ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — 32 teams from across the world are competing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but closer to home, fans came together in St. Petersburg to watch one of Team USA’s largest rivalry games.
Williams Park was decked out in red, white and blue on Friday as thousands of people joined together to cheer on Team USA as they tied with England in the FIFA World Cup.
“We’re hosting the largest [World Cup] watch party in the history of Tampa Bay for Team USA vs. England,” said watch party organizer Pete Boland.
We caught up with some fans who hoped to see Team USA repeat history.
“We’re here to celebrate USA vs. England,” said USA fan Corey Calhoon. “We’re going to win today.”
Calhoon and his friends dressed up like George Washington for the game.
“We wanted to be wearing the costume of George Washington who lead us in the war against England in the 1700s,” Calhoon said.
St. Petersburg isn’t filled with just Team USA fans. The Studio Public House, an English Pub, hosted the game for Lions fans.
“It just unites the entire globe,” said England fan Elliot Sailes. “It’s the world’s sport. It’s not just like American football where they only play here.”
There were plenty of mixed emotions. For Team USA fans, this is the first time they’ve been able to root for our country in 8 years. Many England fans live here in the US and want the best for both teams.
Either way, there was something unifying about thousands of people coming together to appreciate this global sport.