Saturday, May 06, 2006

The 23-man US squad this summer includes 5 African-American players - DaMarcus Beasley, Eddie Johnson, Eddie Pope, Cory Gibbs, Oguchi Onyewu and Tim Howard has an African-American father. I doubt there are any major league baseball teams with as many African-Americans on their roster. That sounds bad. I'm not trying to make too much of the racial content of this team, but it's interesting to me, and I hope it's something that the mainstream US press reports. The visual that most people have of American soccer is that it's a sport played by suburban white kids and those of Hispanic origin, and one that generally is missed by African-Americans. Definitely not so. At a time when major league baseball has its' lowest percentage of African-Americans since soon after integration, and the NBA is seeing an increased number of European, South American and Asian players, it's a nice sidebar that the US soccer team is reflecting more of the country, as well. One of the US players of the future is 18-year old Lee Nyugen (thanks for the correction, Wolf), born of Vietnamese parents, who is playing for the developmental side of Dutch powerhouse PSV Einhoven.