6-23-10

World Cup Fever

By WEEK Sports

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM CDT

With The U.S. win, American Soccer fans focused on what's happening in South Africa and while all eyes will be on the 2010 World Cup many are looking ahead as well.
Once a secondary sport in the U.S., soccer is making a move into the mainstream.
Bradley Soccer coach Jim DeRose said, "It's in our media now, It's on the scroll on ESPN even before the World Cup. More people are following it. It's on when you go to local restaurants. So I think this is the next step, whatever that next step may be. Because it's getting into the consciousness of the American Sports Fan."
Soccer fan Cole Wilson said, "It's not as mainstream as I would like it to be, but I mean when you have 3 billion people around the world watching this when there is this many people at 10 am in the morning watching there is no better way."
Soccer Fans hope their sport continues to gain popularity here in the states. One way that could happen is if the World Cup to returns to the U-S in 2018 and WEEK is helping to try and make that happen.
WEEK-TV President and GM Mark DeSantis said, "We're working with the U-S Soccer Federation on a Petition drive to get people to sign up to bring the World Cup to the U-S in 2018"
Wilson said, "If the cup was back in 8 years I would definitely be there. It would be the best sporting environment that you could go to."
If the 2018 World Cup does come to the United States there won't be any games here in Peoria, but that doesn't mean that the River City and Bradley University wouldn't play an important role in the Tournament.
DeRose said, "Our Dream would be to host one of the teams in preparation for the World Cup. Coaches like their teams to be just outside the city and being 2 and a half hours from Chicago and now with everything on campus at Bradley we would certainly be a program that would want to host that."
And a city that would put out the welcome mat as well.

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