For the USA versus England world cup soccer match Friday, the Apex Football Club in Bend rented out the McMenamins theater room for members to watch the game.
“Kids get to run around, and people, kids, and parents get to mingle, and we don’t have to worry about us playing a game, and they get to sit and chat and have a beer with coaches,” said one of the coaches for Apex FC, Michael D’Alesandro. “So, it’s just a really good event for us to have a good time and watch some football.”
D’Alesandro says it helps build camaraderie within the club, and the Apex FC players agree.
“It’s just exciting,” said 16-year-old Taj Erickson. “All of us friends and coaches and parents are just getting to be together and get excited over soccer.”
“It’s fun,” said 16-year-old Maggie O’Sullivan. ‘It’s a cool atmosphere to just be with your teammates watching professional soccer.”
With this being the first time the Men’s U.S. soccer team qualified for the world cup in eight years, for some of the younger fans, watching them compete was a first.
“I have never really seen the men’s (team), only really seen the women,” said 15-year-old Kylee Jerome. “So, it is pretty cool to see them do pretty well.”
“Yeah, I’ve never really watched the men’s U.S. team play a lot,” said 16-year-old Camryn Wurth. “That was my first time, so it’s been a pretty fun experience.”
A few young athletes took this unique experience and turned it into a learning one.
“I definitely watch both sides, both sides, both goalies, see what they do and see how I can improve from them,” said Erickson.
“I play outside back, so I am definitely looking at these professional men and how they position their bodies,” said O’Sullivan.
The match between the United States and England ended in a 0-0 draw
The watch party was also a fundraiser for the football club.
The United States plays Iran on Tuesday at 11 a.m. The U.S. has to win to advance out of the group stages and into the knockout round.