As the United States went further in the World Cup games fans gathering and getting caught up in the excitement became the norm, but to find out the real impact you have to see where the game is growing.
With the World Cup serving as a backdrop, kids learning the sport at the Keva Sports Center represent the next generation of the game, and as they grow the game will grow with it.
“The kids get more excited. They see themselves in these players that are playing now because, who knows, we have some kids who are 10 years old, 8 years old. In two or three World Cups they could be representing the United States, and that’s what’s really exciting for them, and that’s what is really exciting for us,” said Joel Ondercin, youth director at Keva Sports Center.
Ondercin said he knows what soccer’s growing popularity represents.
“I grew up in a pretty small town in Wisconsin, and our soccer team went to state and barely anybody noticed except for the soccer families,” Ondercin said. “Our football team was terrible, but everybody showed up for the games.”
Now every time the United States team makes it a little further, the game grows a little more across the country and so do the dreams of kids like the ones at Keva.