US Soccer announced it will honor the late sportswriter Grant Wahl leaving an empty seat in the press box wearing a “Wahl” shirt. placed on it in all home matches of its men’s and women’s national teams during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The tribute began in Los Angeles on Wednesday before the men’s team’s first home game of 2023, a friendly against Serbia. In the BMO Stadium press box, a blue USMNT road jersey with Wahl’s name and No. 11 hung on a chair next to flowers and a framed picture of Wahl on the desk.
Also Wednesday, the National Soccer Hall of Fame announced that Wahl has been posthumously awarded the 2023 Colin Jose Media Award, which recognizes those who made significant long-term contributions to soccer in the United States. Wahl will be honored at this year’s National Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Frisco, Texas.
Wahl worked for Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2021, covering college football and basketball. He wrote SI’s first LeBron James cover story in 2002, when James was still a junior in high school. The legendary reporter was a longtime correspondent for FOX Sports and most recently contributed to CBS Sports’ football coverage while managing a Substack page. Wahl died last December of an aortic aneurysm while covering the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He was 49 years old.
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