CHICAGO (CBS) — Team USA fans again were crowding into Grant Park on Thursday morning to watch their team take on Germany in World Cup soccer.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports that the gates at Butler Field opened shortly before 10 a.m., and hundreds of fans began streaming in to watch the game on two huge screens that will show Team USA’s biggest game of the tournament so far.
Though crowds didn’t appear to be nearly as large as Sunday, when approximately 20,000 fans filled Grant Park, those fans who did show up Thursday morning were no less enthusiastic about their team’s chances of advancing to the next round.
Organizers expected to beat that crowd of 20,000 for the USA-Germany game, but as of the start of the game, the crowd appeared to be well short of that — probably closer to a few thousand people.
Some fans from Tinley Park showed up at 6:30 a.m. After being at Sunday’s game, they wanted to make sure they got the best seats in the house, especially after many fans were turned away because the Sunday’s viewing party was filled to capacity.
“It was so much fun, and we were up in the front row, and I think it’s so much fun to be up there. So it was worth getting up early and catching the 5:30 train,” Aubrey Quick said.
Alexis Ceja said he wanted to go all out, so he painted his face red, white, and blue.
“This could be our last game. It could not. I’m hoping for the best,” he said.
Wyatt Lind said he was supposed to be at work but he told his boss he wasn’t coming in.
“I said I’ll pay you if I have to to not come in, and he said that’s fine. He understood,” Lind said. “There’s no way I was going to miss this game.”
Leanna McCarthy said she and her friends play soccer, so they wanted to come out and support Team USA.
Team USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann tried to help fans get out of work to watch the big game, tweeting out a photo of a permission slip he’d written, telling employers “I understand that this absence may reduce the productivity of your workplace, but I can assure you that it is for an important cause.”
Some Germany fans were also at Grant Park, though Team USA fans easily outnumbered them and many booed their rivals in the crowd.