Even with loss, US team sparks more interest in soccer

DENVER – Judging by the size of watch parties across the country Tuesday, there are quite a few more soccer fans than there were at the start of the World Cup.

Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Belgium marks the end of the road for the U.S team in this year's tournament. But many soccer fans say it marks the beginning of a movement in this country.

"I think it's great that people have taken a liking to the World Cup and our team," said Luke Stevens, 12.

Stevens said he wasn't much of a soccer fan before the world cup, but the team spirit and huge crowds rooting for the U.S. got him interested.

"It's just that it's your county and you have to be with your country or else," he said.

Stevens was one of hundreds of fans who packed a watch party at the British Bulldog pub in Denver Tuesday. Longtime soccer fan Melanie Driver-Milow was also in the crowd sporting patriotic colors.

"I am so proud of my country that my blood's red white and blue," she said.

Driver-Milow says she started playing soccer in sixth grade and has been in love with it ever since. And she is glad others are coming on board.

"This is a mad crowd, loving crowd, American crowd mixed with anybody and everybody," she said. "But of course that's who we are."

The Colorado Rapids, Denver's MLS team, are also hoping to capitalize on the latest soccer frenzy.

A spokesman told 9NEWS attendance hasn't been up yet, as many fans have been staying home to watch the World Cup.

But tickets for Friday's 4th Fest at Dick's Sporting Goods Park are nearly sold out. The event features one of the biggest fireworks shows in the area. But the team believes the interest in soccer surrounding the World Cup is driving these ticket sales.


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