The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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World Cup Boosts Soccer’s Popularity

Gabi Munoz
Trey Toohey gets the ball from Evanston and dribbles towards goal during the game against Evanston on August 27. The team won, bringing in a 2-1 victory.

As the final seconds of extra time ticked away, U.S. soccer fans were stunned and depleted.  The United States Men’s National Team had been defeated by Belgium in the round of 16 in the World Cup.  All the support had gone to waste; the “I believe” chants were all in vain. But despite the nation’s disappointment, the World Cup did cause a greater appreciation for soccer in the eyes of Americans.

This appreciation has carried over into Libertyville soccer as well.  More students seem to be interested in the sport, and some students who had never played soccer tried out for the high school team. There are also more students who are playing for fun, including a group of sophomores who started their own league.

Sophomores Stephen Richardson, Eric Muller, and Kien Tran have created a pick-up soccer league that will take place every weekend in the fall.  The games will be played at Highland Middle School, every Saturday and Sunday.

“We noticed that more people were starting to play soccer, so we decided to create this league,” Richardson explained. “We already have over 50 students who have signed up, and hopefully the league will gain more popularity as the year goes on.”

If you want to find out more information about this league, send an email to Richardson at [email protected].

Senior soccer player Ryan Pacholski has also noticed the increase in soccer’s popularity.

“A lot of people, some who don’t even play soccer, have been talking about it more. Also, more people just go out and play now just for fun,” Pacholski explained.

Pacholski also noticed that the high school team is becoming much more popular than it has been in recent years.

“There are more people trying out this year who have never even played before.  There have also been a lot more fans showing up to games than last year,” Pacholski stated.

Pacholski attributes the rise in soccer’s popularity to the USA’s World Cup team, and he hopes to see the amount of soccer fans in the U.S. continue to rise.

Libertyville soccer coach, Andrew Bitta, is also very pleased with the rise in soccer’s popularity.

“[The popularity] has been great!  There have been a lot more people talking about soccer and attending the games,” Coach Bitta explained.  He believes that soccer’s success is not only because of the World Cup, but because of kids playing the sport early in their lives.

“If children keep playing it at a young age, the popularity will continue to grow,” Coach Bitta stated.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
World Cup Boosts Soccer’s Popularity