WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — World Cup Fever grabbed a lot people in downtown Wilmington this afternoon.
The US team could not come up with a win, but it did enough to advance. They also got a lot of people to miss work or take an extended lunch.
From new fans to Hammerheads to the long-time soccer fans and even four-legged fans, more than 100 supporters cheered on the USA along with the Wilmington Hammerheads at the Husk in downtown Wilmington, though not everyone wanted to admit it. There were some fans there that couldn’t be interviewed, because they didn’t want their bosses to know where they were.
Hammerheads coach David Irving seemed to agree with everyone watching that this year’s World Cup is much different than previous ones.
“I think the US had more fans down in Brazil than anyone,” Irving said. “Look at all of the bars across town. They are full, and the support is unreal.”
A long-time fan, Brad Boose, says people just get it now.
“Oh, the fan base is great,” he said. “I think a lot of it has to do with social media. People understand what is going on now.”
Hammerheads forward Brian Ackley agrees.
“I think everyone is more aware of what is going on and what to cheer for,” Ackley said.
They said it has become about patriotism
“Everyone comes here to cheer for the USA,” Boose said.
Boose says that may be one of the reasons the fans went wild, even after the US lost to Germany 1-0.
“Yeah, it was through the roof,” he said. “It was all about advancing. That was the main goal to advance to the group of 16, which we did.”
Irving says he hopes some of these national team fans will become local soccer fans. If so, you can catch the Hammerheads’ next game Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Legion Stadium.