World Cup Fever Sweeps Region, Nation - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

World Cup Fever Sweeps Region, Nation

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Chanting “USA, USA!,” hundreds of fans showed their American pride Tuesday night as the United States Men's National Soccer Team battled Belgium in the World Cup.

"I'm so pumped for this game,” said Alex Benacci, an avid soccer fan from Erie. “I mean, we came in as underdogs, we got out of the group of death and now we're playing for knockout."

It was a packed house at Buffalo Wild Wings in Erie for the match that would decide the fate of the U.S. in the World Cup, either win or go home. The game had fans on the edge of their seat all night through a scoreless 90 minutes of play. Buffalo Wild Wings Shift Manager Nick Johnson says this match drew more people to his restaurant than ever before, even more than your traditional Sunday football game.

"Our capacity is completely packed,” Johnson said. “We're over our capacity to the point where people can't even get seats. Not even for the Steelers games are we this busy in the three years I've been here."

 After a scoreless match in regulation, Belgium would jump out to a two goal lead in extra time and never look back, beating the U.S. 2-1. But, despite the loss and the end of the road for the U.S. Soccer Team in the World Cup, fans we spoke with say it's the end of the road for U.S. soccer overall as they expect better things to come.

"Honestly, it's heartbreaking. I've watched them ever since I was little, I've played soccer all my life,” said Jordan Manson, soccer fan from Erie. “Watching them come this far, honestly I didn't think they were going to make it out of the group stage. It's called the group of death for a reason."

"We lost, but in a way it's still a victory seeing all the fans come out,” said Almair Pekmezovic. “I know soccer isn't big in the United States, but when you come here (Buffalo Wild Wings) and see all these people, it's really nice to see them supporting their country."

The U.S. is eliminated from 2014 World Cup competition with Tuesday’s loss. The U.S. lost in the same round during the 2010 World Cup.

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