How Soccer Podcasting Kept Two Brothers Together

Ty Fujimura
4 min readFeb 11, 2023


I come from a soccer family and I’m a die-hard #USMNT fan. Our dad played in high school (NJ state champ!) and college, and passed a love of the sport to my brother Clayton and me. In 2014, after the heartbreak of the US Men’s team’s exit from the World Cup, Clayton and I got the crazy idea to start a podcast about the team: “We The People”. Nine years, one name change and 212 episodes later, we’ve decided to put the show on hiatus, because we are no longer able to dedicate ourselves to it the way we once were. We’re both heartbroken by this, but deeply proud.

Our original feed. It worked!

The show started as an excuse for us to talk more. Clayton was moving around quite a bit at the time, finding his way as a young artist. I had an infant and toddler at home and needed a hobby 🤣. We watched games, we did silly impressions. Clayton made amazing little songs for the shows. We made up our own nicknames for the players, like “Paulie Nips”, “The Porcelain Prince”, and “Chris The Miss” — if you know, you know.

But… I’ve secretly always dreamed of being a sports journalist. One day I told my colleague Andrew at Cantilever about this fantasy, and he suggested I apply for a press pass to cover an upcoming game. Why not try, right?

To my shock, US Soccer said yes. The next day I was on the field for training at Red Bull Arena, my recorder in Christian Pulisic’s face. I met Brian Strauss of Sports Illustrated, one of the country’s best soccer writers. I shook ESPN broadcaster Ian Darke’s hand and traded stories about his childhood club, Portsmouth FC, my favorite team in England. After training I went home and poured myself a drink. I could hardly believe what had just happened. This little show gave me the chance to live my dream.

My nameplate in a press box somewhere, with predictable typo
Weston McKennie clowning around behind legendary journalist Grant Wahl (RIP)

Since then US Soccer was kind enough to give us press access to many games and events. Clayton got to ask a question of coach Gregg Berhalter (eyeroll) at the press event when he was unveiled as head coach. I covered a US match on 9/11 against Mexico in Nashville. Before the game, when the fireworks started, I left the press box to soak it in from field level. The sky was bright as neon. Whatever their politics, every American was on the same side that night. The US prevailed, 1–0.

A Budweiser pickup trick outside a soccer game. America.

I love this country. I recognize its evils and its failings, and will never stop trying to right them. But beneath it all, there is something about this place that enchants me. I believe in us. I believe in our ability to be a force for good in the world. Rooting for our men and women on the field is the purest form of patriotism my brother and I have found. Our teams are diverse, outspoken, hardworking, and proud. The stories of our players epitomize the tangled roots we all have. These gifted people represent the best of what America is, and can be.

Our show attracted a wonderful little community of listeners, who kept up with us on Twitter and even appeared on the show. We interviewed incredible people like Dr. Joe Machnik, a seminal figure in the development of the sport here in the US. It was one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences we’ve ever had. But beneath it all, Clayton and I just wanted to talk more. That’s what it was always about: Two brothers wanting to spend time together. Creativity doesn’t have to be about something grand. Sometimes the simplest motivation yields the most profound result.

If you are thinking of starting something… just fucking do it! No creative project truly fails… they just succeed in ways you didn’t think about. Life is short. Make something new.



Ty Fujimura

CEO @ Cantilever, the expert website team you’ve been looking for ( Consultant. Aspiring wonk. Recovering USMNT addict