That’s forward Rosella Ayane at the top today.
Ramble of the Day
Yesterday, I was suddenly reminded of a very silly game of one-upmanship we play in the United States: labelling our cities as the destination for soccer/football in the country. A very simple search of “soccer city usa” on Twitter, the buzzy label so many are eager to attach to their cities, yields these results on the first page:
- Top 5 reasons Portland is indeed Soccer City USA | NBC Sports
- Seattle - not Portland - is Soccer City USA | The Oregonian
- USA Today asking where Soccer City, USA is and answering with Seattle, Los Angeles, and St. Louis
If you change up the search query a little bit to “soccer capital usa,” you get a few more contenders:
- The official tourism website for Kansas City labels it the soccer capital of America
- Soccer Made in St. Louis: A History of the Game in America’s First Soccer Capital, a book by Dave Lange
From my memory alone, I think I have the louder contenders covered but I’m sure there are people in many other places making the claim for their city. (I remember for certain seeing one person claim it for New York once, but not in the type of venue that means it would pop up easily in a Google search.)
The main argument in favor of a city is the fanbase, a combination of support for the MLS team and the national teams. As a city whose MLS team won’t begin play until 2023, St. Louis’ argument is one based in history. (Special mention for Kearny, New Jersey, which doesn’t really try to claim the title of Soccer City, USA, or of a city, but gets mentioned a lot as a historically relevant town in American soccer history.) These are inherently hard arguments to win — fanbases are hard to compare if they all meet the criteria of filling stadiums and being loud.
Really, though, I’m here to argue that this is an argument I do not care for. I am cool going as far as saying x city has a good soccer culture, or y team in x city has a great fanbase that creates a fun atmosphere in the stadium. It’s a battle that a lot of people don’t really care to argue, either; I don’t think it’s been a massive topic of conversation in a while (though I could be wrong on this). That’s why I always find it slightly amusing when people continue staking their claims in big and (mostly) small ways — it’s a little thing that few care to legislate.
tl;dr: A short recap on the small beef of finding Soccer City, USA.
Stay informed, read this: Hannah Withiam interviews basketball players Candice Dupree and Amanda Zahui B. on Pride month and the impact of advocacy for Just Women’s Sports
Links of the Day
Frank de Boer left his job as the Netherlands manager after failing to reach the quarterfinals of the Euros.
Supporters in England will not be able to travel to Rome for the team’s Euro quarterfinal because of COVID-19 travel protocols in Italy.
A documentary about the European Soccer League from James Corden’s production company is in the works at Sky.
A longer read: Tariq Panja on the messy 23 days Gennaro Gattuso spent as the Fiorentina manager for The New York Times