ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Team USA pulled out a 1-0 win over Iran Tuesday during the World Cup, with Wales and England ending in a draw.
In one room of well-known British pub The Old Toad, the Wales/England game played on TV. In another room, it was the USA taking on Iran. Manager Kevin Roman said it’s enough space for Brits and Yankees to go back and forth.
“We get a lot of England fans — also a lot of U.S. fans — and get them to mesh together,” Roman said. “What’s unique about it is, you have the U.S. rooting for England and you have England rooting for the U.S.”
Fans like Tag Andrews lived in the United Kingdom for a period, but he’s American through and through. This setup for him is ideal. He said the soccer community in Rochester has done nothing but expand.
“I’ve met a number of friends through the World Cup; we’ve been coming every four years,” said Andrews.
Rob Braden said Americans are embracing the sport more and more. “It seems like the American League is getting better and better,” he said.
And perhaps, players and fans from overseas bring their talents and enthusiasm with them. Opi Edwards began playing soccer in Ghana, then professionally in the United Kingdom. He now plays for Rochester New York FC. He says it is exciting to see how the sport is taking on more fans in the U.S.
“People I meet in bars or whatever — they always say ‘oh you play soccer?'” Edwards said. “Whereas in the UK or in Ghana, it’s like normal when you say you play football.”
Braden says soccer is the world’s sport — and there’s hope on the field. A chance that no matter how tight tensions may be between nations, there’s always a chance to settle things on the pitch.
“How we all can get along and play sports,” said Braden.
After their win, the U.S. will now advance to take on the Netherlands in the “Knockout Round.” The Old Toad will be hosting World Cup games from now until December 18.