City Paper is not for tourists
Josh Coleman and three friends left Michigan at 4 a.m. today so they could catch the second half of the U.S.A vs. Germany World Cup game before they head to a wedding in the area this weekend. They made it in time for the second half, but unfortunately, were forced to check the status of the game on their phones—because the German Embassy watch party in Dupont Circle was swarmed with soccer fans, with only a lucky portion of the more than 1,000 viewers able to see the screens on the northern part of the circle.
“I feel if the Americans hosted a party there would be bleachers and more T.V. screens,” Coleman joked, adding that it was, in fact, nice of the Germans to host this party. “There’s thought and there’s execution… That’s why America is number one!”
Though Germany played host for the party, most of the attendees were clad in American gear, with some German fans scattered in the mix. Embassy staffers were even handing out American flags. One intern at the embassy had the colors of the German flag painted under one eye and the colors of the American flag painted under the other, but said he was (natürlich) rooting for Germany to win the game.
“It’s not really a sign of support, but a sign of respect,” he said.
Americans weren’t as diplomatic, with one fan wearing a shirt that read “BACK TO BACK WORLD WAR CHAMPS”—-at the German-hosted event.
In the middle of the game, two men—-one donning American flag gear from head to toe—-rolled in with a flag-wrapped drum and started leading the crowd in “U.S.A.” chants.
The only problem: Americans have the wrong soccer chanting beat, according to Louis Medina, one of the drummers who lives in D.C., but is originally from Cuba. He says all chants at soccer games should be done to the tune of “Olé, Olé, Olé.” Medina, an electrician by day, took off work today for the game and plans to attend all future games with his drum in hand to try and right this wrong.
“We are here in U.S.A., we want to win,” he said. “But Americans have the wrong beat.”
At the German embassy watch party in Dupont https://t.co/vKCb2BwFfr— Perry Stein (@PerryStein) June 26, 2014
Ultimately, Germany beat the United States 1-0, but the U.S. was still able to move on to the knockout stage of the tournament, because it finished ahead of Portugal based on goal differential throughout the group stage. And the German event was a success, showing that even in D.C., people are willing to take off work to watch (or not watch, if they couldn’t see the screens) what the hosts would Fußball and what we call soccer.
Some of the more enthusiastic fans stuck around after the game to show their excitement that the U.S. was moving on in the tournament, and that they really couldn’t care less that their team lost today. (As they shouldn’t, really.)
Fans after the US loss https://t.co/O8NAUCt7lK— Perry Stein (@PerryStein) June 26, 2014
All in all, there was only one glitch. “There should have been beer stands, that was the most glaring omission,” said American fan Neil Norman.
There may not have been any alcohol vendors on site—it was on National Park Service-owned land, after all. But ultimately, there was not a dearth of booze, with a number of people in tank tops sipping on flasks throughout the game.
Photo by Perry Stein