Disappointment for U.S. soccer fans in Jacksonville

By Chris Parenteau, General assignment reporter, cparenteau@wjxt.com
Francine Frazier, Web news editor, ffrazier@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 01 2014 08:35:01 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 01 2014 11:09:44 PM EDT

They gathered in bunches across the country - and here in Jacksonville - to get their latest fix of World Cup Fever.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Soccer fans packed BlackFinn American Grille in the St. Johns Town Center on Tuesday to watch the U.S. soccer team take on Belgium in the World Cup round of 16.

They were rocked with shock and disappointment as the U.S. fell behind 2-0 in extra time, then rejoiced when substitute Julian Green landed a goal to keep the U.S. in the match.

“It ain't over yet. There's always hope. It's America. USA baby,” soccer fan Michael Thomas said seconds after the U.S. scored. “There's always hope til it's over.”

But in the end, hope wasn't enough for the U.S. to advance, as Belgium won 2-1.

Despite their disappointment, fans said they thought this World Cup was great for soccer in America.

“The fact that everybody stayed even after it was 2-0 just shows that everyone cared about it and really was excited about the team,” Blade Kimbro said.

The president of the Jacksonville Armada said each World Cup watch party they had has helped grow soccer in Jacksonville. He's hopeful that when they begin their first season next year, soccer fans will show up for that as well.

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