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Thousands Play Hooky To Watch World Cup

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(credit: CBS) Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The U.S. won, despite losing Thursday in the World Cup.

Thomas Mueller scored the only goal as Germany beat Team USA 1-0 in Brazil. But the U.S. team still had a good enough record to advance to the next round.

The USA will play on, and the Twin Cities will party on.

A crowd of 2,100 filled Brit’s Pub, and dozens waited outside to get in. General Manager Shane Higgins says they built an extra fire exit to accommodate more fans.

“It’s like a mini stadium. It’s not like a restaurant, it’s like a mini football stadium,” Higgins said.

One fan flat out admitted to WCCO cameras he was “playing hooky.”

So many people played sick, U.S. Soccer tweeted an excuse letter, signed by the coach.

Tyson Morris, 12, spread out on the lawn at Brit’s to watch.

“I just like watching soccer,” Morris said.

His cousin, Ben Koller, was also having a great time.

“I love USA because, I don’t know, I live there, and I just like to watch the USA play,” Koller said.

And so does Jamie Watson, midfielder for Minnesota United.

“Being a professional soccer team, right, this is something we live for,” Watson said.

Instead of being on the field, his team spent the midday hours having lunch together at Clive’s Roadhouse in Blaine.

“We were set up to have practice during the U.S. game, so Coach Manny Lagos did us all a big favor, moved us up a bit earlier,” he said. “Nobody complained about having to wake up earlier.”

The team has players from several World Cup countries, but as they watched Team USA, they were in harmony.

“We got the Brazilians cheering for Americans now, that’s how infectious the U.S. team is right now,” Watson said.

It was infectious enough to pull away a whole lot of people from their livelihood to celebrate a very tolerable loss.

Shane Higgins from Brit’s says the fan base for Team USA is about the same as in 2010. But what seems to be different about this year’s fans is that they’re now coming out to cheer on other teams, too.

The Minnesota United say they hope these crowds of excited people will come out to their games, like the one on July 4.

Click here to see the team’s schedule.

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