Letís Ďbring oní the United Soccer League
by Ray Sanchez©
I once wrote that we Americans are funny. We invent or develop a sport like football, basketball or baseball and call ourselves world champions although few other countries play those sports.
But, really, there is only one world sport, and thatís soccer. It only takes a ball and an open space to kick it around so it has become popular throughout the world, even in small countries.
Yet, the United States has never won a World Cup.
Oh, we demean the sport because weíre not successful at it but that doesnít change the fact that itís the only true world sport and that itís watched by more people throughout the world than any other sport.
THATíS WHY IíM delighted to see El Paso get a United Soccer League franchise. The more people playing soccer, the better our chances are for competing. Shucks, we didnít even qualify for the World Cup this year.
El Paso athletes, even in high school, have shown some potential. Del Valle High School, for instance, has even won a couple of Texas state soccer championships under coach Bruce Reichman.
WHATíS MORE, as the groupís press release states, the United Soccer League will be a boon to the economic development and quality of life in our city.
The El Paso team along with 34 other U.S. cities as well as two in Canada, will begin play in March of 2019 at the home of the El Paso Chihuahuas (Southwest University Park).
I say bring it on.
TRIVIA QUESTION: How many Texas state basketball titles have our city high school teams won? Answer at end of column.
HAVE YOU SEEN the fall issue of UTEP Magazine? Wow. It has a photo of UTEP president Diana Natalicio when she was young Ė in shorts.
What a beautiful young lady. Iím glad more than ever that I once picked her as one of El Pasoís Most Beautiful People, not only for her looks but for what she accomplished in making UTEP one of the best universities in the country.
Iím so sorry she will be retiring soon.
THE TEXAS HALL of Fame is accepting votes for its 2019 inductees. As a member, Iím going to vote for former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
He did an extraordinary job for the team. I know. I know. He didnít get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl but he could have at least twice.
In one game that would have got them there wide receiver Roy Williams dropped a pass right in his mitts in the end zone.
Then there was wide receiver Dez Bryantís catch in another such game. He made the catch but the ball dropped out of his hands when he hit the ground and the refs ruled, erroneously, that he had fumbled.
A panel of experts later ruled that Bryant had taken the necessary steps but it was too late.
WHAT A TREAT. Former Coronado High School and UTEP golfer Greg Yellin will get to play one of the most prestigious golf courses in the country, Pebble Beach, in California.
You see, he won the U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament in Albuquerque by shooting rounds of 66 and 70, a stunning eight under par, to qualify for the 118th U.S. Amateur championship on Aug. 13 through 19.
Hereís the most interesting thing about young Mr. Yellin. He was just a redshirt on the UTEP golf team last season so he seems to have surprised even himself. ďI still canít wrap my head around it, me playing at Pebble Beach in about a month,Ē Yellin said. ďItís going to be incredible.Ē
Good luck, Greg.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Five. El Paso High School has won four state titles and Eastwood High School one.
Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.raysanchezbooks.com
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