SALEM, Va. – Soccer fans in the Roanoke Valley flocked to an old minor league baseball stadium to watch a major American soccer win.
Salem's Kiwanis Park became the site of a Women's World Cup watch party Sunday morning. Roanoke-based soccer club VBR Star erected a big screen where home plate stands so the crowd could watch the United States women's soccer team defeat the Netherlands 2-0.
"I love soccer. It's the sport of the world," VBR Star Executive Director Danny Beamer said. "People are much more educated about the sport and are into watching it a lot more, too, which is a good thing."
The crowd mainly consisted of fans wearing red, white and blue and youth soccer players who have a passion for the sport.
"All my friends play lacrosse, and they would always say, 'Why do you play the weird sport, soccer?'" youth soccer player Declan Morrill said. "Now, it's become a trend for everybody."
Beamer says the trend may continue if the popularity of the women's team is any indication.
"Every time the World Cups are here, the popularity just builds and builds and builds," Beamer said. "It doesn't go up and go back down, it just keeps building and getting better and better."