US soccer fans pack South Bend pub for Germany match - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

US soccer fans pack South Bend pub for Germany match

Nicole Brenton and Ben Denison watch the U.S. v Germany soccer match at a South Bend pub Nicole Brenton and Ben Denison watch the U.S. v Germany soccer match at a South Bend pub
SOUTH BEND - The Thursday lunch rush is usually pretty quiet at Fiddler's Hearth, a pub in downtown South Bend. But not today. Around 200 loyal American soccer fans packed into the pub like sardines, to cheer the U.S. team on in its last group game against Germany.

"I was the absolute first person in this entire bar," said Anthony Vasoli, decked out in an American flag cape with a vuvuzela in hand. "I arrived at 10:30 a.m. and he let me in early 'cause he felt bad for me."

The packed crowd even surprised pub co-owner Terrance Patrick.

"During the Super Bowl we're as dead as a doornail!" said Patrick.

"I honestly think there's more people in the U.S. watching soccer this World Cup," said South Bend retail associate Nicole Brenton. "Definitely."

The night before the big game, the U.S. men's national team's soccer coach tweeted a signed sick note to encourage employees nationwide to skip work and watch the game. South Bend fans were more than happy to comply.

"I requested off work as soon as I found out the schedule for the World Cup and when our game were gonna be," said Brenton.

"I'm very *cough* sick right now," said warehouse inventory worker Ken Dusek.

It was a close game against soccer powerhouse Germany, And that kept fans on the edge of their seats.

"I don't have any fingernails left!" said Christiaan, another red,white and blue die-hard soccer fan.

Germany scored a goal in the 50th minute of the game. But fans stayed positive and hoped for the best.

"We're in it together," said Christiaan shortly after the first half. "I believe that we will win. That's the unity that comes with U.S. soccer fans."

A lot of the fans at Fiddler's Hearth said they played soccer as children, and their own kids play soccer now.  Fans said they have really been able to enjoy watching their generation of soccer players grow up and represent the U.S. as they compete in the World Cup.

In the end, the U.S. lost to Germany by one goal.

"I'm just absolutely gutted," said Dusek after the game ended.

But even with a loss today, America still advances to the top 16, beating the odds and making it out alive from the so-called "group of death."

And that means South Bend soccer fans will have at least one more watch party to enjoy. That match is scheduled for next Tuesday, at 4 p.m.

"It's very fun being a young soccer fan in the U.S." said Brenton.
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