USA Fans Find Silver Lining In World Cup Loss

The USA falls to Belgium in the World Cup knock-out round. The team hoped to advance to the Quarter Finals, something they haven't done since 2002.
The USA falls to Belgium in the World Cup knock-out round. The team hoped to advance to the Quarter Finals, something they haven't done since 2002.

"I thought it was an awesome game. There was a lot of energy in the room everyone was excited," said Maria Bello, who watched the match at RiRa in Evansville. "I thought they played well. It was great."

In the end, it was a heartbreaking loss for USA supporters. Even still, loyal fans were able to find a silver lining to the devastating loss. For one, it's the first time the U.S. has advanced two consecutive knock-out rounds.

Fans were also pumped up about goalie Tim Howard's monster performance. He had 16 saves during Tuesday's match. But there's also excitement to be had about the momentum leading up to this game, as Americans tuned-in in record numbers.

"To me the beautiful game is the beautiful game and I would like to see it be more popular in the USA," said Colin Fry, who anxiously watched from The Sports Book. "Soccer's been more exposed this World Cup to me than any other, so there's hope."

CNN reports 25 million people watched last week's game against Portugal, beating out the average viewership of the NBA Finals and the World Series. That falls right in the middle of American football ratings. Earlier this year the NFL reported an average 16.6 million viewers for regular season games and just over 34 million for divisional round playoff games.

While many longtime soccer fans hoped the nationwide frenzy would continue through the Quarter Finals, they're hopeful the U.S.'s performance will have a lasting impact on the popularity level of the sport in America.
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