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Despite Defeat, US Fans Are Pleased With Team's World Cup Performance

Thousands of fans gathered Friday at Washington's Robert F. Kennedy Stadium to watch the U.S. men's one to nothing loss to Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals. The fans left the stadium disappointed, but pleased with the teams showing at the tournament.

About 4,100 fans gathered at the 55,000 seat stadium on a bright, clear morning Friday to watch the match on the jumbo screen. Many of the fans wore the team colors - red, white, and blue - and some painted their faces or bodies in the stars and stripes.

Admission to the stadium was free and members of Major League Soccer's D.C. United team and the Washington Freedom women's squad were also on hand. Germany's one to nothing win put a damper on the early morning celebration.

However, after the game some fans, including Gordon McConville of Nokesville, Virginia, were pleased the U.S. team made it as far as it did in the tournament.

"I think it means a lot," he said. "It shows how far our men have come. And it shows how good MLS (Major League Soccer) is. The stars of the U.S. all come from the MLS except for [goalkeeper Brad] Friedel. So it's good for U.S. soccer."

The Americans' performance could give Major League Soccer a much-needed boost in attendance and revenue. Kevin Payne, the D.C. United's president and chief executive officer, noted the World Cup is sure to help the U.S. first division.

"You know we are not really second class citizens in the game any more," he said. "Our league is far better than people give it credit for and you could see the performance of the players from our league in this environment. They did just fine and they did not struggle at all. So I think that it will help us on a variety of levels both here in the States and overseas."

The quarterfinal berth was the furthest the U.S. team has made it in the World Cup since qualifying for the semifinals in 1930. Some fans in Washington said they hope that the U.S. will do even better in four years, when Germany hosts the World Cup.