News / USA

American Fans Catch Football Fever Via World Cup

  • Collins Fon reacts as he watches the USA vs Belgium World Cup soccer match in Washington, July 1, 2014.
  • United States fans cheer while watching the World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and Belgium at a viewing party in Redondo Beach, California, July 1, 2014.
  • Fans watch as Belgium scores against the U.S. during the Brazil 2014 World Cup viewing party at Solider Field in Chicago, July 1, 2014.
  • Fans cheer for the U.S. during a World Cup soccer game viewing party between U.S. and Belgium at Solider Field in Chicago, July 1, 2014.
  • Harrison Heiman and Lindsay Heiman react with fellow fans while watching the 2014 World Cup soccer match between the United States and Belgium at a viewing party in Atlanta, July 1, 2014.
  • Fans watch the U.S. - Belgium game at the FIFA Fan Fest Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 1, 2014. (Brian Allen/VOA)
  • Fans watch the U.S. - Belgium game at the FIFA Fan Fest Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 1, 2014. (Brian Allen/VOA)
  • Fans watch the U.S. - Belgium game in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 1, 2014. (Gesell Tobias/VOA)
  • American fans ready to support their team in the match against Belgium, Salvador, Brazil, July 1, 2014. (Nicholas Pinault/VOA)
Reuters

American football (soccer) fans decked out in red, white and blue flocked to stadiums and giant TV screens on Tuesday to cheer their national team in a World Cup clash with Belgium that could be the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history.

Strong performances by the U.S. team in Brazil have ignited passions in a country not known for its love of soccer. Though the Americans were underdogs in the match in Salvador's Fonte Nova arena, they went 0-0 for the first 90 minutes, losing 2-1 in extra time. And they gained plenty of new fans.

Free viewing parties were held from coast to coast, with fans crammed into sports bars and restaurants.

Fans watch the United States take on Belgium in their World Cup round of 16 match, at an event in Seattle, Washington, July 1, 2014.Fans watch the United States take on Belgium in their World Cup round of 16 match, at an event in Seattle, Washington, July 1, 2014.
x
Fans watch the United States take on Belgium in their World Cup round of 16 match, at an event in Seattle, Washington, July 1, 2014.
Fans watch the United States take on Belgium in their World Cup round of 16 match, at an event in Seattle, Washington, July 1, 2014.

Showing the spread of World Cup fever in areas obsessed with a different sort of football, some 2,000 fans lined up an hour early at the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys - the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas - to watch on one of the world's biggest video screens.

"This is the way this game should be watched. We need a big screen for a big game,'' said Evan Grant, 23, who had an American flag draped over his shoulders and a blue Mohawk with red and white stripes painted on his head.

A massive crowd, wearing red, white and blue from head to toe, chanted, "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

Watch related video report by VOA's Tala Hadavi

Record Number New Yorkers Watching World Cupi
X
Tala Hadavi
July 02, 2014 6:51 PM
Despite serious attempts to grow the tepid interest in the United States of soccer -- or football, as it is known internationally -- and its marquee event, the World Cup, the sport may have a long way to go before it becomes a so-called “religion” in the U.S. Still, record numbers of attendees have flocked to public viewings around the country. Tala Hadavi visited Bryant Park for VOA to get an idea of the soccer fever that has gripped New York City.

In Illinois, thousands also watched from Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, and many of them warmed up for the game at tailgate parties in the stadium's parking lot.

Karl Epson, 25, and his girlfriend, Becky Oliver, 23, said they had driven a couple of hours from near Bloomington, Illinois, to be part of history.

“I really think we have a chance this time, we have finally arrived,'' said Epson, who was wearing a U.S. team shirt. "... I've waited my whole life for this moment. It's so awesome to finally be here.''

Nationwide gatherings

U.S. captain Clint Dempsey's major league soccer team, the Seattle Sounders, also called supporters to a viewing party at the city's CenturyLink field.

President Barack Obama led a Team USA cheer squad that includes America's biggest sports stars and celebrities.

Hundreds gathered in New York's Bryant Park. Elliot Hollander, 17, a high school soccer player from Weston, Connecticut, wore an American flag headband.

"Being able to watch my country do well in the World Cup is not something you get to see all the time, so it's really something to cheer about,'' Hollander said.

The official U.S. soccer Twitter account, ussoccer, advised fans to drink tea "so your vocal chords are 100 percent gameday ready,'' and to practice chants in the mirror.

It also encouraged them to clear their afternoon schedules while not forgetting to leave an out-of-the-office message on their email, and to paint their faces red, white and blue.

At the Campus Lounge bar in Denver, owner and former NHL Chicago Blackhawks ice hockey player Jim Wiste said that, for the first time, he had a home team to root for in soccer. Everyone in the bar stood for the U.S. national anthem before kickoff.

"I've seen a lot of sports events in a lot of places, and I've never seen anything like that,'' Wiste said. "It's good for the community.''

Belgium's win sets up a World Cup quarter-final clash with Argentina, and no doubt plenty of Americans will tune in.

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ricardo Vieira from: Brazil
July 01, 2014 8:04 PM
The U.S. team played with a lot of guts and determination. The players acted like true gladiators, the American spirit was in the air.
America can proudly tell the world that has a football team.
Thank America. You are always welcome in Brazil. We love you all.
Ricardo Vieira

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid