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Dozens of Green Bay area soccer supporters attend local watch parties to celebrate USA in World Cup

Posted at 5:55 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 18:55:52-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — It's not every day you see soccer fans packing a Northeast Wisconsin sports bar.

But every four years, they take over.

"This is what I'm excited for, seeing everyone in this city come together to celebrate the United States," Matthew Terry said.

"This is the day that they all come out to watch and enjoy soccer and to root on the nation," Cody Johnsen-Duquaine said.

While the United States men's soccer team played in its first world cup match in eight years, dozens of Green Bay area fans watched from afar.

"It's one of the few events on par with the Olympics where everyone in the world comes around together to watch the same tournament," Terry said.

Terry is a member of Green Bay's American Outlaws chapter. It's a United States fan group that hosts watch parties at The Bar East.

"This match, the U.S. is playing against Wales right now," Terry said. "There are people around the world that are seeing what we're able to do and what this country's able to put on."

Terry works to help grow soccer with local programs for young soccer players.

"Being able to make soccer more accessible to people in lower-income areas is a great way to help grow the game because that's how it's grown around the world," he said. "So that'll be a little bit of our goal for what we're doing here."

"Soccer is the most popular sport in the world," Johnson-Duquaine, the local American Outlaws treasurer, said. "I know Green Bay, we're football, football, football. But... high school programs are very strong around here. A lot of times, they make it to state."

The American Outlaws say success in the World Cup would also further the growth of the sport.

"Hopefully, by having these watch parties and all these different events, we're able to get people down here to watch together and enjoy it and actually understand it," Johnson-Duquaine said.

The United States ended up tying Wales 1 to 1. But the Americans are guaranteed at least two more matches.