'Ten years ago you wouldn't have thought this was possible'
EUGENE, Ore. - The United States advanced to the knockout round of the World Cup despite a 1-0 loss to Germany on Thursday.
The math by which the World Cup determines which teams advance out of the initial groups of 4 favored the Americans, who beat Ghana and tied Portugal before falling to the Germans.
"Ten years ago you wouldn't have thought this was possible, that we could be here at 9 in the morning with breakfast beers watching the US in a World Cup game with this many people," soccer fan John Jarboe said as he watched the game at Oakshire Brewing.
Just as fan interest has spiked - Thursday's game lost the U.S. an estimated $390 million in worker prooductivity - so have sales of soccer goods.
"This World Cup has brought a lot more interest than the last one," said Farrukh Raza, owner of Direct Kick Soccer.
Raza said interest in the sport spikes every 4 years with the World Cup.
But over the past 10 years, he said interest in soccer has only gone up.
"If we have a 10 percent increase every World Cup year, we actually retain that 10 percent for the next four years til we see another spike," he said.
Adidias reports they have sold more World Cup jerseys than ever before, with over 8 million units sold.
And while Germany is the top selling jersey nationwide, locally the U.S. bandwagon is filling up.
"We had bought a lot of merchandise with the U.S. logo on them," Raza said. "We are almost sold out."
Nike reported Thursday that two of their digital World Cup campaigns have become two of the top 20 digital video brand campaigns ever.
The buzz around the World Cup and the U.S. success will undoubtedly help grow youth soccer in America.
"It's great for kids to get excited about winning, about the U.S. on a world scale, so it's great for the game in general, great for the kids," said Justine Sauder with South Eugene Soccer Camp. "Come this fall we will see a huge demand a lot more children will be playing."