CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Reports show that soccer has become the second-most popular youth sport in the United States, behind only basketball.
Suzanne Carter who organizes the youth leagues at the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation said they've seen the numbers growing for a few years now. Registration started July 1, but she said parents have been asking about the leagues for awhile now.
"Over the past couple of weeks, we had more and more interest in parents wanting to sign up their kids early for the fall season that doesn't start until early September," Carter said. "We start kids in our youth soccer league at 4 years old in the Pre-K division so it's a really great sport for young kids to start at an early age and we have seen more and more kids coming out to enjoy the sport.
Some other folks that like to enjoy the sport are the American Outlaws. Basically, they are the biggest group of diehard soccer fans and they are making their way to Cape Girardeau.
Rob Foeste, the owner of Broadway Biergarten, said the grass roots campaign is already established in four cities in Missouri, and Cape Girardeau is ready to get in on the action.
He believes the World Cup gave the sport the boost it needed to grow the fan base.
"I mean we passed the clipboard around the other day and we had more than enough signatures to already start the chapter," Foeste said. "The support has been amazing."
The American Outlaws has more than 125 official chapters with more than 18,000 members. Foeste said they are in talks with Southeast Missouri State University's athletic department to be involved with the women's soccer team.