On July 1, I had the opportunity to attend a public viewing of the USA vs. Belgium match at Soldier Field in Chicago. The match was part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and was an elimination match. Since this was a must-win match for the USA, the atmosphere inside the stadium was tremendous. The Chicago Tribune reported that over 25,000 people attended the public viewing! Kim Belware of the Huffington Post also reported that an average of 16,491,000 watched the match on ESPN and Univision, which makes it the second most-viewed men’s soccer match of all-time.
I had an awesome experience watching the match with 25,000 of my “closest friends.” Everyone was so friendly, and I met some fantastic people! It was great to talk with people who enjoy soccer as much as I do. During the match, the mood was rather tense. But people still managed to have a good time!
Ultimately, the USA ended up losing to Belgium by a score of 2-1 which knocked them out of the World Cup. However, the TV ratings and attendance at public viewings across the country show that the popularity of soccer is on the rise. There’s something about the World Cup that makes Americans more excited about soccer. I think that we, as Americans, love being patriotic and showing that we love our country. What better way is there to show how much you love your country than by getting decked out in red, white, and blue and watching a bunch of American players take on the rest of the world?