SCRANTON — One nation, one team. It`s the slogan for this year’s United States Men’s National Soccer team as they compete at the World Cup in Brazil. But in Lackawanna County, the patriotic fans are good for business.
“We use events like this to really help to bring people out and see what there is to offer in the area,” said Cheyne Wago, the Assistant Manager at Ale Mary’s.
Ale Mary’s on Franklin Ave in Scranton has been packed during the World Cup matches, but it`s not just the bars who are bringing in the bucks. Other businesses in Lackawanna County have also a surge in business.
“With Upper 90 and SoccerPlus up in Clarks Summit, they really pushed hard and worked with us. The Electric City Shock, our local professional soccer team. A lot of the guys come out here after the games. I think it all kind of just rolled together,” said Wago.
Soccer professionals said it’s events like the World Cup that help draws attention to the sport.
“In this area, soccer is not really well known yet. We’re getting there, with my team and a lot of the youth clubs are finally starting to grow. But it is building fast,” said James Bell, the head coach for the Electric City Shock.
With the red, white, and blue proof, the soccer fans are out in full force in Scranton. However, if you’re still unsure about the sport, the head coach of the professional soccer team in Scranton has a message for you, “They’re missing out. They’re really missing out. Soccer fans are the craziest ones.”
Some admit they’re crazy enough to leave one country to root for another!
“I was in Russia for a year but I came back to watch my boys win it on home soil,” said Patrick Loftus from Scranton.
Many of those fans also shared their predictions for the USA vs. Portugal game.
Bell said, “I want to see a W, definitely. 2-0, I’m calling it.”
“Hopefully Ronaldo doesn’t give us too much problems,” said Wago.
“3-0 USA and we’re going to go on to win the whole thing,” said Loftus.
If the United States beats Portugal on Sunday, the US will secure a spot in the round of 16.
No matter the outcome of the game, the US Men’s team will play Germany on Thursday.