TAMPA (FOX 13) - Die-hard soccer lovers from across the county gathered at Raymond James Stadium Wednesday.
Team USA faced off against Martinique in group play of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Cup is held every two years and features teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean.
“The atmosphere you can really feel a sense of pride for the county definitely going to be intense,” said David Brisceno from Orlando.
A couple of future footballers traveled from Memphis, Tennessee to see their first soccer match in person.
“I just want to see the U.S. play I haven’t seen them play I’m excited,” said 13-year-old Garner Uhlhorn,
“It is not like most sports you use your feet and not your hands,” said his brother, 11-year-old Worrick Uhlhorn
While they may be the future, soccer’s popularity in the U.S. still lags behind other major sports, at least for now.
“I think in the next 10-20 year it’s going to challenge top three, so it’s growing,” said Brisceno.
An MLS team in St. Pete could go a long way in increasing that market share. Wednesday’s matchup could be considered be a measuring stick for that.
“I think Florida having Tampa and Miami having MLS teams to challenge Orlando City would be a hell of a rivalry,” Brisceno said.