Inter-ethnic Solidarity Through Soccer
People who might be segregated in bars or restaurants with like-minded fans get to mingle with each other while watching games in the public square. "Only two countries are playing, but if you look at the faces, there are different types: young, old, black, white, brown. They are all here celebrating in the city plaza," said Colin Schmidt, executive director of America SCORES, a nonprofit that teaches soccer and poetry to students.
But nowhere is "interracial integration" so apparent as on the soccer field itself, writes Gerardo Fernández for the San Jose-based Spanish-language newspaper Alianza News.
For example, 15 of the 23 players on Team U.S.A have at least one parent who is an immigrant -- from Haiti, Nigeria, Brazil and Austria, and Scotland.
The four Mexican Americans on Team U.S.A. saw their "American dream" come true, Fernández writes, "even at a time when laws are attempting to separate young people like them from their families, and to remove their citizenship rights if their parents are undocumented."