Soccer fans getting an early start on World Cup action

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Schulz Brau Brewing Company in Knoxville is giving local soccer fans
a chance to get their day kicked off in the right way. Most folks don't normally kick off the week, bright and early on a Monday morning, with a visit to a local brewery. But when the reason is soccer and the World Cup, well, it's just fine says Schulz Brau bartender Garrett Buffington, "It's a little different from what I'd usually be doing, the bartender lifestyle doesn't usually facilitate us opening up a bar at 9:30 everyday."

To accommodate World Cup fans, the folks at Schulz Brau have been and continue to welcome supporters of soccer who just want to get together and watch games, games which are taking place much later in the day in Russia. That includes fans just passing through Tennessee like Lacy Ryan:"We're from Indianapolis. We’re actually cutting through on our way to North Carolina and so we were trying to find a place to watch the game this morning."

With the Americans missing out on World Cup 2018, the question I've had is, who are fans of USA soccer rooting for? It's a question the folks at Volkswagen took to heart in a new commercial with fans from other countries saying, "America, sorry you're not in the Tournament, but now, please root for Switzerland. America, cheer for Argentina. No America, root for Brazil."
Kevin Anderson of Knoxville says "A lot of people said it's a terrible idea that Volkswagen did it. It's very clever, a lot of people don't think much outside the United States, so it forces us when we like the sport to look elsewhere."
David Desweese, USA soccer fan adds “Since the U.S. isn't in , I've started cheering for countries and players that I like to follow during the regular season. My favorite team is Liverpool, so effectively, I chose England."
Buffington adds, “A lot of the American fans have decided to support Mexico, they’re effectively our neighbor and co-host in 2026
and that's also who I'm pulling for today."

Now during Monday morning’s Brazil vs. Mexico match there were fans of each side present. Also on hand were casual fans and your more vested observers, like local referee Kevin Anderson who says,"Unlike other sports, in soccer, you are very concerned with what referee's are doing because he can have an impact on the game which makes it all the more fun particularly when you're in an area like this."

Here's to 2022, for Team USA, and to the loyal fans who say it's never too early to watch some World Cup soccer.