‘Di­ver­sity of US team’ re­flects true Amer­ica

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

COLUM­BUS: A day be­fore tak­ing on Mex­ico in a highly-charged clash, United States mid­fielder Ale­jan­dro Be­doya says the di­verse make-up of the na­tional team is a “true rep­re­sen­ta­tion of what Amer­ica is all about”. The al­ways fiery World Cup qual­i­fier be­tween the two coun­tries comes in the week of Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as US pres­i­dent af­ter a cam­paign which fea­tured con­tro­ver­sial rhetoric from the Repub­li­can about il­le­gal im­mi­grants from Mex­ico.

The game also takes place in Ohio, one of the rust belt states which helped de­liver vic­tory for Trump in Tues­day’s bal­lot. Florida-born Be­doya, who is of Colom­bian de­scent, has not hid­den his op­po­si­tion to Trump dur­ing the cam­paign and while stress­ing he didn’t want the game to be ‘politi­cized’ of­fered a re­minder of the make-up of the US team. “The one thing that I am very proud about is to be part of the US na­tional team and the di­ver­sity that you see on this team - this a true rep­re­sen­ta­tion of what Amer­ica is all about,” said Be­doya.

The Amer­i­can team is coached by Ger­man Juer­gen Klins­mann and fea­tures play­ers from a mul­ti­tude of eth­nic back­grounds. De­fend­ers Omar Gon­za­lez and Michael Orozco are both Cal­i­for­ni­ans from Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can fam­i­lies, who play for clubs in the Mex­i­can league. Jer­maine Jones, Fabian John­son, John Brooks, Ju­lian Green and Ti­mothy Chan­dler are all from mixed Ger­man and African-Amer­i­can parent­age while likely start­ing for­ward Jozy Alti­dore is from a Haitian-Amer­i­can fam­ily and his strike part­ner Bobby Wood was born in Hawaii of Ja­panese and African-Amer­i­can her­itage. “The di­ver­sity on this team is a truly awe­some thing,” said Be­doya who added he did not ex­pect any in­sults or ten­sion be­tween the two sets of sup­port­ers at the sta­dium. “I think every­one brings their pas­sion here. This is what the beau­ti­ful game is all about. Soc­cer has al­ways been a sport that has been able to unite many peo­ple. I would think that every­one comes out here, pas­sion­ate as al­ways,” said the winger. “This Colum­bus crowd has al­ways been a good pro-Amer­i­can crowd and is the rea­son why we play these games here. The at­mos­phere is awe­some and one of kind and that is what peo­ple will bring here and hope­fully noth­ing else. There is no need for neg­a­tive chants from ei­ther side. “Peo­ple want to politi­cize this game but I don’t think there is a need for that,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.