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Local soccer hooligans pack bars for US World Cup watch parties - abc27 WHTM

Local soccer hooligans pack bars for US World Cup watch parties

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BIRMINGHAM - AL - The U.S. made it into the knockout round of the World Cup, but got sent home. Excitement about the game built with every kick. Hundreds packed into sports bars to watch.

People have been turning out in droves to watch Team USA battle for the World Cup. Local breweries and sports bars told us it's been just as intense or more so than Alabama or Auburn football.  

[READ: US World Cup run ends with 2-1 loss to Belgium]

It's one of the rare moments everyone's cheering for the same team.

"I love it because it doesn't divide anybody. It brings everybody together," Patrick Ramsay, a soccer fan said.

They came with outfits, wigs and facepaint.  

"I saw this in the store and I knew it was World Cup season so I had to buy it!" Lisa Nguyen, a soccer fan said.

Over the past few weeks, Good People Brewing Company became a go-to for soccer fans, but this game beat them all.

"I've had friends that have never watched soccer and now they're here just singing along!" Tyler Cram, a soccer fan said.

"I kind of viewed soccer like golf - it wasn't very exciting to me but that got me so pumped and I was like we have to go watch every single game!" Laura Hurst, a soccer fan said.

"Several hundred people having a good time together, it's good stuff - good for the country," Joel Harris, Manager, Good People Brewing Company said.

"We have guys that people don't expect to be here and they are playing as well as anything - there's some kind of American optimism that flows through the team," David Vanlandingham, President, The Outlaws said.

The World Cup buzz is boosting a group of avid soccer fans, called the Outlaws. They watch games together, play soccer together, 

"Last time we checked it was close to 100 but after this World Cup, we're growing exponentially," Vanlandingham said.

"Birmingham Outlaws are going to grow in popularity as a direct result of this," Chuck Thiele, a member said. "We're going to have more viewing parties, we're going to have more travel parties." 

While they have to wait four more years for another World Cup, fans are hoping the new found interest in the sport doesn't fade.

"We're all putting our differences aside because we all love sports and coming together," Patrick Ramsay, a soccer fan said.

While this ends the run for the U.S., fans say it was a fun ride. Belgium will go on to play Argentina this Saturday.  
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