World Cup mania kicks into high gear in Richmond

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Soccer-mania is sweeping Richmond. As the U.S. took the field, several area bars and restaurants were packed this morning with local World Cup fans.

There were highs and lows at the Penny Lane Pub in downtown Richmond Friday.

"It just develops a sense of community," said soccer fan Tara Casey.

Soccer fanatics are stepping up their game in the River City for the first week of the games. Pub owner Terry O'Neill says his place is packed nearly every morning.

Terry O'Neill: "We were full an hour ago.
Rachel DePompa: "And people are waiting to get in?"
Terry O'Neill: "Yes!"

We found people skipping work.

"It's Friday you know, you can take the day off of work," said Adam Schmid.

Even kids skipping the last day of school.

"It's fun, it's exciting. To watch the players play," said 12-year-old Chad Sekelsky.

The fans here say with no major professional team in town, Richmond's already taken a liking to soccer.

"I think it's already big here, some of us just tend to take it a little more seriously than others," said Ian Little.

"It's a fast paced game. You never stop moving. You're always looking the ball and you're always staying in position," said Patrick Casey.

The excitement just emanates a little more on days like this.

"We've got a lot of youth clubs around here that are really embellishing young talented players that are on the rise. So hopefully we can improve those players and get some talent coming out of Richmond," said soccer player Will Bates.

The U.S. tied Slovenia. They play again, next Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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