MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The United States Women’s soccer team got a big Minnesota welcome Tuesday night.

They sold out Allianz Field, with a crowd of 19,600 soccer fans from the Twin Cities and beyond packed in to watch their match against Portugal’s national team. Allianz is a tiny but mighty stadium, and fans didn’t just come here — they showed up.

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St. Paul welcomed the world champions with an entrance built for rock stars, and an environment to match.

(credit: CBS)

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“With the crowd pretty much on top of the field, the players can really feel the intensity of us,” said Aaron Peterson of The American Outlaws, a supporters’ club of the women and men’s national teams.

Regardless of why you’re here, or what you call the game, it’s hard to deny that soccer in America has taken on a personality of its own.

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“I have my girls and they’re into soccer, and I wanted to be into the same sport as they were,’” fan Rob Tuttle said.

Rob’s daughters even convinced him to dye his hair pink, like Team USA’s Megan Rapinoe.

(credit: CBS)

Cindy Yanchuri told us she’s followed women’s soccer for 27 years. On Tuesday night, she let the game come to her.

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“This is like a dream come true,” Yanchuri said. “We’re here for the sport and for the good of the sport, but to see them here to support women, [taps her heart].”

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Minnesota United brings in similar numbers for many of its games, so the soccer crowd in the Twin Cities is real. And for people from St. Paul especially, they know Allianz Field is a special place.