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World Cup fever grips SETX - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

World Cup fever grips SETX

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The sport reigns internationally but in Southeast Texas, and the nation, it seems soccer mania is just getting started.

Sunday's tied game between USA and Portugal has drawn more local interest in soccer than ever before.

Ratings for that game were the highest ever for a soccer match telecast on ESPN with more than 11 million viewers, while 1.4 million watched online.

Jamie Jones, 21, has played soccer since he was two years old and is gearing up for Houston's upcoming Dynamo soccer tryouts.

"It’s really a way of life for me I don't know any other sport besides soccer," Jones said.

Jones is from America but grew up in Australia, and although Americans have some catching up to do when it comes to fan base, Jones said we're heading in the right direction.

"It's a sense of pride for the country the second they see themselves represented overseas in a big competition like the World Cup,” Jones said. “I think everyone wakes up and goes ‘Oh we've actually got a chance at doing well with something that's not our native sport.’"

The US team will face Germany at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

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