East Stroudsburg, Monroe County – The New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team is hosting a regional development school at East Stroudsburg University. The World Cup tournament is kicking soccer excitement up a notch there. ”With the World Cup being on it has just added the extra buzz,” smiled Coach Ross Crichton.
The athletes, ages 7-14, are practicing all week. Caleb Apple of New York said, "I really like the coaches and I really learn a lot of soccer from them." The players on the national stage inspire kids at the camp. Dino Mastropietro of New York said, "It makes me want to copy them and mimic their skills."
Campers aren’t the only ones excited about soccer. The Keystone Athletic Club is seeing lots of interest in its youth program. Vice President James Beebe doesn’t have the exact statistics on how the World Cup might be impacting enrollment." But I can tell you that we're seeing about a ten to 15 percent increase in enrollment this spring for next fall,” he said.
His sons have been watching the games. Christian said, "Just watching the professionals play kind of helps me like get better at soccer." The look forward to the day they might play in the big leagues. "That would be fun yeah, I would play,” said Luke.
Beebe said, "I think that the growth of soccer in the last thirty, twenty, even ten years is real and it's here to stay."