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Fans gather to watch the USA vs. Wales game at the World Cup

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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The World Cup has officially begun and soccer fans in Western Massachusetts are excited about the return of the US national teams to the tournament.

Fans shook the floor of the Rumbleseat Bar and Grille in Chicopee as Tim Weak made it one-nil for the game between the USA and Wales on Monday afternoon. They told Western Mass News about their excitement to see the United States back in the world cup for the first time in eight years.

“I’m a huge soccer fan, I love the game, I love everything about it, I love the United States men’s national team,” said Christopher Gallivan of Feeding Hills.

“It’s exciting. We’ve been waiting for this for eight years. This is the United States. They did it,” added Jack Francisco of Springfield.

Rumbleseat owner Bill Stetson told Western Mass News that he anticipates hundreds of fans pouring through the gates to watch the tournament unfold.

“People are here earlier than expected. I think it’s eight years in the making. Everyone is excited, Americana, track and field, it’s the best,” Stetson added.

The last World Cup the USA qualified for was in 2014. In 2018, fans dealt with an upset loss to Trinidad and Tobago in qualifying games that eliminated them from the competition. American Outlaws western Massachusetts chapter president Jason Williams said he is excited to see this young USA team back in action.

“Now, we have the second youngest team in the World Cup. A lot of guys who are playing abroad in England at the moment, unlike in previous years. I think the team can get out of the group stage,” added Williams.

Stetson told Western Mass News that he hopes to see as many people as possible at the bar to cheer on this young USA team.

“Everyone is super, super excited. A couple of people might have left a little bit earlier, there might be some doctor’s notes lying around,” Stetson said.

The fans hope their support is enough to inspire the USA to the Round of 16.

“The goal was incredible, an incredible atmosphere. That is why we are here to watch the USA play,” Francisco said.

“I am very excited to finally have the US back on the world stage. It’s been too long,” Gallivan said.

The Western Mass. American Outlaws and Rumbleseat will host at least two more parties to watch the group stage matches on Friday against England and on Tuesday against Iran.

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