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World Cup Fever Sweeps the Big Country

While soccer is not the most popular sport around here, locals seem to be fired up about the World Cup.
In a state where football is king, you may be surprised by the amount of people that seem to have "World Cup Fever". Local bars and restaurants were packed for the World Cup match up between the US and Germany.

"Seeing this many people here was actually really awesome and they are so into it too," says Benjamin Bratcher, who grew up in Germany and is in Abilene attending ACU.

"I didn't expect it to be this crowded here, so its nice to have a crowd watching the game," says Susana Lubanga, who is also from Germany, but is living in Abilene now.

They explain that soccer is top dog there and a way for the country to show national pride. "If Germany wins, people are going to be standing on buses, there will be auto caravans all through town," says Lubanga.

Both Bratcher and Lubanga say that they are thrilled that the sport they love is becoming more popular in this area. "I can tell people are starting to catch on and its really cool that Americans are starting to care about soccer," says Bratcher.

Most of the fans that gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings for the game are cheering for the home team."I am a huge USA soccer fan and I just think that USA just has something to prove, says Austin Lieber.

Long time USA soccer fan, Christina Gonzales, says she is thrilled about the growth of the sport. "I can remember watching it back in '94, when we were playing in '94 here in the US, and so its grown a lot. I love the fact that even the last world cup in South Africa, we were watching it, the crowds were not as big as they are now."

While of course not everyone is cheering for the same team, it seems as though many are cheering for the rise in popularity of the sport.


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