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Fans gather in Richmond to celebrate U.S. men's team World Cup game

Posted at 8:14 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 20:14:58-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Fans of U.S. Men's Soccer celebrated the return of their team to the World Cup stage as they played to a 1-1 draw. It was the team's first World Cup game since the 2014 competition.

Among those who watched Monday's game were members of the Richmond chapter of the American Outlaws, a supporter's club for the men's and women's national teams, who organized watched parties at bars and restaurants around Central Virginia.

"Our mission really is to help create that energy, that love, that outpouring of support for United States Soccer in Richmond," said club president Jake Crocker, who watched the game with other supporters at Gus' Bar and Grill. "This has been the home base for the American Outlaws - Richmond chapter for many years now."

The bar had to start turning people away because they had reached capacity around an hour before kickoff and Crocker said it is a testament to the excitement for the game.

"It's amazing because we've seen this at World Cups before. I've, personally, seen it over the years. Here it is, a Monday at two o'clock in the afternoon and we're already full and this isn't going to be the only place. I think there's a real love for soccer that just comes alive in the World Cup like no other time during any period," added Crocker.

As for watching the game itself, the loudest time was when Tim Weah put the U.S. up and featured sporadic chants throughout the match. Another loud pop came during a save by U.S. keeper Matt Turner, who started his career with the Richmond Kickers. Despite a late equalizer from Wales' Gareth Bales fans left feeling confident about the U.S.' chances of reaching the knockout rounds of the tournament.

"Got the goal early, thought we had the game in control. Towards the end, a little bit fell asleep, quick throw in, gave up a silly penalty shouldn't have done it. Unfortunately a 1-1 result. It's a draw, but we surely should have come away with a win," said D.J. Spiker. "Whatever we get on Friday is cake. If we can get a draw, if we can get a win so much the better. The game against Iran next week is really the important one. I'm hopeful against England. I'll go ahead and say 3-2 the US over England, but it's going to be a back and forth to be a wide-open match."

"I felt like today they came with a good game plan and they performed okay - better than I thought," said Skye Eddy.

"I think we had a great first half. We controlled the ball most of the time. Second half came out a little flat. I think moving forward, it's going to be whoever has the worst performance against England and I think that is going to be Wales. So, I think we're going to advance with the second spot and we'll see what happens," said Chello.

"I think we were pretty good in the first half. I think the main thing, our main downfall in this game is that we were too indecisive in the final third. I think our defense handled their attack well. I think our midfield went par to par with their midfield. But, we were too indecisive and not creative enough in the final third, just kind of passing it around the edge of the 18," added Johey.

Team U.S.A.'s next game is Fri., Nov. 25 against England at 2 p.m. ET, then Tues., Nov. 29 against Iran at 2 p.m. ET.

Below is the flier for the American Outlaws' watch parties for those games:

Fans gather in Richmond to celebrate U.S. men's team World Cup game

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