News / USA

    US World Cup Festival Draws Thousands to Washington Park, Again

    DC Hosts World Cup Watching in the Parki
    X
    June 27, 2014 3:07 AM
    In Thursday's World Cup action in Brazil, the United States advanced to the second round of the tournament for the second time in a row. Several thousand fans showed up to watch the USA-Germany game on big screens in a Washington neighborhood - the city's largest public viewing of the World Cup so far. VOA's Michael Lipin joined the excitement and has this report.
    DC Hosts World Cup Watching in the Park

    American passion for World Cup football was on full display in Washington as several thousand fans flocked to a popular neighborhood to watch the U.S. national team take on Germany.

    Thursday's fan fest in Dupont Circle Park drew a largely pro-U.S. crowd of longtime football enthusiasts along with relative newcomers to the art of cheering for a football team on a mass scale.

    Many of the American newcomers joined the experienced fans in dressing appropriately for the occasion, wearing U.S. national team jerseys or other types of American flag-themed apparel.

    "I think it's a great display of patriotism," said Eric Miller, from neighboring Virginia. "It makes me proud to be an American."

    For his girlfriend, Briana Havrialesky of Maryland, it was a new experience. "I've never done something like this for a sporting event," she said. "But soccer is really exciting at this time of year, and it doesn't get any better than the World Cup."

    German diplomats' key role

    The German Embassy in Washington hosted the event, providing the funds to set up two big screens, side by side, to broadcast the first round match live and free for the pubic.

    Embassy officials worked with local nonprofit group Dupont Festival to source the equipment and secure the necessary permits from world football governing body FIFA and the U.S. National Park Service, which manages the park.

    The organizers built on the success of Washington's first major World Cup fan fest which drew a similarly large crowd in 2010.

    Back then, a group of neighborhood activists developed a city-wide coalition to broadcast three first-round matches from South Africa, including USA versus England, on two big screens at opposite ends of the same park.

    German Ambassador to the United States Peter Wittig said the goal of this year's event was to emulate the football festivals that attract huge crowds in Germany.

    "In our country, soccer is clearly number one, while here in the United States, it is one sport among others," Wittig said. "I know it's very big in American schools, but it's now on the national radar as well, and the better the U.S. team performs in the World Cup, the more the sport's popularity will rise in the United States."

    US, German fans revel in rivalry

    American fan Frank Vasquez, who sported a Captain America super-hero outfit, said he believes further World Cup progress for the United States will resonate around the world.

    "It will mean that we are better than other countries not only in our sports, but in their sports as well," Vasquez said.

    Hundreds of Germany supporters also made their presence felt in the park as their team took the lead in the 55th minute. Many waved the black, red and gold national flag and responded to chants of "USA, USA!" with "Deutschland, Deutschland!" in a friendly competition with the Americans surrounding them.

    Jutta Uhl of Wiesbaden, Germany said she had fun, but wished the screens could have been bigger to provide a better view.

    Her husband Ralph also noted one key difference with football viewing parties back home.

    "In Germany, we can drink beer!" he said. Fans at the Washington event were prohibited from consuming alcohol due to National Park Service regulations.

    The match ended in a 1-0 victory for Germany, as the world's number-two ranked team repeatedly frustrated American attempts to score an equalizer.

    Looking on the bright side

    But there was little disappointment among the U.S. fans in Dupont Circle, as they learned that their team would be joining Germany in the World Cup's coveted knockout stage thanks to Portugal's defeat of Ghana in a simultaneous match.

    After the final whistle, 21-year-old German fan Sabrina Sandru had some encouragement for her American counterparts.

    "Just come out and support your team and they will do better!" she said.

    "Cheer more, that's a good tip!" added her German friend, Angela.

    With other U.S. cities such as Chicago and New York also hosting World Cup fan fests, such events may finally become an American tradition.

    • Fans watch the USA-Germany game in Dupont Circle.
    • German fans cheer at the Fan Fest, which was sponsored by the German embassy.
    • Thursday's fan fest in Dupont Circle Park drew a largely pro-U.S. crowd.
    • German couple Ralph and Jutta Uhl react to Germany’s winning goal against the USA in Washington’s Dupont Circle Park on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    • Fans watch the match.
    • Two screens were set up for fans to watch.


    Michael Lipin

    Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: riano baggy from: indonesia
    June 27, 2014 8:36 AM
    Congratulation for US soccer team, we hope football can most popular sports in states like american football,baseball,basketball and tennis etc, we know many talent players in states, with continues matches next world cup US can participates with good players and .........get the world cup trophy. LETS be apart .football families

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora