Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


June 26, 2014

American advance generating patriotism, more interest in soccer

Local coaches like what they see.


The success of the United States men's soccer team in Brazil this week, advancing to the second round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is spreading like an emotional tsunami, weaving its way around the country, causing hysteria in big and small towns and cities alike, evoking patriotism everywhere and creating a renewed American interest in the world's most popular sport.
And that's just fine with coaches everywhere, especially here in Lockport, where America advancing has players and coaches talking positively about the sport they love.
It's definitely generating an interested. Kids-wise I know my players are talking about it,” said LHS boys varsity soccer coach Jeff Hulshoff, whose summer soccer camp for youths begins shortly at the Kenan Center fields (call 531-1072 to register or for more information).
“I was listening to a disc jockey this morning and he said he wasn't really interested in the World Cup, but he couldn't believe the amount of Americans watching. They showed crowds of people in New York City and Chicago watching. I went to the waterfront in Buffalo last Sunday night, when we tied Portugal and there some long lines. They weren't expecting that many people.”
LHS girls varsity soccer coach Mike Finnerty said he's enjoyed watching the World Cup and likes the way the U.S. has played so far against the world's best.
 “I think we showed a lot of heart in a very tough group. We made the best of our situation,” Finnerty said.
The absence this week of Jozy Altidore from the line-up hurt the U.S. against Portugal (2-2 tie) and Germany (1-0 loss).
“Not having him forced us to change our strategy,” Finnerty said. “Overall, I think we defended well. Germany's goal was unfortunate, but we only let in one goal against a very good team and that should be commended.”

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