Team USA and the State of the (Soccer) Nation

by archiegemmill on May 17, 2010

in Link Blogging

The excellent Pitch Invasion has just posted a great article about the make up (ethnic, education, class, etc.) of the current USA roster. The long standing stereotype of the US team (and the sport in this country) says that it is a game for privileged white players. The current roster does not support that theory…

So if we temporarily ignore the complicated nuances the broad numbers from the 30 man roster include 14 White/Caucasian players (47%), 9 Black/African-American players (30%), 6 with Latino/Hispanic parentage (20%), and 1 Asian-American (Brian Ching is the son of a “Chinese American father and Caucasian American mother”).  In contrast, current estimates of the US population as a whole are 65% White, 15% Latino/Hispanic, 12% Black/African-American, and 4% Asian.  Overall, then, contrary to what you might expect “minorities” are actually disproportionately represented on the US national team.

The success of the children of immigrants is ultimately the most striking pattern in my analysis: the US 30 player roster really does seem to represent the old cliché of America as a melting pot.  By my count 60% of Team USA players (18 of the 30) have at least one parent who was born abroad (even including Landon Donovan—whose father was born in Canada).  In contrast, only two players were themselves born abroad (Stuart Holden, who was born in Scotland, and Benny Feilhaber, who was born in Brazil), and estimates for the whole US suggest the population includes only about 13% foreign-born residents of all types.  So what does that mean?

Obviously, there’s much more to it than that. A very interesting read. Go check it out.

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