World Cup fans flock to watch parties for U.S. vs. Germany match - KCTV5

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World Cup fans flock to watch parties for U.S. vs. Germany match

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Thursday was the day World Cup fans from around the country watched to find out if the U.S. men's national soccer team will win it to be in it.

U.S. took on Germany Thursday at 11 a.m. and places such as Kansas City Power and Light District were packed with fans playing hooky to take in the exciting matchup.

Some people admitted they called in sick to be a part of the celebration – they had soccer fever, the worst kind of illness.

"Two days ago I asked my boss if I could get off work and she's a soccer fan too, so she said go for it," said Vicki Troop.

Craig Gunter said he never skips work, but did make arrangements to get off work to watch the game.

"I took a vacation to come down here with my daughter," he said.

One group even estimates that $1.68 billion will be lost in productivity in the U.S. during the World Cup.

"I saved vacation and planned ahead," Lisa Adams said.

It was a standing-room-only crowd at Johnny's Tavern, located at 13th Street and Grand Boulevard, which opened up early at 7 a.m. to serve breakfast.

"The soccer crowd has continued to grow around here every year. This has been an outstanding event to get 10,000 people together, standing and cheering here in Kansas City Power and Light," said Nick McMillian, a managing partner with Johnny's Tavern.

That's the spot where the Kansas City chapter of the American Outlaws meet and things get pretty crazy when they're cheering the team.

"Insanity. Everyone goes crazy. Beer is flying everywhere. Today I'm still going to have to have my servers cleaning up off all the TV's here. The flags you see above us are actually dripping down with beer after they score. It's just a really fun atmosphere. It takes a while to get cleaned up, but it's well worth it," McMillian said.

The soccer fans said they have a special place in their hearts for the two local men, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, who are at the top of their game.

"One nation, one team, but having two Sporting players in the game, it's huge. I mean, the city is all behind Sporting KC and it's not hard to get behind your country," Nick Johnson said.

Even though Germany beat the U.S. 1-0, the United States team advances to the second round and fans Thursday said they were happy to be able to watch all the excitement.

"It should be a national sick day. No one should be working today," Steve Michaels said.

More than 35,000 fans attended the 2010 FIFA World Cup watch parties at the KC Power & Light District. Sixty-four matches will be shown on screens throughout the KC Live! Block including the huge outdoor screen in the central Living Room.

Admission to the KC Live! Block for Summer in the Soccer Capital is free for all ages. Food and drink specials are available for supporters at the restaurants and bars.

Soccer popularity is picking up around the country, not just in the metro. The United States' 2-2 World Cup draw with Portugal was the most-watched soccer match ever in the U.S.

The Nielsen company said 24.7 million people watched Sunday's nail biter. ESPN said an additional 490,000 people streamed coverage of the game on their mobile devices through their app.

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