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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

July 14, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Matt Pentz hired to cover Sounders, Reign for The Seattle Times

Matt Pentz Photo courtesy Longview Daily News

Matt Pentz
Photo courtesy The Daily News

This week started with two huge soccer stories Sunday: Germany beating Argentina in the World Cup final and the Sounders winning an MLS showdown in Seattle with Cascadia Cup rival Portland.

And now here’s another Seattle Times soccer news flash: Matt Pentz has been hired to cover Sounders FC and Reign FC.

OK, so maybe our announcement doesn’t rank as high in global significance as the World Cup, but we think hiring a reporter to cover one of our most important beats is a pretty big deal.

If you’re a Seattle soccer fan, you’ll love Matt Pentz. He’s a lifelong soccer guy with a deep understanding and appreciation for “the beautiful game.” He grew up watching soccer, and he wrote about the 2012 Euro Cup while working as an intern for the Kiev Post newspaper in Ukraine. When Joshua Mayers resigned a few weeks ago as our Sounders reporter, Matt’s name was one of the first I heard. Several people told me the same thing: You should hire him.

Reading his soccer stories told me the same thing. He writes with fluency and knowledge about the sport, which is something knowledgeable soccer fans in Seattle (and elsewhere) will appreciate. He’ll be able to tell our readers not only what happened, but why it happened and what could happen next. And that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

He also has a vision for the Sounders blog that we hope takes our coverage of the team, the MLS and the sport to the next level. He wants to make his blog something that MLS fans around the country and soccer fans outside Seattle have to read.

“I’m very excited to engage with one of the league’s most passionate fan bases,” Matt said Monday after accepting the job. “I’m looking forward to expanding The Seattle Times’ coverage, both in print and online, to become a leading voice for all of MLS.”

Matt’s more than a soccer writer, however. He  was a sports reporter at The Daily News in Longview  the past 21 months covering high-school sports. The Ohio University graduate has a gift for storytelling, profiles and enterprise as well as multi-platform journalism. Matt will host live chats during the week and during games, post video of interviews, take to Twitter and Facebook to inform readers and continue to give you the same features and breaking news in print that you’ve come to expect from The Seattle Times.

Matt will take over for Ashley Scoby, our summer intern who has covered the Sounders and Reign beats since Mayers’ departure. His first day is Monday, July 28, and he’ll hit the ground running. That also happens to be the day the Sounders play a home MLS match with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Thanks for your patience while we took some time to find exactly the right fit. We’re convinced Matt is the perfect hire for this very important beat.

If you have suggestions about how you’d like Matt to cover the Sounders and Reign, feel free to email me at dshelton@seattletimes.com. I’ll make sure to relay your ideas to him.

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. Opinions expressed are those of authors, and The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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