On June 16, Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes scored two goals against Ecuador to push the U.S. Men’s National Team forward in the Copa América, the oldest international continental football competition. The star players’ efforts propelled the U.S. team into the semi-final match against Argentina, which takes place tonight. While you may know their positions and stats, you might be surprised to learn that Dempsey and Zardes—along with seventeen other national team players—have dual citizenship.
Here are some additional facts about the U.S. team’s ties to immigration:
Darlington Nagbe is an outlier amongst the national team: He is the only player that was born abroad. He immigrated to the United States from Liberia at the young age of 11.
For most players, including Kyle Beckerman and Dempsey, their dual nationality is the result of their family heritage. Beckerman’s ancestors hailed from Germany, while Dempsey’s grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ireland.
For other players, like Alejandro Bedoya and Zardes, their immigrant history is more recent: Bedoya’s parents were born in Colombia and Zardes’ parents were born in Ghana, making these two players second-generation immigrant-Americans.
Learn more about the players’ immigrant histories here. Be sure to tune in tonight to support the USMNT in the semi-final match against Argentina!