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Thomas Burns of Tampa loves his country. But he’s excited to have his travel visa to leave the United States because of one reason above all else.
"World Cup fever is here," he said.
Thomas is traveling to Brazil to support Team USA and witness soccer on its grandest stage.
"We've just wanted to go. As soon as we found out that Brazil was going to get the World Cup, we had this on the calendar," Burns said.
Mike Hernandez has been waiting for this, too. He owns the Soccer Shop in South Tampa and said the World Cup brings out the soccer spirit in the most casual of sports fans.
"It's the mayhem of the world cup. This time of year, every four years, people just come out of the woodwork to support and watch. The phone never stops ringing and people don't stop asking for different jerseys," Hernandez said.
Lindsay Morton of St. Petersburg came in to get her USA gear and didn't want to miss out on the World Cup fever.
"It's just been everywhere recently. Everybody that I work with, all of my friends, everybody is talking about it. So you can't escape it no matter where you go," Morton said.
But Lindsay admits she's not much of a soccer fan.
"The casual fans show up for the playoffs,” Burns said. “Once you've got the big show going on, that's when casual fans come out.”
Hernandez expects there will be a drop-off in soccer fans after the World Cup.
"It just seems insane, and then afterwards your true soccer fans and the people that love it--- eat, breathe, sleep it--- are still there. Meanwhile, the bandwagoners kind of fall off," he said.