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From USA Today:

When the U.S. World Cup team arrived in Johannesburg on Monday, the historic moment had special significance for several of the team’s African-American players.

“To represent America means a lot to me, especially since it’s my second time around,” defender Oguchi Onyewu said. “On top of that, me being Nigerian, it’s also a special moment to take part in history since this is the first time the World Cup is being played on African soil.”

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Onyewu grew up in Maryland, but his parents emigrated from Nigeria in the 1970s. His given name is “Oguchialu,” which means “God fights for me.”

Midfielder Maurice Edu, whose parents also emigrated from Nigeria, thinks the World Cup, the world’s most watched sporting event, can have an impact far beyond the field of play.

“Given the social status and the economy there, it could really do a lot in terms of boosting the country and portraying the country in a positive light. It would be great for all 23 players because we can look back at that and say we were part of something special,” said Edu, who was raised in Fontana, Calif.

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