U.S. women's soccer star Hope Solo said at a sports conference Tuesday that playing has become so expensive for youths that "soccer in America right now is a rich white-kid sport," The Sporting News reported.
Solo, a goalkeeper who is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion, was speaking at the Hashtag Sports conference in New York. She said that one reason the U.S. men's national team failed to qualify for this year's World Cup was that the sport has become too expensive for Hispanics, blacks and rural players, TSN reported. That prevents the U.S. Soccer Federation from drawing from a more talented pool of youth soccer players, she said.
“We have alienated the Hispanic communities. We have alienated our black communities. We have alienated the underrepresented communities, even rural communities, so soccer in America right now is a rich white-kid sport," Solo said at the conference. "Then we have to ask ourselves: Well, no wonder why we are not qualifying for the World Cup when we have alienated a huge population of really talented youth soccer players. And that’s the state of the game right now.”
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