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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs