This year, when the US men’s national team returned once again to Everbank Field, Jacksonville filled the stadium with over 50,000 people. This time around, it was US vs. Nigeria on June 7. Soccer fans came from all around the area, many even from out of town, and those who had never found an interest in the game were soon intrigued. Jacksonville opened the gates to Everbank Field and the fans rushed in to watch our team beat Nigeria before heading to the World Cup.
“I definitely think it’s a growing sport and gaining popularity especially here in Jacksonville,” Ben Whitley said.
The momentum from the Nigeria game was still strumming through the city, as was clear to see from the crowd that came out to the Jacksonville Landing Monday for the watch party, hosted by the Jacksonville Armada football club. John Brooks took team USA to victory with a 2-1 win over Ghana and fans were loving seeing our country pull out such a miraculous win.
“I got really nervous when we tied it up,” yelled an excited fan. “I wasn’t sure we could come back but I had faith in my boys and we’re number one!”
The excitement from the world cup has given Jacksonville locals yet another reason to come together as a community and have some fun. If you missed the last watch party, there will be another on Sunday, June 22 at Shim Sham Room with the Jacksonville Armada with a bonus location at Nippers Beach Grill at 8 p.m. for the US vs. Portugal game.