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Here’s where Wisconsin will be watching the US Men’s National Team vs. Netherlands in the World Cup

Bars, clubs and even a soccer apparel shop are hosting watch parties across the state

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United States' Weston McKennie (8) celebrates after teammate Christian Pulisic scoring a goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.
United States’ Weston McKennie (8) celebrates after teammate Christian Pulisic scoring a goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The U.S. Men’s National Team are the underdogs in their Saturday World Cup match against Netherlands. But Brandon Johnston, director of consumer experience for Stefan’s Soccer, says American fans should believe in their side.

“Any team can beat any other team on any given day,” Johnston said.

At its Brookfield location, the soccer apparel store will host a family-friendly viewing party in a 4,200-square-foot heated tent in the parking lot, complete with six large screens. Johnston said that while most of the viewing parties around the state are in bars, Stefan’s Soccer wanted to try something different.

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“We think there’s more creative and less traditional ways to go about it,” he said. “And one of those is to put a tent up in the middle of your parking lot in the middle of winter, and have everybody come in and watch some soccer games.”

World Cup fans will be gathering across the state for the 9 a.m. match in the quadrennial tournament that brings together the top soccer players from around the world. After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. has acquitted itself well this year, advancing out of the tournament’s group stage this week with a victory over Iran.

The team now enters the contest’s “knockout round,” in which sixteen teams face off in a high-stakes, single-elimination tournament. Netherlands is favored in the match, but soccer analysts say the U.S. is fielding arguably its best men’s World Cup team ever, and has at least a fighting chance to win in a tournament that has already seen big upsets.

A fan in a USA shirt clutches his head and expresses frustration.
Bear Oh, right, and Kichang Nam, left, watch the USA men’s national team play Iran on television Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

A U.S. run in the World Cup always drives interest in soccer, and Wisconsinites around the state will be finding spots to watch. The Green Bay Distillery hosts the city’s fan club for London’s Arsenal F.C., and has expanded its hours to host World Cup fans.

Michael McNerny, owner of the Green Bay Distillery, said the friendly match at Lambeau Field in July between Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga and Manchester City of the Premier League helped boost local interest in world-class soccer there this year. And the expanded availability of streaming video services and FIFA video games helps, too.

“The English Premier League, the La Liga, the Bundisliga — it’s much more available on television now and streaming,” McNerny said. “What that does is puts you in the position to access the games and access the players.”

Here are some of the places Wisconsinites will be gathering to watch Saturday’s match:

Madison

Madison professional soccer team Forward F.C. is hosting World Cup viewing parties throughout the tournament, including for Saturday’s match. Doors open at 7 a.m.

Doors at the High Noon Saloon open at 8:30 a.m. for the 21 and over World Cup watch party.

Doors at The Red Zone Madison open at 8:30 a.m.

Doors at LJ’s Sports Tavern & Grill open at 8:30 a.m.

Milwaukee area

Milwaukee’s Nomad World Pub has been the site of packed watch parties through the tournament so far. The bar is also selling World Cup gear and hosting a bracket contest.

Three Lions Pub is hosting watch parties all tournament long. They also plan a block party to celebrate the Dec. 18 World Cup final match.

The tent party at Stefan’s Soccer in Brookfield is bring-your-own food and beverage. They’ll be set up in their parking lot of the store ahead of the game.

Doors for the watch party at Mo’s Irish Pub in Wauwatosa open at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Green Bay

Fans will gather in the banquet hall at Green Bay Distillery beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Oshkosh

Doors for the watch party at Dublin’s Irish Pub open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Eau Claire

Fans have been gathering at Dooley’s Pub to watch. Doors open at 8:15 a.m. Saturday.

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