U.S. military in Germany join fans worldwide in catching World Cup fever
July 21, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - World Cup fever swept the globe again a year after the men’s World Cup in South Africa. This time it was the women competing in soccer stadiums throughout Germany.
Among fans at the semifinal match pitting France against the United States and the championship with the USA facing Japan, were plenty of U.S. military community members from around Europe.
There were also 80 young women from San Antonio and Austin, Texas, who traveled to Germany to play soccer and watch the World Cup. These “Lonestars,” players ages 14 and under, played a total of 15 games while here.
While the girls sported their red-white-and-blue attire, crazy face paint and accessories, chanting USA louder than anyone else in the stadium at the semifinal game in Monchengladbach, their coaches expressed what many of the American fans hoped for " “With a bit of luck America will win 1-0.”
With the 3-1 victory against France, the United States women advanced to the final against Japan in Frankfurt July 17.
Sunday was the final and what a final it was " a 2-2 tie that went down to a final penalty shootout that Japan won. It was a game with cheers and tears, but plenty of good spirit between fans throughout the game as Japanese and American fans high fived with one another and shared laughs.
The attendance was a record high 49,000, the same as at the men’s World Cup final, showing female soccer is finally getting the attention it deserves.
The public viewings were a success as well with screens and parties drawing plenty of fans in most major cities.
“The public viewing on post at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center and U’R Place was put up on very short notice, but still there was a good attendance (about 95 people upstairs, 89 downstairs at the WEC), and members of the community soccer team were well represented,” said Teri Viedt with the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office.
The Today Show also stopped by Wiesbaden to capture the excitement among young Wiesbaden military community soccer fans in anticipation of the final. (Lauren Moore is a college intern with the garrison Public Affairs Office)