Washington’s soccer community is a tapestry of cultures and backgrounds, crossing ethnic, economic and generational boundaries. It unites Salvadoran immigrants in Langley Park with Koreans in Annandale and mixes the young, hip crowd with the white-collar. From Annapolis to Manassas and Fredericksburg to Frederick, soccer embodies the area’s rich diversity and tells stories of who we are and from where we came. With the World Cup, the planet’s most popular sporting event, two weeks from kickoff in Brazil, The Washington Post profiles five individuals with deep emotional ties to soccer through divergent life experiences.
Thanks to Len Oliver, Emile M’bouh, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, Willie Ibarra and Paul Hill for participating in the project.
From the past to the present, the U.S. national team will play the first of three World Cup tune-ups tonight against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. ESPN2 and UniMas will provide live coverage, starting at 10 p.m. ET. Before the U.S. match, ESPN2 will carry Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls (8 p.m.). Remaining tickets for Sunday’s U.S. friendly against Turkey at Red Bull Arena will go on sale Wednesday. U.S. video preview: