It's always good to keep your hand in things that make your life better, or things that you are known for. Such is often the case here in the United States. For former MLS players Alecko Eskandarian and Jimmy Conrad, their careers ended for similar reasons and their post-playing work has also been similar.
While neither is in the snazzy, glitzy jobs present around the world, since the MLS and the sport hasn't grown like a certain big wig with the game thinks it should be. Having players fold themselves back into the sport on the other side of it, however, is always a good thing. It's going to be a good way to get the sport to grow more, and give back to the game that they love.
After playing for several teams, most notably D.C. United, Alecko played for Chivas USA in 2008-09, scoring six goals in 18 league appearances. He was traded across town to the LA Galaxy in the middle of the season for Allocation money and a draft pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft (who became none other than Ben Zemanski). Alecko was injured frequently late in his career, and forced to retire because of persistent head injuries, with the breaking point coming during the AC Milan v Galaxy friendly July 19, 2009 when a ball was cleared into his face.
After his injury, he went to work as an assistant manager with the men's team at the University of Virginia in March of 2010, to July of 2011, when he left said position to take over as the technical director of youth programs with the Philadelphia Union. Following the multiple shake-ups at the club, Eskandarian was dismissed along with other members of the technical staff in July 2012. Since then, he's been writing a semi-regular column for SI.com, on MLS.
Then there's Jimmy Conrad, who was best known for playing with the Kansas City Wizards. in late 2010, he was out of contract, and participated in the Re-Entry Draft, where he was selected by Chivas USA. He ended up only playing two matches, and scored in his debut, against his former club (then named Sporting Kansas City). But due to the after effects of concussions, he retired in August 2011, initially to work with the Chivas USA Academy.
Since then, he's left coaching, doing television commentary and works with Youtube's soccer channel Kicktv. As part of it, he signed a one day contract with Real Madrid last year, and got to inteview Iker Casillas, and Jose Mourinho. Likewise, you can hear Jimmy on many MLS-specific podcasts, radio shows, and blogs.
Both Eskandarian and Conrad had short playing tenures with Chivas USA, but had distinguished careers in MLS. They are both among the best personalities around the league, and their presence in the American soccer media has enlivened the proceedings, for the better.
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