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Soccer Popularity Soaring In Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) –World Cup soccer is bigger than ever, even here in the United States.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports the Chicago Soccer Store on Western has been open for twenty years, but it’s never seen sales like this.

“This is by far the biggest year that we have had, bigger than any World Cup; biggest week in the entire history. All the U.S. jerseys are booming,” said David Cubale, the store’s manager.

Equally popular: almost every team. Interest in soccer has been steadily growing. Recent research shows that since the last World Cup the number of Americans attending a major soccer match has doubled.

Proof of its popularity in Chicago? An estimated 8,000 fans filled Grant Park Monday to watch the U.S. beat Ghana. The U.S. Soccer Federation, headquartered in the South Loo,p was the sponsor.

“We’re excited to see just how passionate people are,” said Elizabeth Sanchez of U.S. Soccer. “With all the social media exploding, everyone can see what everyone else is excited about it so everyone can go and see for themselves and it helps when the team is doing really well.”

Team USA isn’t the only team in Brazil getting local support. CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talked to fans who were out in force at Mi Tierra in Little Village during Mexico’s game against Brazil, which ended in a scoreless draw.

“I’m a big soccer fan,” said Julia Tristan. “I think Mexico has good chances.”

At Chitown Futbol, an indoor soccer facility, crowds were even bigger. That is typical when Mexico plays, but the owners says that Monday for the first time, a crowd turned out for U.S. soccer so they will now have viewing parties for both times.

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