A View On The World Cup, Seen From An LA Bar On A Midweek Morning

Fans of the U.S. soccer team gathered across the country to watch Thursday's World Cup match against Germany. More than a thousand people watched the game at Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., and many others filled Grant Park in Chicago. Meanwhile, NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji was with fans in Los Angeles, and she offers some of their reactions.

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Of course, there were also plenty of neighbors, friends and family gathered in spots all across the U.S. today. A huge lunchtime crowd came out in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle to watch the game. Thousands turned up in Chicago's Grant Park, waving American flags and chanting, U.S.A.. And in Los Angeles, NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji joined die-hard fans at a neighborhood bar early this morning.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, BYLINE: I'm here from NPR. You're having the first beer in the bar?

PHIL STARK: I just confirmed we've - we're pouring first beer. Although it's sort of late. It's 8:30. But we're Americans, so I guess it's OK.

MERAJI: What's your name?

STARK: Phil. Phil Stark.

MERAJI: And who are you rooting for?

STARK: The United States of America. You know what country you're in, right?

MERAJI: I'm at Hyperion Public in LA's Silver Lake neighborhood, so the bar is packed with want-to-be comedians like that dude, freelancers, and I overheard someone say, please don't tag me on Facebook. I called in sick. There are diner mugs filled with coffee and pint glasses with beer. And I would describe the fan reaction throughout the game as elation followed, very quickly, by devastation.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You suck, Bradley.

MERAJI: And then there's Germany's back-to-back shots on goal, one saved...


MERAJI: The other not. Zero-one, Germany. We lost, but we kind of won because we're moving on.

You're smiling?

MARISOL ORIHUELASO: I'm smiling. I mean, I'm smiling because we're still - we're alive. You know, we're alive. And at the end of the day, you've got to be glad about that.

MERAJI: Marisol Orihuelaso stopped by the bar on her way to work. So she rocked career-casual red, white and blue. But Tomas Pais walked into the bar with a Portugal jersey and huge Portuguese flag tied around his neck like a cape. He watched the Portugal-Ghana game on the smallest screen in the bar with, like, three other people. And, although his team won, they kind of lost.

TOMAS PAIS: Portugal is gone, unfortunately. I was actually there in the stadium in Manaus a few days ago, watched them tie the game. Now I'm rooting for the U.S.A.. because it's good for us. It's good for the country. It's good for soccer and the United States.

MERAJI: Shereen Marisol Meraji. NPR News.

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I'm Melissa Block, @nprmelissablock. Our colleague, Robert Siegel, is @rsiegel47.

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