The Houston Dynamo held an official viewing party for fans at Discovery Green. The downtown park provided plenty of space for several thousand soccer fans who gathered and watched the game on a gigantic screen. One had to arrive early for a good spot and even earlier to get a spot next to the bar with some shade, and those who didn’t deserve credit for putting up with the Houston heat throughout.
There were even a brave few who were supporting England. In the first half, the few celebrated early when Steven Gerrard gave England the lead, but they were heartbroken later after Robert Green's howler.
In addition to the Dynamo Girls, a couple of Dynamo players were in attendance at the official watch party. Sammy Appiah, Dominic Oduro and Lovel Palmer were in attendance along with several members of the Dynamo front office. The players seemed to really enjoy the game and the festivities.
“I think it’s a great atmosphere,” Appiah said. “It’s going to draw attention to the game of soccer and it’s really great for the game of soccer and I really like it out here. It is fun.”
While the game at Discovery Green consisted of a few England fans, there only appeared to be a single England supporter brave enough to watch the game at Ernie’s on Banks. The gigantic American flag hanging from the upper deck made it perfectly clear to those entering which team the patrons were supporting, as did the various chants and patriotic songs that were being belted out by the patrons on the second floor.
The small bar played host to the American Outlaws and the Texian Army’s official watch party, where fans were crammed around TV’s on both floors watching every play with baited breath.
Though an early Friday start time for the next U.S. game may make things more difficult for those that have to work, one can expect that several bars will still be loaded with patrons despite the early kickoff. Seeing several bars across town filled up to watch the World Cup and several thousand fans gathered at the official watch party downtown shows just how much ground the sport has made in the city.
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.