JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – England and the USA men’s soccer teams went head-to-head at the World Cup on Friday.
The Jumbo Shrimp hosted a well-attended watch party on the field at 121 Financial Ballpark where fans of both teams watched the game on a big screen.
Hundreds came out to watch the big match, the first between the to nations in the World Cup in 12 years. It ended in a scoreless draw. The US team missed the last World Cup, and local soccer fans were beyond ready for this one.
This event was hosted by the Jumbo Shrimp as well as Jacksonville Armada FC, American Outlaws Jacksonville and Section 904.
Steve Atherton said he moved to the United States from England in 2011 and still roots for his home team.
“Soccer in Jacksonville, when we came here in 2011, it’s growing all the time one day we’ll be playing in one of those stadiums over there,” he said pointing at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jaguars.
Lindsay Daum has also been a soccer fan her whole life and got the chance to come to the event while visiting from Texas.
“We’re big US soccer supporters so I’m wearing my women’s jersey but here to support the men as well,” Daum said. “It’s great that it’s becoming bigger in the U.S.”
Fans have been waiting eight years for a World Cup event.
Will Pritchett brought his daughter to the event which was also kid-friendly.
“Being able to be on the field I brought my daughter so she could run around and tire herself out so I could watch the game,” Pritchett said.
The U.S. national team plays its final group game on Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. against Iran. After a tie in its first two matches, the team now needs a win to advance to the 16-country knockout stage.