Experiences with the USMNT as its Press Officer



Hasselt, Belgium – Monday November 19, 2018: The USMNT trains in preparation before an international friendly against Italy.

Michael Kammarman serves as the press officer for the United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) and is the primary liaison between journalists, players, and the coaching staff. 

Due to the team’s significant travel and infrequent game schedule, ensuring the game is sufficiently covered on television for viewers is a top priority. 

In addition, he has to connect with players and coaches for internal content production for the United States Soccer Federation, and the team’s various social media efforts. These include interviews on the team’s progress, post-match feelings, and team celebrations during success.

Although the players are technically required to engage in press relations, Kammarman does not pressure them to overwhelm themselves. 

Michael Kammarman, USMNT Press Officer

Maintaining a good relationship with the USMNT is essential to providing the highest quality media and sustaining a commitment from the team members. 

“They won’t be willing to do the things you want them to do if you lose that trust,” Kammarman said. 

With the rise of fan media, there are also different outlets and voices on social media producing content on the USMNT, and this can lead to the spread of misinformation. 

“It’s hard for people to know what information is accurate and where it’s coming from. So we wind up having to address a lot of different things,” Kammarman said. 

For example, USMNT star Ricardo Pepi had to respond to a false quote regarding an initiation practice when he signed for Augsburg, a German Bundesliga club team. 

“You have to have a tremendous amount of patience and you have to understand that we don’t get to write the stories for people,” Kammarman said. 

As the primary press officer, he tries to provide accurate, quality information and service, but there is no control over rumors people attempt to spread. During interviews and press conferences, Kammarman does his best to control what information is provided to ensure there are few opportunities for potential misinformation as possible, such as skewed quotes.

 Kammarman has worked with the USMNT for over 20 years. He sees the progress the national team has made while traveling with the team. 

“We’ve spent the last three years preparing for the World Cup qualification process, in one of the six federations, ours being CONCACAF. The whole world is paying attention, so the World Cup is a huge opportunity for us to educate others, ” Kammarman said. 

Other nations do not have the opportunity to learn about the culture of soccer in the US. The World Cup offers a chance for the team and press to educate people globally. More than a billion people tune in to the World Cup every four years.

Kammarman normally watches matches through the press box, where he is supposed to be neutral.

However, looking back on the team’s success, Kammarman noted he had the chance to watch one particular World Cup match from the stands while performing other duties. It happened to be one of the most important US World Cup matches in recent memory.

“Being able to be there in 2010, when Landon Donovan scored the goal against Algeria that got us out of the group stage and into the knockout stage. That was huge for American soccer,” Kammarman said.

As the team prepares for the 2022 World Cup after qualifying, Kammarman has a greater responsibility and will continue to provide information and access for journalists at all levels from around the world.