ST. CLOUD - As the World's soccer fans turn their attention to Brazil and the World Cup, kids right here in central Minnesota continue to embrace the sport at record numbers.

Central Minnesota Youth Soccer spokeswoman Nicole Mach says the participation numbers for their travel teams have more than doubled in just the last five years, "We went from a little under 200 kids in 2009 to 400 kids this year. We had 12 teams back in 2009 , and have 28 teams this year. Our recreation numbers have gone from 1,100 to a little over 1,500."

Mach says they also usually get a bit of a spike in interest during big soccer events, like the World Cup.  She says the kids are watching their favorite international teams and players.

Central Minnesota Youth Soccer is a volunteer-run association that attracts kids from communities all around the area.

The World Cup starts today (Thursday) in Brazil. Team USA is in Group G with Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. Their first game is Monday versus Ghana.

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