World Cup Soccer News: Greg Siskind on the Need for Speed

World Cup Soccer News: Greg Siskind on the Need for Speed

"Norwegian-born Mix Diskerud has played for Team USA for five years after previously representing his native country in international play.  Diskerud is technically not an immigrant as his mother is a US citizen, but as he was born and raised in Norway, I’ll count him.  There are actually several Team USA members born abroad to American parents, but they were children of servicemen and mainly raised in the US.  So I’m not writing about them.  There’s actually a reason why there aren’t a lot of immigrants on the US squad.  FIFA rules require a player to be a citizen of the country for whom they are playing.  So that means getting permanent residency and then making the US your main place of residence for five years.  That can mean missing several World Cups and Olympic Games and many players who would like to become American and play for our team end up playing for other countries where there are avenues to expedite citizenship. The US used to allow athletes to speed up the naturalization process via a private bill in Congress, but it has been many years since that was the case.  It would be nice if there was some way to speed up the residency process for those wishing to compete for America." - Greg Siskind, June 19, 2014.