Coffee & Football

Coffee & Football


The Coffee & Football podcast is a long-form conversation hosted by Sebastian Alvarado with guests including players & ex-players, club & league executives, media personalities, corporate brand directors, investigative journalists, agents, and thought leaders. Each week Sebastian delves deep into the lives, careers, and personal perspectives of some of the most interesting and influential profiles involved in the game both on and off the pitch.


12) Alejandro Guido - Professional Player, Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles (Xolos)  

Alejandro Guido is an American professional player who plays for Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles (Xolos) in Liga MX, the top league in Mexico. He has represented the U.S. National Team at the U17, U18, U20, and U23 levels. Born in San Diego, CA, in 1994, Alejandro grew up on both sides of the border. He currently lives in San Diego which means that he commutes and crosses the border every day to get to practice and games. Club Tijuana is a team with a unique story that was founded less than 10 years ago in a city that has typically been associated with drug cartels, violence, corruption, and immigrants from different parts of South- and Central America passing through to cross the border to the U.S. Alejandro stopped by for a coffee while he was in New York at the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival representing and promoting the film, Club Frontera, that tells the story of Club Tijuana and the impact it has has had in reshaping the city and society of Tijuana. It received the Golden Pencil, awarded each year to the best film at the festival. We discuss Mexican-American identity, dual cultures, crossing one of the most trafficked borders in the world every day to get to work, Liga MX & the MLS, World Cup dreams, the best spot in Tijuana for tacos, and much more! Contact: Tweet @aeguido, @Xolos | Instagram alejandroguido

11) Jérôme de Bontin - Businessman & Football Administrator  

Originally from Paris, France, Jérôme is one of the most prominent football minds in the U.S. After graduating from Amherst College, MA, he started his career on Wall Street, which laid the foundation for a long and successful career in finance. His passion for the game has kept him involved in multiple different roles, as a player, coach, referee, executive and director. In 2002, Jérôme was named to the board of directors of AS Monaco FC, and in 2008, he became the president of the club, the first non-Monegasque to hold the position. In 2012, he was appointed General Manager och the New York Red Bulls. In addition to holding coaching and referee licenses, he is the Chairman of the Rush Soccer Organization, the largest youth soccer organization in the world, and he sits on the board of trustees of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Currently he keeps himself busy as an advisor to buyers and sellers of teams around the world, and in building up the next great ski resort in the country. We discuss U.S. soccer, what’s needed for the MLS it to reach its full potential, being named president of AS Monaco & the GM of the New York Red Bulls, how fame may affect team owners and investors, the privilege of having access to L’Équipe during college thanks to his friend Prince Albert, Thierry Henry’s greatness, and much more. Contact: Tweet @JdeBontin

10) Declan Hill - Investigative Journalist/Academic, World's #1 match-fixing & corruption expert  

Declan Hill is an investigative journalist and academic. He specializes in the study of organized crime, match-fixing, and international issues. He was the first journalist to break the story of Asian match-fixing gangs linked to the multi-billion dollar gambling markets destroying international football in his book ‘The Fix: Soccer & Organized Crime’. It has now become a best-seller in 21 languages. In 2013, he published the academic version ‘The Insider’s Guide to Match-Fixing’. They're both fantastic reads, available on Amazon. Before publishing ‘The Fix’ Hill completed documentaries on the killing of the head of the Canadian mafia, blood feuds in Kosovo and ethnic cleansing in Iraq, among many other things. Declan takes us through the intriguing inside story of match-fixing and corruption in the game. We discuss everything from the inner workings of the Southeast Asian organized crime gang he infiltrated in 2006 to the key players today running an industry at times estimated at over $1 trillion to the process and methodology applied to fixing matches ranging from youth games to the World Cup & Olympics. Contact Website: Twitter: declan_hill

09) Heath Pearce - Ex Professional Player & Media Profile at KICK  

Heath Pearce is a recently retired player with a professional career spanning over 10 years Today he is a media profile, working as a presenter, creator and host on KICK, one of the largest independent football channels on YouTube with over 1.4 million subscribers and over 200 million views. Heath takes us through his incredible life and career journey, starting from humble beginnings in Modesto, CA, to the US National Team Residency Program at IMG in Florida and then to the pivotal moment when he became a professional player at Nordsjalland, in the Danish Superliga, followed by Hansa Rostock in the German Bundesliga. He returned back to the US to play for FC Dallas, Chivas USA, New York Red Bulls, and the Montreal Impact in the MLS and then ventured back to Scandinavia to finish his playing days with IFK Gothenburg in Sweden. Directly after his career as a footballer, Heath transitioned into media and journalism. He gives us some insights into why he decided to end his career at the ripe old age of 31 to follow a different passion and how invigorated and excited he feels in his current role at KICK. We also discuss being cut from Youth National Teams, the Olympics, and the 2010 World Cup, working as a mascot and cleaning windows to save money for a flight to try his luck in Europe, trust issues with coaches and people in positions of authority, transfer sagas, working in front of the camera, the football media landscape, and much more! Contact: Tweet @HeathGPearce | Instagram heathpearce | YouTube

08) Baky Soumare - Ex Professional & Mali National Team player  

Bakary “Baky” Soumare is a former professional player with a career spanning almost ten years, he represented MLS teams Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact and FC Dallas, US Boulogne in Ligue 1 & 2 (France), and Karlsruher SC in Germany.  Currently he is the Chairman of PITCH Concepts, a company he founded during his playing career that develops high-end outdoors living spaces in major cities around the world.  We discuss being an illegal immigrant in NYC, mental health, delivering pizza for Domino's at age 15, downside of traditional approaches to education, juvenile detention, African Cup of Nations, Cuhautémoc Blanco's greatness, and much more! Accomplishments • Nominated to MLS Defender of the Year and named to the MLS Best XI in 2008 • MLS All Star Team, 2009  • Drafted as the second overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft • 12 Caps Mali National Team, 2009-2010  Contact: Tweet @BakySoumare | Instagram bakysoumare

07) Bruce Grobbelaar - Ex-Professional Player, Liverpool Legend & Goalkeeper Coach at Ottawa Fury  

Bruce Grobbelaar is a former Zimbabwe international footballer who is most known for his time at Liverpool FC between 1981 and 1994. Born in South Africa, Grobbelaar grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), before moving to Canada and the Vancouver Whitecaps of the NASL in 1979. He gained Liverpool's attention during a loan spell at Crewe Alexandra during the 1979–80 season, and signed for the club in 1981. Making 628 appearances for Liverpool over the next 13 years, including 440 in the League, he won the League championship with the club six times, as well as three FA Cups, three League Cups and the 1983–84 European Cup. Grobbelaar left Liverpool for Southampton in 1994, transferred to Plymouth Argyle two years later, and thereafter played for an assortment of English lower-league teams, never for more than a few games. He is currently the Goalkeeper Coach for Ottawa Fury FC of the North American Soccer League since 2014. In this episode, Bruce takes us through his life and career journey from his early days in the Rhodesian army during the Bush War to becoming one of the most iconic players of Liverpool FC and the English League.

06) Anton Hysén - Swedish media profile & proud gay footballer  

Anton is a Swedish media personality and football player who in 2011 gained global attention when he came out as gay. He was the first high-profile Swedish footballer to make the announcement and the second active professional player in the world to come out, after English footballer Justin Fashanu in 1990. Anton was born in Liverpool in 1990, where his father Glenn Hysén, was playing for Liverpool FC, winning the league title that same year. We discuss homophobia in the game, the big announcement, the unexpected attention from all corners of the world, the locker room environment, indecent proposals, TV gigs, winning Dancing With The Stars, Liverpool FC fandom, and much more! Contact Anton: Tweet @antonhysenoffic | Instagram antonhysen | Email

05) Erik Stover - Chief Operating Officer, New York Cosmos  

Erik Stover is the Chief Operating Officer of the New York Cosmos. Originally from Williamsport, PA, Erik is one of the most prominent sports executives in the country with a career spanning over 20-years. He has been in senior management positions with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (Giants Stadium and Izod Center) and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, he was also the President/Managing Director of the New York Red Bulls for three and half years. While working for Red Bulls, Erik oversaw the construction and operation of Red Bull Arena, a $200 million state-of-the-art stadium in Harrison, NJ. He also recruited Thierry Henry to the MLS in 2010. When he left the Red Bulls in August of 2011, they had risen from the bottom of the MLS in attendance to #4, which included 150% increase in season ticket holders. For his work at RBNY, he received the 2010 MLS Executive of the Year Award. Currently he is the Cosmos' top acting executive. A team that returned to the pitch in 2013 after nearly a 30-year absence. The club has since won the title twice in three seasons. In this episode, Erik takes us through his career journey starting as an intern of volunteers to then climbing the corporate ladder and becoming one of the most influential sports executives in the country. We discuss the ins and outs of running a major organization, the business drivers, leadership, negotiating with Darren & David Dein ex Vice-Chairman at Arsenal, building stadiums, and much more! Contact Erik: Tweet @ErikStoverNYC | Visit:

04) Angus McNab - VP of Content, Opta/Perform Group  

Angus is the VP of Content at Perform Group, the parent company of Opta, the world’s leading sports data provider. A native of Scotland, Angus has been with Opta since late 2010 and has vast experience working with leagues, governing bodies & federations, broadcasters, sponsors, digital media and other associated rights holders. He leads Opta’s soccer business in North America across all media (broadcast, print, digital). Angus is a sought-after speaker, who headlines panels at Sloan Sports Analytics Summit, IMG’s Sports Media and Technology Conference and IVY Sports Symposium, among many others. Opta has made massive strides in the US market in recent years and they count ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC, Univision, BeIn Sports, Telemundo and Time Warner as customers on the media side. They also have an official partnership with Major League Soccer and work with a number of MLS Clubs and the league’s Head Office on performance analysis, recruitment and scouting. Angus is also a Visiting Lecturer in Analytics of Global Sport, which is part of the Sports Management graduate program at Columbia University, New York. In this episode, Angus takes us through the ins and outs of analytics and data in football. We discuss the basics of how the data is collected, which isn’t how most people think it’s done, the different applications of it, the types of people working with data and the special skills they possess. Angus also discusses how teams apply data and analytics to scouting and how some even hire data analysts before a coach is brought in to build the team, and wether or not “moneyball” exists in football. All that and much more in the fourth episode of Coffee & Football. Contact Angus: Tweet @gusmcnab | Visit

03) Dax McCarty - New York Red Bulls, Team Captain  

In this episode, the third in the series, Dax speaks about his life and career journey, from his upbringing in Florida to where he is today as the captain of the New York Red Bulls, living in downtown Manhattan. At 29 years old he is a veteran of the league, playing in his 11th MLS season. He is one of the most experienced, well respected, and considered by many to be one of the finest players in the league, who should have an opportunity to be part of the US National Team. We discuss leadership, being named Captain at DC United at just 23 years old, the players that inspire him, what he’s learned from Thierry Henry, what it means to become the Team Captain on a team that has typically been associated with big stars and high expectations, and his experiences being traded as a young player. Dax also goes into the details of the Red Bulls’ playing system, its unique style, and the importance of entertaining fans, as well as his thoughts on the US National Team, not being selected after Jurgen Klinsmann took over from Bob Bradley, his personal life in New York City and much more. To follow: Twitter: @DaxMcCarty11 , @NewYorkRedBulls Instagram: @daxmccarty Sound clips credit: Red Bulls Radio on Tune In

02) Remy Cherin - Players' Agent, Remington Ellis Management  

Remy is a FIFA licensed Players’ Agent and the Founder of Remington Ellis Management. In this second episode, Remy takes us through the intricacies of being a players’ agent, we discuss his journey from starting as a ticket sales rep at Madison Square Garden and New York Red Bull, to running multi-million dollar events at Vice Media, to how he decided to leave it all behind and follow his dream of becoming an agent. He started with no players, no money, and zero knowledge of what to do with the FIFA agent license, to where he is today, managing some of the top talents and biggest stars in the country. He takes us through the specific steps he took in building his business, Remington Ellis Management, what his day to day looks like, the types of marketing deals he makes for his players, and how he even helps them to manage their online presence. Furthermore, we discuss his negotiation technique, the key characteristics needed to become a successful agent, and the details of the 3 years of negotiations it took to bring Marcos Senna, the former Spanish International & 2008 Euro champ, from Villarreal to New York Cosmos. All that and much more! Players managed by Remy, among others: Mix Diskerud, New York City FC & US National Team Lloyd Sam, New York Red Bull & Ghana National Team Kwadwo Poku , New York City FC & Ghana National Team Connor Lade, New York Red Bull Jack Harrison, New York City FC Amando Moreno, Xolos de Tijuana (Liga MX) Jamison Olave, Real Salt Lake To follow: Twitter: @reminkton Instagram: asapremy Website: To learn more about podcast & subjects:

01) Alecko Eskandarian - New York Cosmos Assistant Coach, ex professional player  

Alecko is the Assistant Coach of the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Prior to joining the Cosmos he was the Youth Technical Director at Philadelphia Union. He is a former MLS professional having played for D.C. United, Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, and the Los Angeles Galaxy. In this episode, Alecko takes us through his amazing career journey, from his early days as the biggest talent in New Jersey through the ups and downs of his professional career, to how he was selected by DC United as the number 1 ranked player in the 2003 MLS Superdraft, a top team where his team mates included players such as Hristo Stoichkov, Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno, and a young Freddy Adu, to winning the MLS Championship and being called for the US National Team, to being traded and playing for 4 different clubs in a year, to his very unfortunate and early retirement due to multiple concussions, the last one caused by a clearance from Thiago Silva in a game against AC Milan. We also discuss his coaching career ambitions, the importance of his Armenian background, the influence of his father, Andranik Eskandarian, a legendary player having played in the World Cup for Iran, and next to legends Carlos Alberto, Beckenbauer, and Pele in the NY Cosmos, and the innate hunger and determination that drives him every day. Furthermore, Alecko shares a few amazing anecdotes, one including an ice-cream loving Hristo Stoichkov. And much more. To follow: Twitter: @alecko11, @NYCosmos Instagram: alecko11 Career Achievements: Playing Number 1 pick in 2003 MLS Superdraft 136 MLS games, 36 goals MLS Cup Champion, 2004 MLS Cup MVP, 2004 MLS All Star, 2004 & 2006 MLS Supporter’s Shield (regular season champion), 2006 1 Cap U.S. National Team Hermann Trophy winner, best college player, 2002 Coaching NASL Soccer Bowl Champion 2013 & 2015, Assistant Coach, NY Cosmos, National Premier Soccer League National Champion 2015, Head Coach, NY Cosmos B To learn more about podcast & subject:

00) Introduction to Coffee & Football  

A long-form conversation hosted by Sebastian Alvarado with guests including players & ex-players, club & league executives, media personalities, corporate brand directors, investigative journalists, agents, and thought leaders. Each week Sebastian delves deep into the lives, careers, and personal perspectives of some of the most interesting and influential profiles involved in the game both on and off the pitch.

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