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Jim Trecker a veteran of soccer public relations and communications was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary General /Communications in late 1996. Prior to that he served as Senior Vice President/ Chief Press Officer for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the the United States.
Alan I Rothenberg, president of 1994 FIFA World Cup remarked: "Jim Trecker is the best in the soccer business: indeed he is as good as there is in any sport, anywhere in the world. U.S. Soccer is fortunate to be reunited with him.
"World Cup 1994 was only the beginning of the excitement for soccer in the United States," said Hank Steinbrecher, Executive Director and Secretary General for the United States Soccer Federation."We are now entering another cycle of enormous vitality for our sport, and I am especially pleased that Jim will be a part of it. His knowledge of the game, his international stature and his communications expertise are a unique combination, one that will benefit the game." added Secretary General Steinbrecher.
However, Trecker has been involved in soccer for more than two decades, serving with the New York Cosmos, the North Americn Soccer League, the Washington Diplomats, the World Cup 1994 Organizing Committee and Major League Soccer. In addition, he has operated his own consulting business, whose clients have included the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and World Cup Japan 2002 Bidding Committee.
Trecker is a member (co-opted) of the FIFA Media Committee and has carried out a number of signments for the international governing body of soccer.
Aside from reading about Trecker's experience and backround, being in his presence one can feel the intense excitement that he holds for his work and the sport of soccer. While modest in demeanor, Trecker appears to be a literal walking encyclopedia of soccer. He reportedly has over 600 soccer related books in his personal soccer library which has read from cover to cover.
As Trecker is a man who never seems to be too busy to share his knowledge and experience La Cancha was fortunate enough to interview him when he recently visited Giants Stadium, the venue which will host the first two games and opening ceremony of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Trecker Explains why he believes that the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup
will be a ground-breaking event not only for women's socer but women's sports
in general. He gives us the reasons the U.S. women's side has been so successsful
over the years, and explains why their success will continue into the next
| Interview with
Q: Mr. Trecker, if you could describe the impact that you believe the Women's
World Cup will have on the sport of soccer in America, what would that one
A: The Women's World Cup could be described as extraordinary, or a showcase, but the word that came to my mind when you were asking Lielani was "groundbreaking". I think the WWC will redefine women's sports. When the media, American people, and other sports followers in this country find out that 77, 000 people have come to see women's soccer at Giants Stadium I think tthe landscape will never be the same for women's sports. I think the WWC will have raised the profile as much as anything that has ever gone on before it. So I think it will be a ground breaking day.
Q: Why hasn't women's soccer caught on in America the way other sports have with regard to media participation?
A: I believe the basic reason is because women's soccer is a very very new sport. You have to understand that women's soccer didn't start in this country on a truly wide and organized level until around the mid 1980's. So it's a very young sport of about 15 years. Also, soccer so far generally in the country doesn't enjoy the profile that so-called traditional sports have. Given that reality of the American sports scene, I would say that women's soccer has probably made more progress in a shorter period of time than any other women's team sport.
Q: On that note, why do you believe that the American women's soccer team has been so successful in spite of the relatively short period that women's soccer has existed in the US.
A: Because in America women have always been allowed to be athletes. Although soccer is relatively new on the women's side in this country but women participating in sports whether it's track and field, ice skating, or basketball is not a new. Elsewhere in the world women have traditionally not played athletic events except in the Eastern block countries. Therefore American women were athletically very very far ahead generally over the rest of the world. Now the rest of the world generally started women's football at about the same time back in the mid 80's. That as when as I said women's soccer on an organized level got a big push world-wide. But the American women as athletes were way ahead of everybody else in the world. In essence, we,ve come out of the starting blocks if I can use another sports metaphor way ahead of the rest of the world. The key now for the American women's soccer team is to keep ahead of the rest of the world because teams like China.Brazil, Germany, Norway and Denmark are playing the game at a very high level. They're catching up pretty fast. Women when given the chance progress very rapidly. So in this instance, we were ahead of the curve in women's sports.
Q: Are there other factors to consider when analyzing the tremendous success of the American women's team.
A: Well, the American soccer family and the US Soccer Federation in particular were blessed with almost an magical generation of female athletes that came of age, and athletic maturity in the late 80' and early 90's. These athletes have been together for nearly ten (10) years which is perhaps a bit unusually. If this were a traditional American league people would be using the term dynasty. It just happened through luck I guess that they all emerged and merged at the same time. I'll tell you something else, there is another generation now right behind them; a group of American women that are 18, 19, 20. and 21 that are going to be just as good if not better. So it won't be over after this group it will only change.
Q: I've notice that soccer on the children's level appears to be the most widely played sport in America if not the world yet people don't appear to realise this. As you know the American Youth Soccer Association is reported to have 1,200,000 kids registered with the American Youth Soccer Organization having well over 600,000 registered youths that's really amazing.
A: It's is quite interesting,. There are only two amateur sports groups in the USA that are larger than soccer, and those two are bowling and the National Rifle Association (NRA) which is classified as a shooting sport under the Amateur Sports Act. Now without insulting our other colleagues in those other sports, I'd have to state that there is a significant difference between, bowling, shooting and soccer. Soccer is by far the largest participatory sport in the country no question about it.
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