“Grant’s passion for football and commitment to raising its profile in our sport has been instrumental in helping drive interest in and respect for our beautiful game,” the U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement Friday night said in. Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber wrote that Wall “was a kind, caring man whose passion for football and dedication to journalism was immeasurable.”
Wahl grew up in Mission, Kansas, outside Kansas City, before attending Princeton University, where he graduated in 1996. Princeton is where Wahl fell in love with football. As a reporter for The Princeton Daily, he covered the team under Bob Bradley, who went on to lead the U.S. men’s national team in the 2010 World Cup.
In Sports Illustrated, Wall penned dozens of cover stories and introduced Americans to many of the world’s greatest football stars such as Neymar and David Beckham, not to mention American stars such as Christie Ampulisic and Alex Morgan, and are among the few reporters who have covered the sport full-time. He wrote a book about Beckham’s years playing in Major League Soccer called “The Beckham Experiment” and another book about the thoughts of the game’s best players called “Modern Soccer Masters”.
Wahl has also done television work for Fox Sports and most recently CBS.
After 24 years at Sports Illustrated, Val’s tenure ended unceremoniously when he was fired by Sports Illustrated publisher Maven over a pandemic-related dispute over salary cuts.
But Wahl soon struck out on his own, starting an email newsletter, Fútbol with Grant Wahl, which gained thousands of paid subscribers, and a podcast with Meadowlark Media, a company run by ESPN veterans John Skipper and Dan Le Sports media company founded by Batard.
“In my opinion, he’s the preeminent football journalist in America. He owns the space as a pioneer,” says his podcast co-host, Chris Wittyngham. “He’s just so good. Midwestern charm is a cliché, but he has it in abundance.”
Throughout the World Cup, Wahl was in Qatar writing daily articles and recording podcasts every other day. Wahl, who has written about his health concerns in a series of reports in recent days, said he typically gets about five hours of sleep a night.