Arlington, VA

(Updated at 10:00 a.m.) Offices around the county came to a standstill at 4:00 p.m. yesterday to watch the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team play and lose to Belgium, 2-1 in extra time.

Watchers packed bars, gathered around TVs in their offices and came together in hordes in public places and watched U.S. goalie Tim Howard save a World Cup record 16 shots on goal, smashing the previous record of 13. Legions of new American soccer fans watched as 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin injected speed and energy into a U.S. team that seemed like it had none. Everyone decked out in red, white and blue cheered as 19-year-old Julian Green scored a magnificent goal to give the Americans some hope in his first career minute on the field in the World Cup.

The World Cup is over for the Americans, although there are still eight teams, eight countries, still fighting for soccer’s most coveted prize. Tim Howard may have played the best game a goalie ever has on a World Cup stage, but it will likely be his last game under the world’s spotlight. Thanks to players like Yedlin and Green, 2018 in Russia could have a different ending.

Arlington and the rest of the country will be watching.

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It’s Friday. That means everybody is leaving work early to get ready for a weekend of beach/barbecue/cheering on Team USA/etc.

So in fairness to Group D of our Arlington’s Cutest Dog contest, we’re getting voting started early.

Before you run out of the office, vote for up to three of the dogs below (after the jump). It’s the perfect way to start the weekend, really.

Voting for Group D will end on Friday, July 2 at 2:00 p.m.

Here’s a reminder of what’s at stake in the final round:

  • Grand Prize: Apple iPad (courtesy of Siena Park, the new pet-friendly luxury apartment community on Columbia Pike)
  • Second Prize: $100 Wylie Wagg gift certificate (courtesy of Wylie Wagg in Clarendon, featuring healthy food and supplies for dogs and cats)
  • Third Prize: $50 Wylie Wagg gift certificate
  • All top three finishers will receive a soccer ball fetch toy from Wylie Wagg, in honor of the World Cup.

Good luck to all the contestants!

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Morning Notes

Summers Doing Big Business During World Cup — Summers Restaurant in Courthouse was so crowded during yesterday’s World Cup match between the U.S. and Algeria that the fire marshal showed up, according to NBC Washington. The 300-capacity venue was deemed 25 people over-capacity.

Zimmerman Urges State to Reconsider Metro Defunding Threat — “The state should not break the promise made to its residents and regional partners,” WMATA and Arlington County board member Chris Zimmerman wrote in an op-ed on the Washington Post’s website. Zimmerman and fellow Northern Virginia WMATA board member Catherine Hudgins say that if the state withdraws $50 million in funding, as it has threatened to do if it doesn’t get two seats on the Metro board, then a cooperative $300 million per year infrastructure improvement plan “will fall apart.”

Flickr pool photo by brianmka.

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After Team USA’s heart-stopping stoppage-time win, you may not think you have any energy left to become emotionally-invested in another thrilling competition. But with faces like these, how can you resist?

Vote for the pooch you think should advance to the final round of our Arlington’s Cutest Dog contest (you can vote for up to three), after the jump.

Voting for Group B will end on Wednesday, June 30 at 2:00 p.m.

Here’s a reminder of what’s at stake in the final round:

  • Grand Prize: Apple iPad (courtesy of Siena Park, the new pet-friendly luxury apartment community on Columbia Pike)
  • Second Prize: $100 Wylie Wagg gift certificate (courtesy of Wylie Wagg in Clarendon, featuring healthy food and supplies for dogs and cats)
  • Third Prize: $50 Wylie Wagg gift certificate
  • All top three finishers will receive a soccer ball fetch toy from Wylie Wagg, in honor of the World Cup

Good luck to all the contestants!
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From Rosslyn to Ballston today, pockets of soccer fans could be seen celebrating Team USA’s amazing stoppage-time win against Algeria in the World Cup.

At Piola in Rosslyn, a sizable crowd jumped to their feet when Landon Donovan knocked in the game’s only point following a rebound off Algeria’s goalkeeper. Fans watching the game at Summers Restaurant in Courthouse, who had been bracing for a tie that would have sent the U.S. back home, celebrated wildly.

Along Wilson Boulevard, two cars passed by with horns honking and with passengers holding American flags out windows.

Having grabbed the top spot in Group C, the U.S. team will advance to the next round to face the runner-up of Group D. That game will be held Saturday afternoon.

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Get your vuvuzelas out, it’s finally here. The first round of our Arlington’s Cutest Dog contest has begun.

Below you’ll find our first 12 contestants (out of 48). Take a look at the photos below, then make the jump to cast your votes (you can vote for up to three). The top vote-getter will advance to the final round, and the second place finisher will have a chance for an at-large bid.

Voting will end on Tuesday, June 29 at 2:00 p.m.

Here’s a reminder of what’s at stake in the final round:

  • Grand Prize: Apple iPad (courtesy of Siena Park, the new pet-friendly luxury apartment community on Columbia Pike)
  • Second Prize: $100 Wylie Wagg gift certificate (courtesy of Wylie Wagg in Clarendon, featuring healthy food and supplies for dogs and cats)
  • Third Prize: $50 Wylie Wagg gift certificate
  • All top three finishers will receive a soccer ball fetch toy from Wylie Wagg, in honor of the World Cup

Without further adieu, here’s Group A:

Vote for your favorites, after the jump.

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Last week we asked you to submit entries for our inaugural Arlington’s Cutest Dog contest. Thanks to a tremendous response, we’re happy to announce that we’ve picked up another great sponsor. And both of our sponsors have pitched in additional prizes for the winners.

Siena Park, a new pet-friendly luxury apartment community on Columbia Pike (see photos of the apartments, the pool and the lobby here), has upped the ante by supplying an Apple iPad as our new grand prize.

Wylie Wagg, Clarendon’s new hometown pet store, will now supply a $100 gift certificate as our second prize, a $50 gift certificate for third prize, and soccer ball fetch toys for all three top finishers, in honor of the World Cup. Plus, Wagg will be holding a patio party for all contestants at the end of the contest (well-wishers will also be welcome to attend).

The deadline for submissions has passed and a field of 48 is now set. Taking some inspiration from the World Cup, we’ll divide the field into four groups of 12. Voting for Group A will begin on Tuesday, Group B on Wednesday and so on. Voting for each group will last a week. We’ll advance a final group of five — the four top vote-getters from each group, and the second place finisher with the most votes. After a week of final round voting, we’ll announce the winners on July 12, a day after the championship game of the World Cup.

Arlington, I hope you’re ready for three weeks of canine cuteness and cutthroat competition.

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As if Arlington didn’t have enough good looking people, the county is also blessed with an inordinate number of cute dogs. In some places it’s hard to walk down the street without encountering some adorable mutt.

But whereas people have beauty pageants, what do local dogs have? Bupkis.

That’s why we’re teaming up with Wylie Wagg (2509 N. Franklin Rd.), Clarendon’s new hometown pet store, to bring you the Arlington’s Cutest Dog Contest. And in honor of the World Cup, we figured we’d do it tournament-style.

In a nutshell, here’s how it will work:

  • Email [email protected] with a clear photo of your pooch, along with his or her name, sex, breed, age and a one paragraph “biography.”
  • Next week the public will begin voting on the contestants by groups. A “Final Four” will be chosen from those votes.
  • The public will then vote on a Grand Prize winner.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Wylie Wagg gift certificate, good for anything from their selection of healthy food and supplies for dogs and cats (see below), and a very World Cup-appropriate mini soccer ball chew toy.

Note that if we get a large number of entries, we may have to narrow down the field by random drawing.

Photo above by christaki.

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Morning Notes

Happy Flag Day — Today is Flag Day. The holiday commemorates the adoption of the United States flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. June 14th also happens to be the birthday of the U.S. Army. Today the Army turns the ripe old age of 235.

Post Writes Up EFC Development Battle — The Washington Post is running a story this morning about the increasingly ugly battle between the East Falls Church Planning Task Force and vocal anti-development residents. The task force and their pro-development allies say that development is inevitable given that East Falls Church will be the transfer station to the new Silver Line. Anti-development forces say they don’t want a nine-story “high-rise” among their “bucolic” bastion of single-family homes. The County Board will discuss the task force’s development plan on Tuesday.

Hope for the Best — Del. Patrick Hope, a member of the Arlington delegation to the Virginia General Assembly, has been named legislator of the year by the Virginia Transit Association. The first-term delegate says he was “honored” to receive the award, which recognizes his work on a transit-related bill. More from the Sun Gazette.

They Live (and Cheer) Among Us — Were you watching the U.S.-England World Cup match at Summers Restaurant in Courthouse over the weekend? Fox News says you might have been rubbing elbows with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Nunes frequents Summers, which, according to Fox News, “is known as one of the best soccer pubs in the country.” For other good soccer venues around Arlington, see our World Cup guide.

Flickr pool photo by Plaszloc.

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Lessons we learned while gathering information about local bars and their World Cup specials:

  • Irish pubs cannot stand France.
  • Irish pubs cannot stand England.
  • Irish pubs are likely to ask “Wait, why do you need an excuse like the World Cup to drink?” when asked about their World Cup drink specials.
  • Even British pubs are hesitant to say that they’re supporting England in Saturday’s match against the U.S.
  • There are too many ridiculous eating and drinking opportunities to avoid soccer for the next month.

Soccer is a game meant to be watched with a large group of loud and inebriated fans, so go ahead, summon your old middle school soccer ambitions and yell out those rare soccer-related phrases you remember from the matches (“CORNER KICK!” and “STRIKER!”).

ARLnow’s list of places to watch the World Cup in Arlington is after the jump. The tournament, by the way, kicks off (get it?) at 10:00 a.m. Friday with host country South Africa versus Mexico.

Photo via Facebook: Piola Restaurant all decked out for the World Cup.

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