Thanks to the excitement of a World Cup run that saw the U.S. women's team get to the brink of winning the championship, national team members say that for the first time in their lives, they really are starting to enjoy the sport of soccer.
"Before this tournament started, I honestly could not give a crap," said goaltender Hope Solo. "But then we started winning and by the end, I'll admit, I was pretty into the whole thing."
Abby Wambach, the team's leading scorer, echoed Solo.
"I'm usually more into football, baseball, basketball, even hockey," she said. "Yet I found myself going out of my way to show up for these games and play. I really think I have the soccer bug now."
Head coach Pia Sundhage, a Swede, says the true test of her players' supposed newfound love of the world's game will come in a few weeks when she calls a practice.
"It's great that they're all into it now," said Sundhage. "But I won't be surprised if no one shows up to our next match, choosing to stay home and watch the Yankees or something. Soccer is hot right now. But in a few weeks? We'll see."
But Wambach insists she is really is into soccer for good.
"As soon as the World Cup final was over, I went out to a sporting goods store and bought a soccer ball for the first time," she said. "I think I'm going to start kicking it around in my backyard or at the park. I might even go out and buy one of my jerseys."