Soccer, the most international of sports, can’t escape real-world politics in wake of Trump’s executive order – Los Angeles Times

Sports are supposed to offer a relief from politics, except, of course, if the sport in question is soccer.

In that case, the sport is impossible to separate from the outside world, as U.S. national team midfielder Sacha Kljestan was reminded Sunday. The U.S. played against Serbia, his father’s homeland.

With President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration inspiring protests across the country, Kljestan could only think of his father’s story, which he called “the American Dream — the real American Dream.”

The story starts with a young man named Slavko running away from an abusive home in Yugoslavia and relocating to Canada, where his sister was living. Slavko later moved to the United States as an undocumented immigrant, entering the country in the trunk of an automobile. He hitchhiked to Southern California, picked up a phone book and dialed the numbers of people with Serbian-sounding names. He found a temporary home, worked, saved money and started a successful custom woodworking business in Orange County.

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