Yesterday’s game was unusually uncomplicated. We might as well enjoy that while it lasts, because it probably won’t be too common.
Ramble of the Day
Anyone who follows the youth game in the US knows it is its own beast, with a lot of hurdles for lower income families and children of color. The simple critique is that, by charging high prices to enter competitive youth teams, clubs all over the country are leaving out a lot of talented players.
OL Reign forward Tziarra King spoke on a panel this week about her experiences as a Black girl in the American youth game, and also her experiences playing on youth teams that were not considered the very best. She outlines that the environment fostered is also a toxic one.
Among many resonant moments on @weareangelcity's panel tonight was this from @OLReign's South Jersey native @tziarra on the whiteness of American youth soccer: pic.twitter.com/blzHpC9nUq— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 24, 2021
How else can you describe an environment where players’ participation is questioned, and their talents not evaluated in a fair way? It’s a short look at a complex intersection of failings in the American youth game; if you’ve spent any amount of time paying attention, though, it does not come as a surprise. Still, it’s another example of roadblocks people put up, in bad faith or otherwise, that unfairly limits opportunities for others, creating truly unnecessarily inequalities.
tl;dr: OL Reign’s Tziarra King on her experiences of racism and classism in the American youth game.
Links of the Day
Former Atalanta youth player Willy Braciano Ta Bi died from liver cancer aged 21.
Aston Villa’s Tyreik Wright was racially abused on Instagram.
Bayern’s Jamal Musiala chose to represent Germany over England at the international level.
MLS suspended Orlando’s Jonathan Suarez after he was arrested on suspicion of rape.
A longer read: Steven Goff on NWSL’s new famous owners and investors, and how it serves both the league and its new members for The Washington Post