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Arlington Watches U.S. Men’s Soccer Advance in World Cup

(Updated at 3:50 p.m.Summers Restaurant in Courthouse was saturated with beer, World Cup fans and support for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team this afternoon. Bargoers were on the edge of their seats before the game between the U.S. and Germany even started.

“This is, like, the biggest game of my life,” said Joyce Batka, a soccer fan since kindergarten and supporter of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann since he played for the German national team in the 1990s. “I’m really torn. I’d love it if there was a tie today so that both teams advance.”

The Germans defeated the U.S. team, 1-0, but because the U.S. lost to Germany by only one goal and Portugal, which defeated Ghana, lost by four earlier in the tournament, the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16.

Batka planned weeks ahead to take the day off from work and watch the game, much like Wes Cronkite, who had his day off scheduled since December. Batka and Cronkite were two of the thousands of soccer fans, new and old, who ditched work today to pack neighborhood restaurants with TVs from noon to 2:00 p.m.

“I haven’t missed a World Cup game since 1994,” Cronkite said. Cronkite was sporting a U.S. jersey, and others showed support with American flags, Hawaiian leis and other displays of team pride.

The United States defeated Ghana, 2-1, to open the tournament last week, and was beating Portugal 2-1 until 94 and a half minutes into the 95-minute game, the Portuguese scored to force a tie. If the U.S. had held on, they would have advanced regardless of their result against Germany.

“They could have closed it out last time,” Courtney Friedman, a soccer fan for five years, said while wearing an American flag poncho, “but that makes this game extra special.”

Although neither team scored during the first half of the game, curses and expressions of frustration filled Summers with each German shot American goalie Tim Howard blocked, leading many fans to pay closer attention to the Portugal-Ghana game. A man with a vuvuzela paced and yawned near the bar.

“They’re not even trying anymore,” a man in the crowd said at the beginning of the second half. “The game is dead.” Germany scored its first and only goal of the game before he finished his sentence.

“These Germans are very boisterous,” Dave Endres, who was at a bar in Tysons on Sunday for the U.S.’s game against Portugal, said.

For the rest of the second half, the crowd was quiet apart from shouts of disagreement at “unfair” calls from the referee, and one man who chanted “U-S-A, U-S-A,” after Ghana scored its only goal on Portugal.

The U.S. team will now face the winner of either Belgium or Algeria in the Round of 16 on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. It’s the first time in U.S. Soccer history that the men’s team advanced out of the group stage in two straight World Cups. In 2010, The U.S. was eliminated by Ghana in the Round of 16.

Despite the loss, the bar crowd still clapped, cheered and shouted “U-S-A, U-S-A” at the end of the game. Emotionally-drained fans, overall, were all smiles at the end result.

“It was still good,” bar patron Francisco Lainez said. “I mean, they lost, but they still get to the next stage.”

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The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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