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June 13, 2014 11:45 AM

World Cup Fever Takes Over Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, SD

Every four years, all eyes are on the game of soccer as countries vie for the world's top prize in the FIFA World Cup title.

"When it's coming around now, there's always a buzz in the community. I've got a lot of friends elsewhere in bigger cities and there's a buzz going on with their clubs as well with their kids," Dakota Alliance Soccer Club coach Dale Weiler said.

That buzz spreads thousands of miles as the next generation of potential soccer stars play the game with their friends.

"World Cup is like every player's dream. Every player wants to play in the World Cup, every soccer player," Lalit Chhetri said.

Lalit has played soccer since he can remember and has fond memories of watching the 2002 World Cup final game between Germany and Brazil. Soccer will always hold a special place in his heart.

"It's fun, and it's a world famous game. In every country, it's famous. My father used to play it, so I started playing," Lalit said.

World Cup matches and world-famous players have even inspired some other kids to pick up the game themselves.

"I watched the 2010 World Cup. So it got me inside the soccer game, so I started playing a lot," Nem Sherpa said. "Watching the greatest player like Pele playing in the World Cup. Watching his skills, ball control, that's what inspired me."

"There's no doubt in my mind because the World Cup is on, there's definitely kids going out to the local parks and just knocking it around with their buddies and trying to emulate some of the starts from the tournament," Weiler said.

Interest in the World Cup in Sioux Falls is certainly growing, and soccer is definitely a sport that brings all the world's countries together.

"Obviously, when they go out and play the game of soccer, it's such a universal thing that it's easy to pick up on. That's the beauty of soccer, that you can be creative and express yourself without having to truly converse in a similar language," Dakota Alliance Soccer Club coach Kyle Halfpop said.

The World Cup fever is so big that there will be two big screen TVs near the field at this weekend's Dakota Alliance Soccer Club tournaments. Weiler says he expects the excitement to carry over into enrollment in the fall.

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