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World Cup Draws International Fans To Burlington

The World Cup action continued in Brazil this weekend, even though the U.S. team had a few days off.

In Burlington, the international flavor of the competition drew fans who cheered for teams from around the world. The U.S. men’s soccer team isn’t scheduled to play again until Tuesday, but that hasn’t stopped Vermonters from following all of the Word Cup games.

At Das Bierhaus in Burlington, sports fans gathered Sunday to watch a match. There’s a table of Dutch-Americans dressed in orange here to root for the Netherlands, who are playing Mexico.

And Juliana Chase says it’s been this way all week. She works at the bar, and says throughout the world cup she’s seen customers from a number of countries.

“It’s very specific of course on what game is playing,” said Chase. “But we’ve seen a lot of people from different countries that are not usually represented in the customers that we see.”

And she says the variety of teams surprised her.

“Some people from Belgium. Croatia as well,” she said. “Bosnians were here. Some very small countries. People that I didn’t know were represented in the area.”

Several Burlington sports bars show soccer games regularly, but many say that this year is the first time they’re seeing such widespread interest in the sport.

That’s consistent with national trends. The Wall Street journal reported last week that this year’s World Cup telecasts are setting records, and that more Americans are streaming games online than in the past.

Whether or not soccer fever extends beyond this tournament, Das Bierhaus and other bars in the area are anticipating a crowd for Tuesday’s U.S. vs. Belgium game.

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