Soccer fans gather in the cold to cheer on U.S. men's team in World Cup

Spectators breath a sigh of relief
Spectators breath a sigh of relief after a near score by Wales during the group stage World Cup match between USA and Wales at Allianz Field in St. Paul on Monday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

In a match between two teams hoping to make the most of their historic appearance at the FIFA World Cup Monday, the U.S. men’s team and Wales played to a 1-1 draw.

Fans gathered around screens in many places around Minnesota, including at Allianz Field in St. Paul, home to Minnesota's professional soccer club the Loons.

A fan  cheers at Allianz Field
Fan Keenan Charles (center) cheers at Allianz Field in St. Paul after USA’s Timothy Weah scored the opening goal during the group stage World Cup match between USA and Wales on Monday. The teams went on to tie.
Tim Evans | MPR News

Jeff Meyer of Rosemount said he was glad to be around other people who love the game he's been a part of for so long.

"I played soccer when I was young. I kind of stopped playing it in my teens and discovered it again in my 20s and on. I've got two kids who play soccer. I've become a youth referee, myself,” Meyer said. “It's just a lot of fun to see how many people participate and cheer on soccer and the Loons in particular."

USA fans watch in dismay at Allianz Field
USA fans at Allianz Field in St. Paul watch a near goal by Wales during the group stage World Cup match between USA and Wales on Monday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Former soccer star Tony Sanneh and his charitable foundation partnered with Minnesota United for the event, which also served as a food drive.

Sanneh says players on the U.S. team are younger and less experienced than some of the other teams in their group.

"We have a pretty tough group. But we have a lot of players that have done really well recently. So, one we need to make a really good run and really set the table for the next World Cup. I'm hopeful we have a great performance and really just stick together as a group of individuals,” Sanneh said.

The U.S. team is part of group B. That group includes England, which defeated Iran 6 to 2 on Monday. The U.S. has a match scheduled for Friday against England at 1 p.m. Central time.

USA fans watch in dismay at Allianz Field
USA fans watch in dismay at Allianz Field in St. Paul after Walsh winger Gareth Bale celebrates a penalty kick score during the group stage World Cup match between USA and Wales on Monday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

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