As American As Women’s Soccer?

As American As Women’s Soccer? Scott
Stossel, The Atlantic Online
A strange conundrum has occurred in sports over the last century —
not only are women finally allowed and encouraged to play soccer,
but American women have emerged as some of the best players in the
world. Scott Stossel, writing for The Atlantic
Online,
explains why. Until recently, ‘U.S.A.’ and ‘soccer’
were not too closely associated. While the rest of the world kicked
a ball around a field, a jungle clearing, the sands of a desert, or
a snowy street, American men concentrated on the big four team
sports: baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Soccer was
relegated to P.E. class and reserved for boys who were too small
for football. And, oh yes, as a team sport for girls. Indeed,
soccer developed mainly as a women’s sport in the U.S., Stossel
notes, while it was almost exclusively a men’s sport throughout the
rest of the world. Women in other countries were usually
discouraged from playing, and sometimes actually banned from the
sport. Meanwhile, American women made the game their own and
excelled at it, winning the World Cup in 1999. So, while American
men are hustling to catch up with the rest of the world’s men on
the soccer field, American women are dominating. The WUSA is merely
the latest sign of that remarkable trend.
–Al Paulson
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