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mates," said Hejduk in a statement. [url=htt

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- That USC and West Virginia will play for a national championship on Sunday in the Bay Area is the byproduct of the intersection of sport and society. Originally scheduled for Cary, North Carolina, the Womens College Cup was relocated westward this fall, as part of a larger NCAA response to North Carolinas controversial House Bill 2. Along with similar moves by the NBA and ACC, the NCAA said the legislation was incompatible with its standards of inclusivity.But the fact that USC and West Virginia are the teams still standing lends Sundays game a message of inclusivity that the NCAA itself has long struggled to achieve in womens soccer.The cover photo on West Virginias postseason media guide features five players, all women of color. Their coach could become the second woman in a row and the third in five years to lead a team to the national title. That after just one female head coach won a title in the first 30 years of the tournament.If Nikki Izzo-Brown isnt the winning coach, USCs Keidane McAlpine will become the second coach of color to win a national championship and the first who is a product of American soccer (legendary Portland coach Clive Charles was raised in England). Both teams feature American-born players of Hispanic heritage who represent Mexico internationally.The national championship game is going to look a lot like the nation. When the final begins, slightly more than half the players on the field will be something other than white. That hasnt always been the case.As a player myself, I was often the only [African-American] on my team, said McAlpine, an Alabama product who played collegiately at Birmingham Southern. So to have this kind diversity in a game of this magnitude, I think, will continue to grow the game as we need it to in this country and, obviously, in many others. I think its a wonderful, wonderful thing for the sport and for the game.In the 1999-2000 season, the first for which the NCAA publishes demographic data, Division I womens soccer was 84 percent white. As recently as 2007-08, it was 83 percent white. This season, it was 71 percent white. The 1999-2000 NCAA data counted 377 players in Black or Hispanic/Latino demographic categories. The combined total this season is 1,266.For those who lament political correctness or identity politics, there is an entirely functional soccer component to this discussion. The more people who play soccer, the larger the talent pool and the better the sport. Look at the womens national teams of a country such as France, which just this past week finished ahead of the United States in the Under-20 Womens World Cup and which in little more than a decade has diversified its talent pool and gone from global afterthought to perennial, if thus far still frustrated, championship contender.But international competitiveness, or even a better college game, isnt the primary reason to pay attention to the diversity on display Sunday. If amateur sports ever matter in an objective sense, it is as a classroom and a blueprint.When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first drew attention for kneeling during the national anthem, the same debate that played out around the country took place in the USC locker room. A few players wanted to follow suit before a game earlier this year. Others disagreed.Everyone grows up in a different way, said midfielder Kayla Mills, one of those moved by Kaepernicks protests. Everyone has different backgrounds. Different things are emphasized to different people. But the point of it all was just to know -- it was a respectful environment. Everyone showed love for everyone else and tried to empathize with what people were going through. I think that was important to see. But I think what we learned is that there are very few things that are bigger than soccer, and in some moments, some people have to adhere to those bigger things in those moments.No consensus was reached, and no conversions were required. Some knelt. Others did not. There was talking but also listening. It didnt sow dissension. The players held together through a penalty shootout and three consecutive 1-0 wins to reach the championship game. McAlpine identified the conversation, which he said included its share of tears and anger, as one of his proudest moments as a coach.We share the ability to have differences in this country, McAlpine said. And thats OK. But we are united in our goal ... in the game that were in right now. That was sort of the focus. Its OK to be different. Its OK to have different opinions. But family is family, and lord knows all of our families dont always get along. But somehow, were still family, and we still love each other.That McAlpine was even there in that moment had at least a little something to do with College Cups played more than a decade ago. That was when Charles guided the University of Portland to national prominence and eventually a championship in 2002, just a year before cancer killed him. Then testing the waters of a career while coaching at his alma mater, McAlpine said it mattered to see someone who looked like him at the top of the profession.West Virginia standout Ashley Lawrence said much the same thing about her coach on Saturday. Asked to compare her experience playing for Izzo-Brown with playing for John Herdman on the Canadian national team, she struggled to draw an on-field distinction based on gender. All coaches have their own philosophies. Ability divides individuals far more than gender in that scenario. Herdman and Izzo-Brown are both good at what they do, but Lawrence said that when it came to her own coaching aspirations, seeing a woman succeed had power.Although North Carolina coach Anson Dorrances 21 NCAA titles skew the historical data for all peers, male or female, the lack of titles won by female coaches reflects womens relative scarcity in the coaching ranks as a whole.Especially when I was younger and maybe a little less established, maybe I had to prove myself a little differently than I do now, Izzo-Brown said. Ive never looked at it that way. Ive never looked at it as me in an unfair profession. Ive just worked hard and done the best of my ability and tried to be the best coach I could be. ... But I would be denying the fact that there have been some [missed] opportunities and maybe respect issues just because I was a woman.But my whole philosophy on that was if they really get to know me, and they see how hard I work and what quality I bring as a coach, it wont be a problem.What people have seen recently, in addition to Jill Ellis coaching the United States to a World Cup title, is UCLAs Amanda Cromwell and Penn States Erica Dambach winning NCAA titles.The degree to which Sunday is more trend than aberration is debatable. It is notable that West Virginia is perhaps the most diverse team in title game history, in no small part because of a Canadian contingent that includes Kadeisha Buchanan, Lawrence, Easther Mayi Kith, Amandine Pierre-Louis and Carla Portillo (all but Mayi Kith are on the media guide cover). Diversifying the sport in this country remains a work in progress; only three of the eight quarterfinal coaches were women.All the same, Sunday will look different than most seasons past.We do represent diversity, and I love it, Izzo-Brown said. It is just incredible when I see the team out there and just so much diversity. It is wonderful to see so many young women playing and choosing the sport that I love and Im so passionate about. And then for me to be able to put these role models in front of young players is just incredible. ...If my team is that diverse team that can touch some young players, and they can see their faces in some of my players, that makes me feel so good because I have three young daughters.Sunday is, at root, a soccer game. There is a championship up for grabs, one that will depend on USCs finding a way to solve Buchanan and West Virginias stingy defense. Once the anthem plays and the whistle blows, the outcome will be decided by actions -- not demographics.But before that, take a look at those on the field.Our team has people from so many different places, backgrounds, religions, everything, USC senior defender Savannah Levin said. Its become kind of a safe place to open up discussions and just be who you are.If you want a reason that Sundays final matters, there you have it. Cheap Green Bay Packers Jerseys .C. -- Al Jefferson joked that he feels he can score from anywhere on the court. Cheap NFL Jerseys China . The (11-11-4) Jets are seventh in the Central Division with 26 points. Fifth place Dallas and sixth-seeded Nashville also have 26 points, but the Stars have three games in hand on Winnipeg while Nashville has two. http://www.wholesalejerseysnfloutlet.com/ . "I was fortunate to play many years at this level with a great organization and unbelievable teammates," said Hejduk in a statement. Cheap Arizona Cardinals Jerseys . -- Edmontons Val Sweeting is two wins away from a trip to Winnipeg to play in Canadas Road of the Rings in December. Cheap Chicago Bears Jerseys . Aduriz headed home Markel Susaetas cross in the sixth minute to open the scoring at San Mames Stadium. He bettered that with a long-range blast that went in off the goal frame in the 18th, and converted a penalty in the 72nd after Diego Mainz was sent off for fouling Aduriz with only the goalkeeper to beat.LONDON - The English Football Association will be able to punish players retrospectively in the Premier League next season if match officials are not in position to properly assess incidents of foul play. The FA announced the amendment to its rules on Friday. 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