Wichita soccer player: World Cup victory great for youth, women's sports
Sunday's World Cup victory is expected to impact youth sports everywhere, including right here in Kansas.
The US Youth Soccer Organization had about 100,000 players 30 years ago. That number has jumped to more than 3-million.
The organization credits the growing popularity, in part, to the four Women's World Cup Championships.
We spoke with soccer player and coach Jami Reichenberger. She is from Wichita and remembers watching the Women's World Cup back in 1999.
She's now an assistant coach at Northern Iowa.
She says soccer gave her mentors, friends, and paid her way through college. She's excited to see participation grow, and hopes seeing the women's team on the world stage brings more attention and appreciation to women's athletics.
"I think this puts a big statement out there that we are not just the women's sport," Riechenberger said. "We are here to play soccer, not women's soccer. I think it's huge. Women can compete with men. Women athletes are just as good. So, I think it's huge to say that we're not here to mess around. We're making a standpoint and we're going to be the best that we can be - male or female."
The USWNT will be honored with a ticker-tape parade later this morning, watch it live here on www.kwch.com and on the KWCH 12 Facebook page.