Andy Kostka

Sports intern at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

University of Maryland Class of 2020. Former sports editor of The Diamondback, the independent student newspaper.

Four Region 2 SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards. Seventh-place finish in Hearst Sports Writing Competition.

While American soccer expands, soccer journalism still struggles for a place

Soccer is on the rise in America. The Major League Soccer Cup Final between Seattle and Toronto was viewed by 116 million households in a primetime spot on national television. Americans can wake up on Saturday mornings and watch any Premier League game they choose. MLS itself is attracting more than washed up, old European greats. The league is a destination for young talent to get much-needed minutes. But with all the improvement in the sport and the extra interest by fans, soccer is still no

West Ham were truly united against Crystal Palace

When Manuel Lanzini jumped into the crowd at the London Stadium after his 86th minute goal, it wasn’t the first celebration of the match for West Ham. Sofiane Feghouli had opened the scoring in the 68th minute, and Andy Carroll’s spectacular overhead kick 10 minutes later sealed the victory for the Hammers. But Lanzini jumping into the crowd was the most important, and most telling, celebration of the day.

Liverpool vs. West Ham: Match Preview

Slaven Bilic was backed by West Ham’s Board after Saturday’s 5-1 defeat to Arsenal. It’s commendable that the Board are sticking with the Croatian manager, but Bilic must turn the Hammers’ season around rapidly, and it must happen quickly with January around the corner. Heading to Liverpool on Sunday, the Hammers must shake off the dismal performance from last weekend for what surely will be another difficult match. Last week, with Andy Carroll set to come on for the first time since his knee

Video: breaks down this weekend’s action with our Arsenal ‘friends’

What a week, what a week! I had an unreal week in picks where I went 8-2 blowing all the competition out of the water. For those of you keeping score at home, here is the updated prediction tally: This week West Ham looks to bounce back from an embarrassing loss in the EFL cup at Old Trafford. However, standing in their way, is a team on fire in Arsenal. Can the Hammers find a way to pull a result at home. The pessimism from my fellow Hammers fans is almost too much to handle so I must become t

EFL Cup Match Preview: Manchester United vs. West Ham

West Ham can take a step away from the Premier League for a moment. Currently, after Sunday’s away draw against Manchester United, the Hammers sit in 16th, but still only one point from the relegation zone. This Wednesday, West Ham can go to Old Trafford once again, but without any fear of the drop. Yes, it’s a quarterfinal tie and everyone loves a cup run, but this match can be more about gaining confidence than it is about advancing to the next round. Although, that confidence will come with

Will Dimitri Payet stay at West Ham through the January transfer window?

Dimitri Payet showed his class again over the international break. For France, his assist and goal in the second half won it for Les Blues against Sweden on Friday. While it is amazing to see a West Ham player make such an impact on the international stage, it does not help the Hammers’ chances of holding onto their star past the January transfer window. His performances surely caught the attention once more of the world’s top clubs. The 29-year-old has had a slower start for West Ham but still

We break down formations to help Ayew become more effective

I don’t see Andre Ayew as an out-and-out striker. That’s sad, since West Ham spent an abhorrent sum of money on him hoping he would be the marquee striker the Hammers are dying for. West Ham could use a good striker signing, but in reality, the strikers the Hammers have now can get the job done. Ayew is creative and knows where the back of the net is, but for West Ham’s attack to be truly lethal – or as close as it can be – he needs someone who can hold up the play and attract attention in the

West Ham vs. Everton: Match Preview

West Ham United have three wins in a row. Traveling up to Goodison Park on Sunday to play Everton, there is every reason to believe that run will be pushed to four games. Wednesday’s EFL Cup victory over Chelsea was the firm victory the Hammers needed. Previously, back-to-back 1-0 victories over Crystal Palace and Sunderland secured much needed points, but in shaky fashion. The clean sheets earned were positive takeaways after a leaky opening to the season. It was not a straight-forward match