Stella Giles of team Dark Blue dribbles the ball toward the net.

The Emporia Greensville Recreation Association began a new soccer league this season.

Youth ages 3 and 4 in Emporia, Greensville County and surrounding areas had the opportunity to play instructional soccer.

Soccer has been America’s favorite sport among children for years now.

The suburban ‘soccer-mom’, who drives her kids to practice in an SUV has become a staple in American life. In fact, the US has a higher amount of registered under-18 players than any country in the Americas or Europe, according to a FIFA report. This large pool of young talent promises further growth and potential success at the adult level.

Plus, a Gallup poll shows that because of milliennials’ love of the sport, soccer’s popularity has tripled in the last decade and currently ranks fourth among all sports.

So, the EGRA has jumped on board as toddler soccer is also a growing sport. Children as young as two are capable of kicking a ball, and by ages 3 and 4 are able to take some commands and comprehend the object of “kicking the ball to the net”.

This is a group of soccer players that are on the field for the joy of the game. The children laugh, and run, and sometimes tackle each other, they fall and get up, run the wrong way, and take mulitple juice breaks, but as the season has progressed they have learned.

There are six teams in the league about 40 players (the largest turnout for all age divisions).