December 5, 2022


Should the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Be Paid Equally?

In the article, “Stuff You Should Know: Women’s History Month: Equal Pay for U.S. Women’s Soccer Team”(McGraw Hill) I learned that the women’s national soccer team had won two consecutive World Cup championships but they are still getting paid less than men. The men’s team did not qualify for the 2018 championships. Members of the women’s soccer team filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation to demand equal pay. They went to court against the U.S. Soccer Federation and they responded in such a horrible way. “ Male players deserved to be paid more because of the superior speed and strength required to play men’s soccer.” At the end of February 2022, the lawsuit was finalized, and is now receiving over 22 million dollars in back pay. 

I believe that women should be paid equally. They are doing the same job as men and deserve equal pay. At times they have been far more successful than men in soccer. Women can be just as strong and competitive as men are.

Do you believe the U.S. Should the Women’s Soccer Team should be paid equally? 

Women’s History Month: Equal Pay for U.S. Women’s Soccer Team

The players have won a landmark settlement with the sports federation, which has agreed to pay $24 million in compensation for salary discrimination. Members of the US women’s national soccer team have won a landmark battle for equal pay. Soccer has agreed to pay a lump sum of $22 million in back pay to the players, ESPN reports, which will be distributed in a manner proposed. Members of the US women’s soccer team have reached a landmark agreement with their governing body to end a six-year legal battle over equal pay.

They “should” be paid the same by the US Soccer Federation. The women’s team were offered the same deal the men got. But the female football team made more than the men’s this year.” Keyword being this year. If they want equal pay now they have to understand Less than 1% difference in revenue generated per each teamWomen were paid 25% more than the men overall, and 4% more on a per game basis.

What happened with the U.S. women’s soccer team?

“One Life” by Megan Rapinoe

I recently read “One Life”, the autobiography of USWNT veteran Megan Rapinoe. I received the book as a gift and never got around to reading it, so I decided to read it for AP Lang this semester. I recommend “One Life” to anyone who is looking to better understand the experience of being a female athlete in today’s world.

Rapinoe formats the book as a chronological retelling of the most important events in her life. She begins by describing her childhood and her discovery of soccer. She discusses her relationship with her parents and siblings, specifically her twin sister Rachel and older brother Bryan and how his drug addiction affected life at home. Then Rapinoe recalls her time playing college soccer for the Portland Pilots and the major injuries she received that only furthered her love for the game. The rest of the book is about Rapinoe’s time on the US Women’s national team, from her first call to play with the team to her most recent World Cup. She also explains her experience as a gay athlete, and how this led her to become advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Additionally, she talks about the inequality many professional female athletes face where they are payed much less than their male counterparts. Overall, “One Life” is about Rapinoe’s fight to make the world a more accepting, equal place.

Rapinoe’s writing style is casual and conversational, as if she’s having a chat with the reader. The overall tone is light and informative, but it becomes more serious at times. These various tones can be seen in lines like “The final against Japan was a nail-biter,” (97) and “…he was a real cheerleader just when I need one, and I will always be grateful to him” (99).

To sum up, if you are looking to learn more about Rapinoe’s life, the world of professional athletes, or what it’s like to be a gay female athlete and activist, this book is definitely worth the read.

Funny and Chill

I am Diego. Something important to know about me is that I love to play soccer. I am funny and I am a chill person. My family is from Guatemala. I was born in New York in Sunset Park.  Sunset Park is a chill place and sometimes it could be loud. The school that  I went to was in Park Slope. I was in an online school and it felt different. Something important that happened to me was when I went to Guatemala and they surprised me because it was my first time they had fireworks and they made food and we just started to talk with the family.

One thing I like to do in school is to play sports. I am good at Gym because it is my favorite class to have. I enjoy hanging out with my friends or playing video games with my friends. I am good at playing soccer. It is one of my favorite sports to play. I got good at it by practicing and also playing with my cousin. One of my struggles is math because I am not good at math. Also, it is not my favorite subject.

I am lucky to have my whole family because they help me a lot and they also are there when I need them too. My family helps me with homework sometimes when I am struggling.

Pro at 13

Olivia Moultrie is only 13, but she’s already changing the rules of women’s soccer. 

In February, she formally turned pro, signing a contract with a sports agency and endorsement with Nike. 

Have you heard of her?

Though it has long been common for boys in the U.S. to skip college to pursue soccer careers, only a few girls have tried it so far. But Olivia has been on an unconventional path for years. She began training at 7, started homeschooling in fifth grade to free her schedule for soccer, and became the first girl to play for a boys’ club team in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system. 

Now she might join the National Women’s Soccer League as a developmental player if the league lowers the minimum age from 18.

 While some question Olivia’s decision to forgo college, many expect other young girls to follow her path. “It’s just a shift in women’s sports,” says Olivia’s agent, Spencer Wadsworth.

“Women’s soccer is catching up to the men’s side, and there’s more opportunities for them.”

Do you agree?

Remembering Your Worth

“Whatever happened to that confident little girl? The girl who adored the game and the girl who did not care about what other people thought.”

My mom always asked me this question, but I was always unsure of the answer. I often pondered this question but was never able to answer it until this year.

As I think back on my soccer career, I started to realize where I was and where I am today. Originally, I started at a soccer club called Oswego Panthers where the girls truly felt like a family and a place where the coach was positive. But the coach did not think it was challenging enough for me so he recommended me to a top team in Illinois called Chicago Magic.

Chicago Magic was relatively a new club at the time and I was eager to start a new journey. However, after getting to know the coaches and the girls I knew that this team wasn’t for me. The coach began accepting bribes from other parents in order to put them on the field instead of playing the players who deserved it. The players began to harass me as well, bringing their parents involved to make the situation worse than before. After not getting what they wanted, they started a fistfight on the side of the field where ten-year-old girls looked in dismay to see their parents thrusting punches across the dark emerald-colored field.

This then was the first time my self-confidence plummeted. To this day, it still continues even with a second new start in which the girls continuously used their parents to get what they want and bully me until my body felt numb. My body dysmorphia, anxiety, and depression controlled me like I was a puppet being pulled in each direction by a thousand tiny little strings. Thousands upon thousands of therapy bills and travel soccer bills began to pile up and I began to ponder the question of why did I do this to myself?

Five years later, I am starting to realize that it wasn’t my fault. Why would I be blaming myself? The only person to blame is the bully. For example, “Bullies, on the other hand, may become more aggressive; their friends may include other bullies. Bullying behavior may be a mechanism to cope with stress or abuse in their lives. They may play the “blame game,” resisting responsibility for their actions. Unexplained extra money or possessions are also warning signs” ( This quote shows how bullies are blaming you which causes stress leading to the constant questioning of your values. By heading these signs of bullying, we are better able to help prevent it from happening in the future. 

Taking a step back I realize that this bullying constantly affected my mental health and confidence. According to, “Bullying can affect mental, physical and emotional health during school years and into adulthood. It can lead to physical injury, social or emotional problems and in some cases, even death. Bullied children and teens are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and sometimes long-term damage to self-esteem.”

Overall, this compares to my real-life example because it shows how bullying can damage your mental health and bring you down to nothing. You constantly question yourself if you are good enough or if you deserve to be loved. But the truth is, you deserve everything good in the world and once you start believing in yourself, you will be an unstoppable force of good.

I was able to help myself get over things through quotes and family members. This quote especially stood out to me during tough times:

Works Cited

“Shay Mitchell Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore,

“The Effects of Bullying on Mental Health.” Best Day Psychiatry & Counseling, 1 Dec. 2020,

Soccer Is Life Right?



Soccer Is Life Right?

Everyone in America says “Ball is life.” Why can’t we say Soccer is life? Why can’t we support soccer in America?  

Firstly, soccer is under supported in the US because Americans have not yet seen themselves “win” at soccer. The United States soccer team has won the Concacaf Gold Cup 6 times which makes them the second team with the most Concacaf Gold Cups with Mexico being the first with 7. But think about it, the United States hasn’t really had success in the World Cup and that’s where it matters the most. The farthest they made it in the World Cup was in 2002, they made it into the quarter-finals where they lost 1-0 to Germany. They also weren’t able to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. So soccer isn’t that popular in America because the United States isn’t really great at soccer and it’s one of the sports where America doesn’t dominate. This shows that Americans want is to win. If the US wins, they will be there supporting them but as soon as the US starts losing fans stop supporting the US and act like they weren’t cheering for them. So the American fan base for soccer isn’t really loyal.

Another reason why Soccer hasn’t made it to the top in America is about a misunderstanding in Soccer culture: the love of Flopping. Flopping is when a person pretty much dives when they are barely touch or they over exaggerate. A soccer coach that coaches at Life Academy, an Oakland High School named Royce Curtis said, “I think it’s interesting that there’s a lot diving in basketball but they don’t make it that noticeable” (Curtis). Curtis raised a very important point, there’s a lot of flopping in soccer especially by the best players like Ronaldo, Suarez, Neymar etc. But there is also flopping by the best players in the NBA like Lebron James and James Harden but people only point out when soccer players flop but they don’t point out when basketball players flop in the US. Other countries love the flopping and love talking about it.

Thirdly, American’s love high scoring games. Football games get to the 50s, basketball gets over 100. Curtis confirms and said “Americans like high scoring games”(Curtis). This is true because Football is a sport Americans love and that’s a high scoring game because a touchdown is 7 points. Basketball is another sport Americans love watching and it’s a high scoring sport with there being a 3 point shoot and a close/mid range shot being worth 2 points. While in soccer every goal is only worth 1 point so people will most likely get bored while watching soccer because it’s a low scoring sport.

Moreover, soccer hasn’t risen in America because of the lack of green space and fields to play. Curtis said, “There’s not enough fields or green spaces” (Curtis). In Oakland there are not too many open soccer fields the only fields that are available are school fields and if people see us playing in them they consider it trespassing so players pretty much have to go somewhere out of Oakland just so they can play soccer. So Oakland should have more soccer fields so people can play soccer because nobody is trying to go somewhere pretty far just so we can play soccer.

However, Soccer has a lot of fantastic perks that come with it. In an article titled, “Why do Americans Dislike Soccer?” by John Tauer Ph.D. The article was countering perspectives about soccer. Tauer said, “It [Soccer] breeds teamwork, conditioning, coordination, and discipline, among other positive qualities”(Tauer). This proves how soccer is actually a really good sport. It’s not just fun to play, it also has a lot of perks that come with it just how Tauer explained in his article. Also this is one of the reasons why OUSD shouldn’t cut soccer because it brings so much perks with it.


Finally, soccer is not “life” yet in the US and in Oakland because it has a lack of resources. Curtis said, “There’s interest but not enough resources” (Curtis). This connects back to people not caring much about soccer because schools can get enough resources for soccer but they choose not to because they don’t support soccer. There are  students in schools that really like and support soccer. So the school staff should think about others opinion not just the majority opinion which prioritizes basketball and football over soccer.

In conclusion, Soccer isn’t supported by Americans because they haven’t seen themselves “win” in soccer. A major misunderstanding in soccer culture is the love of Flopping. Americans love high scoring sports and soccer is a low scoring sport. Additionally, soccer hasn’t risen in America because lack of green spaces and fields. Lastly because of the lack of RESOURCES provided by schools and the city of Oakland.


Work Cited:

Curtis , Royce. “Interview with Royce Curtis.” 12 Dec. 2018.

This interview was about soccer. Royce Curtis played soccer and now is a soccer coach at a school. “2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.”, FIFA,

This article was showing the Fifa World Cup statistics. This is a credible source because it was made by FIFA.


Tauer, John. “Why Do Americans Dislike Soccer?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 24 June 2010,

This article is about countering perspectives that people have about soccer. This is a credible source because it was made by John Tauer and he has made a lot of different sport articles so that means he loves other sports not just soccer.

What Soccer Really Is About



Let’s began with a simple explanation of to what soccer is about.

Soccer is a sport game played by two teams of eleven players with a round ball that cannot touch nor your hands or arms during play time except by goalkeepers on each team. The main point on this sport is to score goals against each other by either kicking the ball or heading it into the opposing goalkeeper.  

Soccer might not seem like much for some people but it sure damn does to lots of us.

Soccer is something that cannot just be played,

It’s something that has to be played with passion.


Of the date, June 29, 2014. A friend and I were watching our national soccer team Mexico, playing against the Netherlands was an intense game. My national soccer team Mexico seemed like they had control over the game until a tragic happens. Player 11 from the opposite team, such a great player, was just good enough to fake a foul inside the are on the goalie. Which lead to a penalty, which then lead to the goal, defeating my countries’ team.


My soul, teared up. I was so upset I dropped to the ground. And so my friend said


“It’s just a game, relax. ”
Just a game?
A game from the sport I love
A sport that, like many other are passionate about.
I just laugh.
Soccer is not just a game
Soccer is a indescribable thing that was created by our ancestor in hopes of creating something that will help go through rough times.
I play soccer
I love it.
I served my team, as they served me.
The dribble of the ball
The curve effect that it gains when you kick the ball,  The feeling of the beautiful grass I sense when i go out there for the first time every game.
This feeling is indescribable.

The soccer field is like a second home. Always here and there. Soccer is love. Soccer is my drug. Soccer is life.

Falling In Love With Soccer


This Is a short story on how supportive my family is towards my decision.

How Do We Own And Tell Our Own Story, Starting With Our Name?

Five letters are put together

Those five letter build up the name Oscar.

That’s me, that’s the name my parents came up with and gave me at birth.

I was unique for having that name in every school I went to.

This is because I was the only Oscar in every school I attended.

I never thought hard as a rock

To find out what my name meant exactly until I searched it up.

I didn’t really find a meaning but instead something that matches my personality.

Which was being shy, quiet, and cooperative, which is what I believe defines me.

Being shy as a mole hiding in its hole was very unfortunate in my past years.

I decided to make a change and be as loud as a horn.

It worked, and I’m not as shy as before.

Antonio is my second given name, which can be short for Tony.

I actually similarly share the name with my mom. Her name is Antonia, just that mines switches from an A to an O at the end.

Growing up, I didn’t really share out my second name, this was because I didn’t really like it.

I actually wanted a name change for Antonio, only because of the way it was written.

I would constantly ask my mom why she chose it.

Growing up I understood to love my middle name as I love soccer.

To this day, I appreciate my mom for giving me that name, to me it shows that my mom and dad actually put thought & effort into the names they gave me.

Hernandez-Ortega are my last names.

I find it cool how my two last names are shown.

One of them comes from my mom and the other from my dad.

The hyphen makes it even cooler, because it stands out the most than other last names.

My soccer journey was a way for me to show off my name and how I portrayed it.

I would carry my last names in the back of my jerseys.

When I’d score, people would see who scored that goal.

Another piece of joy was the medals I’d receive when winning important tournaments.

The medal would shine as bright as my full name.

Pretty much Oscar Antonio Hernandez-Ortega portrayed an image of good conduct and a good image towards others when hearing my name.

To this day, my name has never been involved with anything bad and I will keep it that way.

The last name Hernandez comes from my dad.

Even though the last name Hernandez is common, there is famous people that carry that last name, and that makes me proud.

Ortega, comes from my mom, which I believe is common too.

Overall, I thank both of my parents for giving me these names that I can carry throughout my life journey because I am able to show off those two last names to the people I meet and show them that the Hernandez-Ortega family are as strong as an ox.

My Life in 20 Years

No one can tell what’s in their future, so all they can do is hope. In 20 years, If all goes according to plan, I see myself as a professional soccer player, playing for FC Barcelona. If things don’t go according to plan, I see me myself as a dad, married, and with a good, reliable job. Worst case scenario, I end up dropping out of high school and homeless. All I can do now is hope I take the correct steps to get to my dream.


             If my dream of becoming a professional soccer player comes true, I’ll most likely be living a very, very good life. Every single day, I’d be waking up and going straight to the treadmill to do my daily cardio workout. As soon as I’m done, I get breakfast and straight to practice. As I arrive, I see a news reporter right at the entrance and give a quick interview. I explain, to the reporter, how it feels to be compared to the greatest of all time, like Messi and Ronaldo. When I’m done with the interview, I go inside and get the news that we’ll be playing a very important match next week against Real Madrid. With the match in my mind, I went all out in practice because Real Madrid were our rivals and beating them in a match, would put us on top as the best soccer club in the world. After practice, I head over to the soccer academy where my kids are training. I pick them up, go to In N Out, because this specific day is a cheat day, then go home, devour our food and hope we live until the next day.


‘’Saturday Night’’


Gildardo Cortez


I went to my cousin party and was there till like 8 at night because I had a game in Bladium at 9. So my Uncle came and picked me up and we went to the game. We went with Manny, my two uncles and I and we played against King Mayers. I saw my older three cousins that are hella raw at soccer and I respect them. King Mayers was a good team because they were in 2nd place and we were in 1st place.


Then the game started. We started playing and then I get fouled. I had to sit on the bench for like 8 min. I sat there in pain because he stepped on me very hard. And then the other team scored 2 goals and it is 2-0. Luckily, my Uncle scored a goal before the 1st half finished so it’s 2-1 and a good game. The the second half came and my foot felt way better and then I give an assist to Rabano and he scores 2-2.


Let’s fast forward in time though to what happened after the game. I am sorry I got distracted, because I am so in love with soccer. But my friends want to focus less on soccer and more on our turf and our pride.


So as I went to my cousin’s party and there was a fight going on and then like 2 ambulances came and like 10 police. As the police arrive, one of the people from another gang shot my cousin and I try to chase him down. I was so angry and felt like I had just got benched in a soccer game. So I shot him in the leg so he can stop running then he stopped then shot him in the head and in the heart because he killed my best friend like a brother to me.


So the police arrested me and they say I can’t play soccer no more but they give me one call and I call my dad … hopefully he can have a plan to let me play soccer again.  

Artist Statement



I did a modern version of Romeo and Juliet about soccer because I really like soccer. The scene I chose to use was when Tybalt killed Mercutio Romeo’s best friend. Romeo chased down Tybalt and killed him because he killed Mercutio so he got revenge. I chose to write a story because I felt it was an easy one to me.

My story is similar to Romeo and Juliet because there is love and violence in my story just the same as how there was in Romeo and Juliet. Juliet in my story is soccer because I really like soccer. Then I grow up I want to be a professional soccer player. I am Romeo in my story and I really like/love soccer (Juliet). My cousin represents Mercutio because he is like a brother/best friend to me. It can be like Romeo is Bleeding where at the end they’re all good and I can still play soccer and everybody be happy again.

Jared’s shadowbox

This is me

Jared Hernandez


This shadow box represents that I’m from Oakland, Latino, male, and a soccer player. A dominant narrative is that because I’m Latino I have to play soccer and no other sport. When people see me they think that I am a soccer player because of the color of my skin. When people see me they think that I am a gang member or a criminal because I am from Oakland. I put Raider Nation because it represents that I am from Oakland and that I´m proud to represent Oakland. I also put pictures of soccer because I love to play soccer and it´s my favorite sport. A counter narrative is that I don´t have to be Latino in order to play soccer I can be any race. Also that because I am male I have to be strong and not cry but that’s not true I choose to be and act the way I want.

UEFA Champions League Action

Soccer, or football for Europeans, is the most popular sport in the world. Most fans know that the World Cup consisting of 32 nations playing soccer happens every 4 years. Between these 4 years, international teams play a few games domestically in their own continent, but the players play for clubs, the main source of money for the players. There are leagues made of many clubs worldwide, but the strongest clubs are located in Europe. This is where the UEFA Champions League is based. UEFA, which stands for Union of European Football Associations, manages all the matches played in  Europe, whether these matches are international team matches, or just domestic league action

All the clubs from Europe can qualify for the Champions League, but like the World Cup only 32 teams make it. Teams that don’t make it to the Champions League play in the Europa League, the lower division of European soccer. However, teams that are in the Europa are considered good because most clubs don’t play continentally, just domestically. To qualify for the Champions League, teams go through a mini tournament in which the top 4 clubs in each European league are qualified. Winners of the matches get into the Champions League and continue playing in real competitions, while the teams that fail to qualify play in the Europa League.

For most leagues, action is coming to an end, and results are starting to come in. For example, most teams in the Premier League, the top tier soccer league in the United Kingdom, have 2 games remaining to play. In the Champions League, there are now 4 teams left: Monaco, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus. Monaco are playing Juventus and the other two teams face each other Monaco, the underdogs, have beaten some top level teams to get to this stage, so some fans will be expecting them to come out on top. They are also surprisingly first in the French League, Ligue 1, after climbing on top of PSG, who have been the champions of that league for the last 5 years. Juventus, the dominant Italian side, will be hoping to continue their form after defeating fan favorites, Barcelona, who have the best attack in the world. Juventus have a 2-0 lead after playing the first game last week. The second game will be today, 5/9/17. Real Madrid, the Spanish giants, face off their local rivals, Athletico Madrid in this semifinal match. Real Madrid has mostly come out on top of Athletico Madrid in every competition. For example, the final of last year’s Champions League had this featured match where Real Madrid won 5-3 on penalties after the game was still tied 1-1 after extra time. This Madrid derby will be highly anticipated and will certainly be decisive. Real have a 3-0 over Althetico after the first game, but Athletico will have home field advantage in the second game. The game will take place tomorrow 5/10/17 at 2:45 P.M. ET. Although neither team have won a domestic trophy in 4-5 years, this is only because Barcelona is dominant in Spain.

Hard work beats talent!

I have started a new book by the name of Keeper by Mal Peet. From what I have read, I know that a little boy, coming from a very poor family/home, and with no skills whatsoever at the sport of soccer, grows up to win a very important trophy. Of course, the trophy is won from a very important soccer tournament a.k.a The World Cup.

The story begins with “El Gato”, sitting with the famous journalist, Paul Faustino, beginning the story of how a humble young boy grew up to be one of the world’s best goalkeepers. He states how he had first started playing with his “friends” in the neighborhood, and how he would always be the last pick due to his lack of skill.  

Some people will grow up in a hard, rough situation, but when you give your dedication and time, you will succeed. Although there may be tough obstacles or disadvantages, hard work always wins. I am really interested to see what is further to come in this book!

Photo by filipecastilhos