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Jul 5, 2014 1:41 AM by Sam Salzwedel

FC Tucson popularity growing since World Cup

TUCSON - Southern Arizona's amateur soccer team is getting more popular because of the World Cup.

FC Tucson played its first game in 2011. Attendance has been getting better since the start, but it has really spiked in the past couple weeks, according to managing member, Chris Keeney.

"Definitely. The U.S. run, the Mexico run, everybody has been so excited about soccer," Keeney said. "It's definitely carried over. People now want to see it live."

Sze Miller said that was one of the reasons she went to the game Friday night.

"Our whole office, we're kind of crazy about soccer right now," she said. "We were cheering on the US team, but unfortunately, they're out of the tournament now. But yes, that did influence us to want to come here."

FC Tucson also had fireworks after the game, which made the crowd more than double its usual 1,100.

"No. We don't know anything about soccer," Eric Bergman said. "We just came out for the beer and the fireworks, I guess. The nachos."

Keeney admits that was a major part of Friday's attendance boost, but he thinks many new fans will return.

"This is a heck of a deal. You get your soccer and your firework on," he said. "But hey, that's why we offered it."

FC Tucson still has 3 games left to play this year.

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