U.S. Soccer

MLK Day: One Nation. One Team.


“I have a Dream.” These four words, simple yet profound, echo especially loud today. In an era of great need, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s timeless message of equality and love animated a world previously stuck in black and white. On this MLK Day, U.S. Men’s National Team players took a moment to share how Dr. King’s words left an imprint on their lives, and to honor a man who made it possible for a team of all colors, languages, cultures and creeds to come together to represent one nation as one team.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


“He fought for equal rights for everybody. To be on a team made up of so many different ethnicities and religions, and that we’re able to get along, is a beautiful thing. So we owe a lot to Martin Luther King for the way he changed people and how they view things, allowing people to embrace one another for who they are on the inside and not what’s on the outside.”
- Clint Dempsey

“Let freedom ring!”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Growing up in Georgia and with Dr. Martin Luther King being from there, in the early stages of my life my parents would tell me about him, and how when they grew up and came to the country times were different. There’s a lot of history in the South with the movement for racial equality, and raising me on the principles of his vision and learning what he went through gave me insight into how I should be as an individual.”
- Sean Johnson 

“The ultimate measure of a man is
not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Whether you lose people in your life, whether you get injuries, or you get cut from teams, just the highs and lows, it’s something that everybody deals with – that rollercoaster of the ups and downs. Just try to keep a level head, keep fighting and grinding. I think the things that you work the hardest toward hold the most value in the end. He definitely had that fighting spirit to be able to stand up and speak when his life was threatened.”

- Clint Dempsey 

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

“Courage is what we need to show when we travel to other countries and hostile environments needing to get results. So you can make similarities there, but at the same time, it’s easier to go out and play a sport that you love to do than it is to go out there and try to change the world like he did.”
- Clint Dempsey 

“Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction there are
some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true,
that they’re worth dying for.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We’re still climbing and trying to get better, and we’ve taken a lot of strides from when he was alive, but I still think we’ve got a long way to go. To be able to play next to somebody from a different walk of life though, I think, is special. I think Dr. King would be proud.”
- Sean Johnson 


US Soccer

Remembering the Legacy of Walter Bahr

Walter Bahr was an American soccer icon, a renaissance man and one of the most beloved figures in the history of the sport in the United States. He excelled at the game at several levels, most notably as a member of the history-making U.S. Men’s National Team that upset England 1-0 at the 1950 FIFA World Cup. 

He also was a successful coach at Penn State University and became an ambassador of the game, heading the U.S. delegation for many international matches and competitions. He also was the patriarch of an athletically talented family that included three sons who played professional soccer and a daughter who was an all-American gymnast.

Bahr, who was the last surviving member of the 1950 U.S. team that stunned England and the rest of the world, passed away on June 18, 2018. Few, if any other players, enjoyed the influence Bahr had over his many decades being associated with the beautiful game.

ussoccer.com spoke with several colleagues, former players, opponents and people that Bahr inspired over the years about Walter Bahr, the man, and his influence in American soccer over seven decades.

He inspired countless players, coaches, fans, media and people through several generations. His impact went further than just another participant in the beautiful game.

Read more
MNT Jun 19, 2018