(ST. JOSEPH) The United States reconvenes World Cup play against Belgium on Tuesday, and the team has already rallied fans across the country around their story.
Much of that excitement has been focused on Kansas City, but it's spilled over to St. Joseph and Missouri Western.
"It's awesome for us soccer people," Griffon head women's soccer coach Chad Edwards said. "The game is growing at an immense rate right now."
The program is hosting its second indoor soccer camp, boasting 78 high school players and coaches from the Division II, NAIA, and junior college levels.
"The talent level is awesome, the energy level has been awesome, and i'm very excited to have all these kids on campus."
It's another part of Edwards' effort to put the sport on the St. Joseph scene.
"The more we can have here on campus, the more visibility for our program and our institution, the better we're all going to be for it."
For so much top high school talent, Team USA has definitely been a talking point.
"We all love soccer, so we're all pretty excited the world cup is happening right now," Central High School sophomore Delaney Gilmour said. "It all gives us something to talk about."
"There's a lot of people from all over the world here, so it's really cool to see their perspective on the sport and how they want to coach it, so that's nice."
The sport's popularity may take a dip in between the event every four years, but fellow Central sophomore Morgan McClendon says she can feel it getting bigger in this region.
"I've lived here since I was little and it's grown a lot," she said. "You can tell by how many girls. I mean, you see new people all the time."
Edwards, an advocate of footballers everywhere, is happy with any step the sport takes.
"We feel that vibe here on campus with our campers," he said. "There's lots of talking about how we're doing, lots of talking about the world cup in general."
"There's so much momentum for the game of soccer in kansas city and the midwest region. We're very fortunate to live in this part of the states."
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