SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Droves of U.S. Soccer fans in Central New York converged on downtown Syracuse to watch the U.S. Men’s National Team take on Iran Tuesday afternoon.
The watch party was held at Wolff’s Biergarten across from Syracuse City Hall, with many supporters arriving at least an hour before match time.
The event was hosted by the Syracuse chapter of the USMNT support group, the American Outlaws. The Syracuse Outlaws regularly gather at Wolff’s for big matches, including World Cup games. What’s different this year is the fact that the World Cup is being held so late in the year.
“It’s been interesting. I mean, this time of year, you’re used to league soccer — you’re used to everybody out at their teams,” Steve Heller, the president of the Outlaws Syracuse chapter, said.
Fans belted out chants and songs as the match went on, and the bar went into a frenzy when the final whistle blew. The U.S. beat Iran 1-0, with Pennsylvania native and Chelsea star Christian Pulisic scoring in the 38th minute of the match.
Many fans we spoke to Tuesday have lots of confidence in the team as it moved to the knockout stage for the first time since 2014. The United States did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, held in Russia.
“We’re going to win this one, we’re going to move into the 8, and then we’re gonna win the whole dang thing,” Dan Mallore, a local fan, said.
“I love this country — and we’re gonna prove everyone wrong. So everyone’s doubting us — sit down — cause we’re gonna win this whole thing. Let’s go!” Julia Palazzo, a Syracuse University student, said.
The United States moves on to play the Netherlands in the Round of 16. That match is set for Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The game will air on Fox and Telemundo in the United States.