A soccer op-ed at the Washington Post said that fear and outrage were common feelings among the soccer community in the U.S. after President Donald Trump’s executive order to vet refugees, which led to travel restrictions for those coming from seven countries. The irony is that the op-ed admitted that no current American soccer player or any soccer professional playing in the U.S. are from the seven countries affected:
No current MLS players hail from the seven countries cited in Friday’s executive order, though two represent them. Toronto FC defender Steven Beitashour, born in Northern California to Iranian immigrants of Christian and Muslim faith, was a member of the Iranian World Cup squad in 2014. Columbus Crew attacker Justin Meram, a Christian from the Detroit area, plays for Iraq. Both are dual citizens who should be unaffected by the new guidelines.
But while the crackdown will not prevent MLS’s efforts to sign players from most countries, it threatens to create a perception that internationals are not welcome here…
There is also concern for players in MLS youth academies shielded by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The administration seems set on repealing a program that allows children of illegal immigrants brought to this country by their parents, primarily from Mexico, to receive temporary protection from deportation and work permits. The number of DACA players affiliated with MLS teams is unclear.
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