How US football is moving from the white suburbs to the mainstream

The United States is no longer a soccer desert. Cable TV carries all the English Premier League games, while MLS is attracting global stars like Kaka, Steven Gerrard and David Villa. The American public was enthralled by last year’s World Cup, with workers ducking out of the office to watch games in packed bars – just as they did in other football-mad countries.

But what about playing? Across the globe, the beautiful game is played by poor children who sometimes don’t even have shoes or a regulation ball. In America, soccer is seen as a sport played by middle-class suburban kids. Even the term “soccer mom” conjures up an image of a white, suburban mother shuttling her pre-teen kids to games in a plush minivan.

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