BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - One thing is for certain, the World Cup generated lots of excitement for fans of the sport, even for the close calls.
From people coming out to bet at casino sports books, to the packed watch parties in people’s houses, soccer frenzy was sweeping South Mississippi Sunday.
“In the World Cup semifinal we saw a good crowd come out in their defeat against England and we are anticipating the same,” said Nikki Mcgowan, the Scarlet Pearl sportsbook supervisor.
“I’d say [the excitement] is twice as much in the girls game," said Russ Carothers, a soccer coach. "The ladies have a tidal wave of interest.”
Now with four World Cup victories to their name, the women’s national team is inspiring soccer players everywhere. Just ask the South Mississippi Soccer Club’s elite teenage girls team. They’ve been watching closely and taking notes from the team.
“We want to be as close as they are,” said A’leigh Coleman, a soccer player with the SMSC team. “Seeing them work together with them being that close makes us want to work that close and that hard.”
Their assistant coach, Russ Carothers, says they have been working hard.
“The South Mississippi Elite 03 girls are going for the national championship,” Carothers said.
That’s right, these girls have the opportunity to be national champions. And seeing Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, and the rest of the team dominate the sport yet again gives them something to look forward to.
“Yes, for sure, because I know they really struggled, so I’m really happy that they came out on top,” Mary Morgan Wert, another player on the team.
The players say they hope to do well in Colorado at the national games later this month. They already have so much to be proud of, and a lot of younger girls looking up to them the way they look up to the reigning women’s world champs.