Local Soccer Fans Rally Around U.S. Women
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The U.S. Women’s soccer team will compete in the finals of the World Cup after they defeated France 3-1 on Wednesday in the World Cup semifinals.
It has just as many highs and lows as a football or baseball game, but in the United States, the fan base for soccer is somewhat smaller. Now, a run at the Women’s World Cup title is making a difference.
“Big soccer follower, I enjoy the game,” said Brian Quarstad, a soccer fan.
“I’m excited to see the U.S. doing so well,’ said Elizabeth Bartley, who plays co-ed soccer.
From the sports bars to the soccer stores, businesses can’t help but notice the growing interest in the sport.
“It’s cool to see women elevating the game,” said Michael Loeper, a worker at Soccer Express.
After Sunday’s emotional win against Brazil, Soccer Express saw a sudden rush of customers, mainly young kids wanting to take up the game.
“Exciting to see it grow as a sport,” said Loeper.
Along with the excitement of the World Cup, the U.S.A. Cup kicks off Friday at the National Sports Center in Blaine. It’s giving young athletes another reason to get excited about the sport of soccer.
“It’s fun to play a sport where every other country plays it,” said Barclay Kruse, of the National Sports Center.
For nearly a thousand youth teams, the U.S.A. Cup will give them a chance to play on the international stage.
“It’s the same experience at the youth level that the U.S. team is getting in Germany,” said Kruse.
The National Sports Center in Blaine is hosting a watch party for the World Cup final this Sunday, starting at 1 p.m. The U.S. women will take on Japan, who defeated Sweden in the other semifinal 3-1, for the World Cup title.