There has been a lot of discussion about whether our youth programs are open enough to players with roots in Mexico and Central America. There has been less discussion about African-Americans. Recent senior national teams have certainly had some significant African-American contributors, but let's look at their background ... Regis and Stewart were developed in Europe. Pope, Sanneh, and Cobi were developed in the US, but all were outsiders to the soccer scene -- Pope and Jones began college as walk-ons, while Sanneh ended up at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Even at the Olympic level, we haven't had much of an African-American presence... 1996 Olympic team -- Eddie Pope was the only African-American; Hamisi Amani-Dove was an alternate. 2000 Olympic team -- Evan Whitfield and Tim Howard sat the bench; Damarcus Beasley was an alternate. Brian West was also in the pool. This brings us to the 2004 Olympics. Most of us consider Beasley, Onyewu, Clark, and Buddle as important team members. There are several more African-American players in the pool ... Ricky Lewis, Nelson Akwari, Scot Thompson, David Stokes, and possibly Eddie Johnson. Most of these guys were members of youth regional or national teams ... this seems like an important sign of progress.