Students join in on soccer craze

By Gavin Schouten, Staff–

For many fans soccer can be a serious emotional investment, and more Americans than ever before on hoping on for the ride.

The American based soccer league, known as Major League Soccer, has seen itself catapulted into the spotlight. The 2016/2017 season saw an average attendance of 21,660 fans a game placing it as the 6th highest attendance rate in the world.

Many fans have began to feel a great sense of pride for the U.S. national teams.

“One of my most memorable experience is when the U.S.A. beat Ghana 2-1 in the 2014 World Cup,” senior Ryan Schacherbauer said.

Schacherbauer was at his friends house getting ready to watch the game. They sat in anticipation as the players lined up to start the game. Finally, the kickoff came and the teams were off. The ball was quickly rushed down the American wing and forward Clint Dempsey finished the early goal that came at just seconds after the start of the match.

However, Ghana managed to score an equalizing goal and the game was back to a deadlock going into the final minutes. The U.S.A. won a corner in the final minute. Schacherbauer and his friends sat quietly as they watched the ball fly towards the box. The players jumped and the ball found the head of defender John Brookes and then into the back of the net.

Schacherbauer and his friends jumped around the room with pure joy.

“It was an amazing experience to witness,” Schacerbaur said.

The U.S.A. national team also had an exciting match against Algeria in the group stage. With forward Landon Donovan scoring a critical goal in the match.

“I was eating breakfast at the time and threw her cereal bowl in the air with excitement,” junior Connor McCarty said.

However, times aren’t always so great for U.S.A. fans. Tempers began to flare up after a disappointing loss against Trinidad and Tobago that saw the U.S.A. knocked out of the 2018 World Cup.

“I was so mad after that game that I threw the remote and put a hole in the wall,” senior Kyle Kordana said.

For Kordana following the national team has almost a cult like fascination.

“I watch almost every game,” Kordana said.

The soccer craze has also lead American viewers to become interested in many different national teams.

For junior Lingan Benin, his most memorable experience was attending the European cup to watch France play.

“My most memorable moment was watching France play and seeing the passion,” Benin said.

The European Cup saw some of the best players in the world face of for their national team. With the skill level of the teams came lots of excitement for the fans.

“The stadium was really loud […] It was amazing to see,” Benin said.

Many people find their teams players absolutely captivating. For junior Xavier Westworth, Real Madrid is the team of choice.

“I started watching when I was 8 years old when I started watching Cristiano Ronaldo and [Wayne] Rooney at Man utd,” Westworth said.

Westworth has been following Ronaldo for years, even after his move to the Liga Santander in Spain, and almost got his chance to get an autograph from his idol

“Ronaldo walked over to my stands but Jose Moriniho called him back could gotten the signature,” Westworth said.

This popularity has caused many to not just follow the MLS but instead to follow teams from around the world. Soccer viewership in the U.S.A. has soared since the 2014 World Cup and has become one the biggest markets for soccer in the world.

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