Columbus Crew Stadium hosts giant USA party

September 10th, 2013

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(Image: Zac Kenworthy / FOX Soccer)

COLUMBUS, OHIO

The party started days ago, as United States men’s national team fans began trickling and then pouring into town. By Monday night, a critical mass had been reached as hundreds passed through the American Outlaws party a few blocks from Columbus Crew Stadium, the USA’s emotional home.

By Tuesday, those who would be filling the largest-ever 9,000-man (and certainly woman too) dedicated supporters section behind the north goal, would be number so many that parties broke out all over. Downtown, you literally couldn’t turn anywhere without seeing a USA jersey. When mid-afternoon rolled around, two different fan get-togethers had gotten started while others tailgated in the parking lot.

That it was scorching hot — almost 100 degrees, in fact — bothered absolutely nobody. A qualifier with Mexico was on the docket, the biggest game outside of the World Cup itself. They were here, and they would bloody well be loud too. Warnings from the federation to be cautious with alcohol-intake, given the risk of dehydration, were ignored.

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(Image: Zac Kenworthy / FOX Soccer)

They were the lucky ones, after all. Out of more than 50,000 applicants, they had won some of the 24,000 seats on offer. Or they’d spent hundreds of dollars snagging the last few tickets from scalpers outside the grounds.

Once they’d all marched in, to the thrum of their own drummers, to the squeals of their trumpets and horns and tubas, they began the festivities in earnest:

“Dos a Cero!” they sang.

“We are going to Brazil!” they sang.

“You’re not going to Brazil!” they sang.

“Tim-my Ho-ward!” they sang.

“Jurgen Klins-mann!” they sang.

All night they planned to sing, no matter what it did to their throat in the stifling heat. Because if these were sacrifices, they were worthy. They were playing Mexico. Need they say more?

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(Image: Zac Kenworthy / FOX Soccer)

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