Women’s soccer is a big deal in the U.S. every four years during the Women’s World Cup because it wasn’t, until recently, a big deal in the rest of the world, allowing the U.S. team to win three women’s World Cups. For example, in their first game yesterday, the U.S. ladies defeated the Thai team 13-0, which says something about how seriously women’s soccer is taken in many countries that a team that bad can make the World Cup.
Anyway, the US women’s team of 23 players appears to feature 18 whites, 2 blacks, and 3 who appear to have black fathers and white mothers. I didn’t see anybody who appeared to be Hispanic or Asian, although I could be missing somebody who is a little of one of those.
Soccer in the US, both for boys and girls, is a famously middle class undertaking, oriented toward playing a lot of games and getting college scholarships. In a serious soccer country like the Netherlands, boys start young at drilling constantly one on one with a ball rather than jogging up down the field in an 11 on 11 game, with its dearth of touches of the ball. No Dutch kid who is any good dreams of going to college. He hopes to be a pro at 16.
The U.S. system isn’t at all good at winning the men’s World Cup, but, if you ask me, it seems better than the Dutch system for giving kids some healthy exercise on their way to a decent life.
But in the less competitive women’s World Cup, the American way of soccer seems to work fine.
There’s a lot to be said for institutions that are less competitive.