With the U.S. and England playing simultaneously on Wednesday morning, the best place to watch the World Cup action in Houston was likely the Richmond Arms Pub.
The pub has been hosting soccer games for as long as one can remember, regularly showing Saturday and Sunday Premier League matches long before Fox Soccer Channel’s heavy broadcast schedule and ESPN’s coverage.
“I’ve been coming here since 2002,” said Dave Saha, proudly wearing his Three Lions jersey. “It has been a home for football in Houston."
“That is why I came here [to watch both of these games], as I wanted to come to a place where everyone is amped up about both games,” said Dynamo season ticket holder Steve Parks. “That’s what you got: half the bar for England, half for the U.S.. It was just a great environment.”
For the England and U.S. matches, several hundred fans packed inside the small bar in anticipation. Fans also filled up the front porch, where there were two large TVs, one showing England and the other showing the U.S.
As the matches wore on, the fans in the Three Lions jerseys were much more relaxed than their American counterparts thanks to an early lead. Then Landon Donovan scored the game-winner for the U.S., and the entire bar broke out in celebration.
“To be honest, we were giving up in the 87th minute and kind of prepared to lose,” said Josh Peterson, who has been catching games at the bar for the last two World Cups. “The game was great. I still haven’t gotten over it. It’s unbelievable.”
After the game, fans of both sides finished off their pints and talked a little trash. Each hoped to avoid Germany in the second round and each talked about how their favorite players did on the day.
“[The atmosphere was] excellent,” said Saha. “I’m happy both England and the U.S. are into the second round.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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