Major League Soccer (MLS) was founded in December 1993. That same year, Maddie Lee (MSJ17) was born. She went on to become an enormous soccer fan with dreams of working as a reporter covering a professional soccer team.

One year in Medill’s Sports Media specialization helped her do just that.

Today, Lee is the Real Salt Lake and MLS beat writer for The Salt Lake Tribune. She’s been in the position since June.

With the MLS playoffs around the corner, Lee took time to talk about her new job, what most Americans don’t realize about soccer and how her Medill education helped her get where she is today.


What excited you most about this job?

MLS is a quickly growing league, and it’s exciting to be able to cover soccer while it’s gaining prominence in the United States.

What’s one thing most people don’t realize about professional soccer here in the U.S.?

I think a lot of people who don’t follow soccer don’t realize how intertwined MLS is with other leagues around the world. It’s such a global sport, which means that transfers happen between clubs in different countries all the time.

What were some of your favorite experiences while you were at Medill?

In my last quarter at Medill I took an internship at the San Francisco Chronicle. There I jumped into covering college and professional sports with a sports staff full of amazing mentors.

How do you think your time at Medill helped you get to where you are today?

Medill gave me a solid foundation of journalistic principles to build my career on. There I honed my storytelling skills, and my professors emphasized the importance of ethical reporting.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to current students who want to pursue a career in sports media?

Take advantage of as many reporting opportunities as you can, even if you don’t see how they might set you up for a job. You never know how an unpaid internship or the like could benefit you in experience or connections.