“Grant’s passion for soccer and commitment to elevating its profile across our sporting landscape played a major role in helping to drive interest in and respect for our beautiful game,” The United States Soccer Federation released a statement on Friday night. Don Garber, commissioner of Major League Soccer wrote that Wahl “was a kind and caring person whose passion for soccer and dedication to journalism were immeasurable.”

Wahl He was born in Mission, Kan. outside of Kansas City. After high school, he attended Princeton University where he graduated with honors in 1996. Princeton is where Wahl He fell in love soccer. As a reporter for The Daily Princetonian, he covered the team when it was coached by Bob Bradley, who later led the United States men’s national team at The 2010 World Cup.

Sports Illustrated Wahl wrote dozens of cover stories and introduced Americans to many of the world’s great soccer stars, like Neymar and David Beckham, not to mention American stars like Christian Pulisic and Alex Morgan, and was one of a handful of journalists who covered the sport on a full-time basis. A book was written by him about Beckham’s time playing in Major League Soccer. “The Beckham Experiment,” and another on how the game’s best players think, titled the “Masters of Modern Soccer.”

After 24 years at Sports Illustrated Wahl’s tenure ended unceremoniously after he was fired by Sports Illustrated’s publisherMaven over a dispute regarding pandemic-related pay cut.

But Wahl quickly struck out on his own, starting an email newsletter, Fútbol with Grant WahlIt was viewed by thousands of subscribers. The podcast was also produced with Meadowlark Media, an ESPN-owned media company that was founded by John Skipper (and Dan Le Batard).

“He is in my view America’s pre-eminent soccer journalist. He had this space as kind of a pioneer,” Chris Wittyngham, Chris Wittyngham’s podcast co-host. “He was just so nice. Midwestern charm is a cliché, but he had it in abundance.”

Wahl He was in Qatar recording podcasts every day and writing daily articles. World Cup. In recent days, Wahl He wrote about his struggles with health during a period of coverage that left him only about five hours sleep each night.