Catching up with Josh Beeman
Welcome to the second edition of the (hopefully weekly) series of "Catching up with..." where I interview someone involved with the soccer scene in Sacramento, or somewhere else, with roughly five questions in order to help you guys better get to know the people who truly make differences with the game in the area.
This series will usually run on Tuesdays. So far I'm 0/2 on meeting that deadline. I meant to post this yesterday, but after an 11-hour drive to Seattle (more on that later today), I forgot to post it yesterday with the Copa America in the Emerald City.
Anyway, ever since the Republic started playing in 2014, Josh Beeman has been part of covering the club. He started by writing for Reckless Challenge before eventually branching out to create Indomitable City Soccer with Kyle Kepner and JC Escobar.
Beeman is also known for his weekly radio show, Beeman's Republic, where the recent Sacramento State graduate hosts the only regular podcast or radio show exclusively covering the Republic. He was kind enough to step aside with me to chat for five minutes last Wednesday just before the Real Monarchs SLC game. As always, the interview is edited for content and clarity.
Me: So how did you fall in love with the game of soccer?
Beeman: I played soccer basically since I was a kid, I'm sure most of the people out here at Bonney Field did, or at least quite a few. But as far as falling in love with it, it's kind of cliché, but I guess it was during the 2010 World Cup, I mean, it really was that Donovan goal. You know the one...who was it against?
Beeman: (Laughs) Algeria! Ah, okay. I always forget actually. I'm a bad, really good soccer fan. It was that moment. My brother and I were both home from school on summer vacation. That was the most dramatic sports moment I had ever experienced at that point so after that, that's when I really started paying attention to soccer, outside of what I was already doing. That kind of built up slowly. I found MLS and everything like that and then when the Republic came, it just made soccer even more accessible.
Me: Your radio show, Beeman's Republic, is unique. You're really the only one putting out a radio show or a Republic-centered podcast right now. Why did you decide to start the show, and how has it been faring?
Beeman: The decision to start it actually came, I think it was midway through the first season. I had been thinking about it because I was on KSSU, Sac State's student radio station, and I had done high school radio as well, so it was something I was really familiar with. I'd always thought about it but I actually had [a fan] who knew I was on KSSU, like a reader or whatever from Reckless Challenge. He messaged me on Twitter and said, "Hey, I know you have radio experience, why don't you do a podcast?" I'm like (laughs), "Why don't I do a podcast?" I started doing it that very next week. Radio came naturally to me anyway, so I just started talking about soccer, which was what I was already talking about.
Me: Why did you decide to create Indomitable City Soccer?
Beeman: Mostly, it was that I was part of this really big website (Reckless Challenge) and I wanted to do more with Sac Republic that I knew I could do and I wanted to try to bring in other people. Plus, I knew that SB Nation was kind of looking into things like that. I thought that it would be a better chance for me to get that SBN slot if I had my own website rather than be a part of Reckless Challenge. So we kind of struck out on our own and decided to do more with Sac Republic than we had ever done before, really.
Me: In your two-plus years of covering the Republic, what has been the most memorable moment for you?
Beeman: The Miracle at Bonney was probably one of my favorite moments. Going to Avaya Stadium for the U.S. Open Cup game [against the Earthquakes in 2015] was another moment that sticks out in my mind, for kind of the exact opposite reason. I had never experienced a professional penalty shoot-out before. It was very dramatic and almost kind of soul-crushing as well. But as far as one of my favorite moments here was when I wrote about James Kiffe's journey from being an amateur and an injured college player to winning the USL championship in 2014. (Note, like Reckless Challenge, this story no longer exists on the Internet). Plus, there have been some times where I've been around here and people come up and they recognize me, which is really weird because I'm really just a dude that decided to write about soccer one day, and then people started reading.
Me: Take this however you want, but what's your prediction for the rest of the Republic season? (Note: I asked him this question while Sacramento's record stood at 4-3-3. They have since won two games.)
Beeman: I don't think it's going to be terrible, but I don't think it's going to be [amazing]. I think people are just going to be kind of "meh" on the whole thing. They're not a bad team. I think the Republic are gonna make the playoffs, but I do not see in any way, shape, or form -- unless things change as they are right now -- see them making the championship. I don't know. Hopefully we'll see some more people coming to the games, because the Republic have had a little bit of a slow start, but generally I think the Republic are just going to be a middling team this year. I might be a little pessimistic but things on the field are showing me and giving me that pessimism.