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Will World Cup fever last?

Posted by on June 24, 2010 – 5:37 pm
Landon Donovan (AP)

Landon Donovan (AP)

The country is abuzz in soccer talk after Landon Donovan’s improbable injury time goal against Algeria pushed the United States into the Round of 16.

But does this burst of attention translate into participation?

Mesa boys coach T.J. Hagen didn’t see much difference four years ago when soccer tryouts were held at his school a few months after the last World Cup.

“I don’t know that there’s any correlation,” Hagen said. “It just raises awareness.”

The bigger key might be in the younger age group. It’s tough for high schoolers to try soccer for the first time and make a real impact, but Hagen has fielded calls from friends asking where they can sign their kids up.

“I think it helps the interest level in it,” Hagen said. “People are just paying more attention to soccer.”

The onlookers who might be having the most fun are current or former players.

Hagen said his team has been watching the U.S. and Mexico intently.

“They’re all about it,” Hagen said.

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