Columbia, SC (WLTX) --- For the fourth straight World Cup, USC head soccer Mark Berson has one of his former players on a world stage.
Brad Guzan is playing in his second straight World Cup. The former USC goalkeeper is the latest of Berson's former players to play for the United States National Team.
Clint Mathis was on the 1998 team followed by Josh Wolff who was on the 2002 and 2006 World Cup teams. Guzan earned a spot on the 2010 team and now 2014.
The only coach in the history of the USC program, Berson has always seen the World Cup as a chance for the sport of soccer to grow its fan base. WIth the success of the US team, Berson says the casual fan is now starting to pay attention.
During a recent trip to the Williams-Brice Stadium weight room, Berson says one of the football strength coaches mentioned to Berson how a host of Gamecock football players are into the World Cup. The coach says the key to the continued surge in popularity is attracting those fans who normally would be watching another sport.
Berson says that might lead to someone saying, "Hey, let's go South Carolina play. Let's go watch the men play. Let's go watch the women play."