MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The U.S. Women’s National Team had millions of eyes from all around the world, and from a packed house at Brit’s Pub in Minneapolis, this was more than just a game.

There was something for everyone in this year’s World Cup.

Some people watched for their favorite players.

“Megan Rapinoe because she takes all the shots and kicks and she’s really good at it,” soccer fan Max Clark said.

Some watched for their favorite team.

“They’re very determined and they won’t give up,” Yuvani Bhandari said.

And some watched for a sport that has gained the type of momentum that’s impossible to ignore.

The Americans against Netherlands made for a storybook final in itself. Holland’s soccer roots run deep — for the men. This generation of Dutch women had little to lose, and everything to prove.

“When I moved here, the U.S. was playing and most European countries weren’t taking it seriously yet from the women’s side,” fan Jan Hommema said.

And for team USA, the fourth star is a benchmark that brought one fan to tears. Michelle Trombetta is friends with national team players from the 90s and early 2000s.

“And just seeing where they were then to where they are now is just so heartwarming,” Trombetta said.

They played in empty stadiums and in a professional league that folded twice. They were players whose names today’s fans likely wouldn’t remember.

“I’ve been sending pictures to them all day like, ‘Guys, do you see this? You guys did this. You did this,'” Trombetta said.

They laid the foundation for the now household names, and perhaps a few players who we haven’t heard of — yet.

“I watch and I’m like, ‘Oh I want to play on that team, and I want to do that stuff like at a lot of our games and practices,'” fan Elizabeth Conner said.

Christiane Cordero

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