Fox Soccer Channel’s series Soccer Talk Live is a new go-to destination for the sport, and it’s not just for athletes. Host Kyle Martino interviews athletes and celebrity soccer fans like Elisabeth Shue and Susan Sarandon. Now he’s gunning for more of Hollywood’s secret soccer enthusiasts.
“The lead singer of Weezer is an enormous soccer fan as well,” Martino said. “Drew Carey who’s a friend of mine who’s a big soccer fan who’s a part owner in the Seattle team. It would be great to get some of the high profile celebrities in Hollywood that we know are big soccer fans. Tom Cruise obviously is a big soccer fan. I ran into Woody Harrelson at the L.A. Galaxy game a few months ago. It was so funny, I sat there and said, ‘Woody, I didn’t know that you were a big soccer fan.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, I love soccer. I actually wanted to get here to flip the coin but I was late getting to the stadium.’ I said, ‘You know, I’ve got this soccer show. It’s a talk show. You should definitely come on.’ He goes, ‘I don’t really do talk shows voluntarily.’” That was a pretty funny moment. I said, ‘All right, we’ll just force you to do it.’”
Shue might not have been a surprise to fans who knew her childhood history, dramatized in her movie Gracie. Sarandon was a bigger twist. “Susan is just such a wonderful lady. When she started this club Spin, the ping pong club, she became, especially in New York, known for just being the type of person that just loves trying to get ping pong up there as a sport which is exactly what soccer has been doing for a very long time. I sat down and talked with her about her ping pong club and she said, ‘Yeah, I’m trying to get this ping pong club worldwide and there’s so much interest for it.’ I asked her about soccer and she was like, ‘You know, I actually played in a pick up game with Pele and I love the game.’ That was sort of the moment of ‘Oh man, you’ve got to come on my show and tell that story.’ She was awesome. Not only is she a very talented, very beautiful woman but she’s very smart, she’s very kind and she made for a great interview.”
Having A-list stars on Soccer Talk Live doesn’t just help the show. It helps the sport, which is still struggling to grow in America. “There’s a ton of those high profile celebrities and in our country, we tend to, whether it’s a positive thing or a negative thing, we tend to take a lot of cues from these celebrities. So young kids that are in their backyard or in high school trying to decide what sport to play, the Cribs episodes and seeing all these football players and basketball players end up swaying them a lot so hopefully celebrities talking about if they could do it again they’d love to be a soccer player, hopefully will sway some of these unbelievable athletes so we can win a World Cup.”
Soccer Talk Live airs Mondays at 7 p.m. ET.