World Cup fever affecting sports merchandise sales - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

World Cup fever affecting sports merchandise sales

 (CNN/CBS) - Tuesday, The U.S. Men's soccer team will face off against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup! Major sports clothing brands report they've sold more World Cup jerseys this year than ever before. Store owners say there is always a spike in soccer interest every four years, but this time around, they're really seeing an increase in sales.

Adidias reports it's sold a record 8 million World Cup jerseys.  Germany is still the top selling jersey worldwide, but sports store owner Farrukh Raza says the U.S. bandwagon is filling up.

"We had bought a lot of merchandise with the us logo on them. We are almost sold out."

Nike reported that two of its digital World Cup campaigns have become two of the top 20 digital video brand campaigns ever.  

It's an exciting time for men's soccer as the team heads into the round of 16 in consecutive World Cups for the first time ever.  Coach Jurgen Klinsmann says it's an important step on the path to American soccer excellence.

"This is now what we need, we want to have those benchmarks. We want to be one day in the top 10, top 12 in the world. So, if you want to be there one day, this is now the moment to prove it. This is now the moment to show it."

They'll need to do so against a young, fast and aggressive Belgian squad that is one of just four teams to have won all three of its group games.  

But, the Americans could get a big boost if striker Jozy Altidore can return from his strained hamstring. Altidore was seen jogging easily at practice this weekend.  

Players like goal-keeper Tim Howard, well, they "believe." 

"We feel like we match up well against them. However, that's possible, we do. We feel like we're strong and we're fast, and we control the ball well. So, it's going to be a hard-fought game."  

American fans, in the peculiar position of celebrating last Thursday's loss, remain hopeful on team USA's chances.  

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