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The Universal Nature of Soccer


TV report transcript

Soccer has long-been a popular sport worldwide, but during the past 15 years, youngsters in America have been taking more of an interest in the game. Mohamed Elshinnawi produced this story. Kimberly Russell narrates.

Brian Caroll, a professional soccer player with the DC United Club in Washington, D.C., says that youth clubs have helped increase children's interest in soccer and produced professional players.

BRIAN CAROLL, DC UNITED

"There are a lot of good coaches,and that competitive atmosphere made it a good environment to play in and grown up in."

With America's recent success in the World Cup games--it made the quarterfinals in 2002--an increasing number of boys and girls in America are beginning to play soccer for local clubs. The games are held at soccer fields at school or neighborhood parks.

The number and diversity of immigrants in the U.S. has also brought more life to the American game.

Harry Opuku is a soccer coach -- an immigrant from Ghana -- who once coached DC United's Brian Caroll.

HARRY OPUKU, SOCCER COACH

"I had him at the age of five and kept him for ten years or more. He is a hard worker and he started here on this field."

Freddy Adu, also an immigrant from Ghana, is the youngest player on an American professional soccer team. He is 15. Many American youngsters consider him a role model and attend DC United's games to see him play.

To expose more youngsters to soccer, organizations like DC Scores provide free soccer training for underprivileged schoolchildren in Washington, D.C. Holly O'Donnell, the Executive Director of DC Scores, says 630 children are enrolled in the program.

HOLLY O'DONNELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DC SCORES

"And they play soccer and do creative writing five days a week after school."

As soccer gains popularity in America, more European teams, such as Nottingham Forest, frequently travel to America to play professional teams like DC United and other American teams. The games attract large crowds for one of America's fasting-growing sports.

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