It’s not exactly news that when the American national soccer team plays against Mexico in Lost Angeles, hardly anyone is cheering the home team. Pat Buchanan reported some years ago that the national anthem was booed at a 1998 soccer game played in LA. And a lot more Mexicans live in southern California now than then.
Your humble correspondent has been observing for several years that the USA-Mexico soccer rivalry has become low-intensity warfare. It certainly keeps the police busy: at least 26 fans were arrested around the Rose Bowl after the Mexico team won, 4-2. (Boo!)
Another disturbing indicator of cultural decline: all of the post-game ceremony was conducted in Spanish.
Is America diverse enough yet?
U.S. soccer team booed in their own country as Mexican fans turn LA into an ‘away’ game, Daily Mail, June 26, 2011
If the U.S. soccer team were hoping for the home advantage during Saturday’s Gold Cup final then they were in for a nasty surprise.
Despite being the ‘home’ side in California’s Rose Bowl stadium, the majority of fans – most of them American born of naturalized Mexicans – booed and jeered the U.S. team.
The surprising scenes were followed by angry outbursts from U.S. team goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was visibly shaken after the entire post match ceremony was conducted in Spanish.
Speaking after the game, Howard said: ‘[tournament organisers] CONCACAF should be ashamed of themselves.
‘I think it was a [expletive] disgrace that the entire post match ceremony was in Spanish.
‘You can bet your ass that if we were in Mexico City, it wouldn’t be all in English.
‘It never ceases to amaze me all that stuff.’
Tempering his comments, the ex-Manchester United keeper added: ‘It was a good crowd today.
‘They were up for it, doing the wave, it was what we expected. We know it’s going to be like this.’
Speaking to the LA Times, Mexican supporter Victor Sanchez said: ‘I love this country, it has given me everything that I have, and I’m proud to be part of it.’
The 37-year-old Monrovia resident reflected the sentiment of most of the 93,000 strong crowd when he added: ‘But yet, I didn’t have a choice to come here, I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be.’
Despite the remarkable support for the Mexican side, head coach of the U.S. team Bob Bradley told reporters after the game his team were expecting the hostile crowd.
‘Obviously … the support that Mexico has on the night like tonight makes it a home game for them.
‘It’s part of something we have to deal with on the night.’
Speaking to the Times, American fan Roy Martinez was one of the few supporters present actually supporting the U.S.
He said: ‘I know, it’s strange, and when we got here, we were a little worried.
Wrapped in an American flag he led USA cheers outside the stadium, trying to gee up the home side.
The game came after it emerged this week ethnic minorities now make up the majority of babies in the United States.
It is the first time that this has been the case and the change reflects a growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and predominantly minority youths that could reshape government policies.
Preliminary census estimates also show the share of African-American households headed by women – made up of mostly single mothers – now exceeds African-American households with married couples, a sign of declining U.S. marriages overall but also continuing challenges for black youths without involved fathers.
The findings, based on the latest government data, offer a preview of final 2010 census results being released this summer that provide detailed breakdowns by age, race and householder relationships such as same-sex couples.
Demographers say the numbers provide the clearest confirmation yet of a changing social order, one in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the U.S. majority by the middle of the century.
Currently, non-Hispanic whites make up just under half of all three-year-olds, which is the youngest age group shown in the Census Bureau’s October 2009 annual survey, its most recent.
In 1990, more than 60 per cent of children in that age group were white.
Long after the game finished Mexico supporters remained, bouncing up and down as they chanted and cheered for their team.
The American’s were not even spared in the trophy ceremony after Mexico’s 4-2 win – booed for one final time as they were announced as runners up.
Speaking after the game, another fan summed up the mood for many American-Mexican fans.
He said: ‘We’re not booing the country, we’re booing the team.
‘There is a big difference.’