, and politics, among other topics. He has been a winner of the ASME National Magazine award and the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Finance & Business Reporting, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in national reporting.

In his first book, "Red Card," Bensinger explores the FIFA scandal; the biggest international corruption case of recent years, spearheaded by US investigators, involving dozens of countries, and implicating nearly every aspect of the world’s most popular sport, soccer, including its biggest event, the World Cup.

CT Nonprofit Shares Love Of Soccer

Jun 3, 2018
Wikimedia Commons/Christopher Bruno

For many soccer is fun to play or watch. For Stephen Schirra, the sport breaks down language barriers and allows him to have a positive impact on children around the world.

Keith Strudler: FIFA Vs. Trump

May 2, 2018

There is perhaps no greater insult and hypocrisy than when FIFA, the institutionally corrupt federation that oversees global soccer, when they insinuate you might lack integrity. But they did just that, and remarkably in this case, they may be right.

Keith Strudler: Soccer Art Imitating Soccer Life

Nov 1, 2017

In the spirit of art imitating life, the popular video game Football Manager 2018 takes its cues from reality. For the uninitiated, which in this case is probably the majority, football means soccer. And Football Manager is a popular video game that allows users to create and manage a soccer club based on real and sometimes mythical players. Based on real data and analytics, the game simulates league play while putting game users in the position of managing an actual soccer, or football club. Such is the wonder of the current technological age.

Keith Strudler: Travel Soccer

May 10, 2017

So I’m going to say two of the dirtiest words in the history of the American version of the English language. Travel soccer. If you’ve ever so much as sat in a minivan before, those words make you curl up in a fetal position. It’s like saying tax audit or prostate exam. They’re scary because they’re real.

  It’s a Saturday in winter, somewhere in the suburbs, and a high school girls’ soccer team warms up for its indoor game. They stretch in sync – right quad, left quad, lunge – and their conversations spin around and off their turf, far outside the air dome bubble, and back again.


The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, is the second mainstage production this season presented by Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre. The production, directed by Lila Neugebauer, runs July 21st through July 31st.


The play was a recipient of the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Sarah DeLappe joins us to tell us more.

Keith Strudler: Cinderella Soccer

May 4, 2016

If you’ve listen to my commentaries for any length of time, you’re fairly aware I’m no soccer savant. I watch the World Cup, and I’m old enough to remember Pele’s American conquest. But the vast majority of my soccer is tied to six and eight year olds playing for teams named after local hair salons and restaurants and, in one of the better strategic sponsorships of all time, a lice removal business.

Listener Essay - When No Girls Were Allowed

Sep 10, 2015

  Jacqueline Sheehan is a New York Times bestselling author from Western Massachusetts. Her new novel, The Center of the World, will be published in January 2016.

Keith Strudler: U-S-A, U-S-A?

Jul 1, 2015

By reasonable accounts, this current World Cup has been an unmitigated success for American women's soccer. Beyond the obvious success on the field, where now the only thing between the Americans and a World Cup is the winner of tonight's match between Japan and England, the team's run has sparked considerable interest amongst Americans, with well over 5 million of us watching the quarterfinal match against the rival Chinese team. Sunday's final will capture the fancy of far more than that, likely eclipsing the 18 million viewers that watched the 1999 Women's Cup final against China. Thus far, viewership has been considerably up from the past several cups, likely influenced because the event's location in Canada, allowing for prime time American viewing.

Rich Honen - FIFA

Jun 9, 2015

Corporate attorney, Rich Honen, pays us a visit once a month with some thoughts on headlines from the business world.

This month we'll speak with him about the implications of the controversy surrounding the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Rich Honen is with Phillips Lytle LLP where he is the partner in charge of the Albany office.

School is back in session and students are back on the playing fields during a time of increasing concerns over concussions. In the second part of a two-part series, WAMC reports on an often-overlooked sport when it comes to head injuries.