Rochester watch parties tune in for U.S. vs. Iran in World Cup

The World Cup is the most watched sporting event around the world and folks in the Rochester area are tuning in.
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The United States is advancing to the next round of the World Cup after the team pulled off a crucial 1-0 win against Iran Tuesday.

The World Cup is the most watched sporting event around the world and folks in the Rochester area are tuning in.

“It’s the biggest sporting competition in the world, so we’re going to be watching everything,” Little Thistle Brewing Company owner and head brewer Steve Finnie said.

“It’d be cool to see them advance out of the group stage, so I’m just very excited,” Rochester resident Chris Paff said.

Fans say they are feeling hopeful about the upcoming games and look forward to the rest of the tournament.

“I am just excited that we’re back in the tournament. We weren’t in it four years ago so it’s great to be able to just be a part of it,” Med City Football Club coordinator Chris Roberts said.

“This is a great young team and they’ve played really well, and they deserve it,” Rochester resident Amir O’Randy said.

Several Rochester businesses are hosting watch parties for the entire tournament.

“At the beginning, there’s a couple people, the big die-hards. But then as people find out about it, more and more experience it. We’re serving popcorn, coffee, soda that kind of thing. It will be a really great community event,” Gray Duck Theater owner Andy Smith said.

“It’s been going great. It’s been great to see lots of local people out here, people from all over the world, different countries, because it is the World Cup,” Finnie said.

Local soccer fans say the sport has gained popularity in Rochester within the past few years.

“It’s a great club, we’ve loved just having really high-quality soccer in Rochester and being able to help grow that,” Roberts said.

“It’s so much better to see this with a bunch of people than by yourself in the living room,” Smith said.

With everything going on in Iran, these fans say it’s difficult to keep politics out of sports.

“I think it’s just one of those things that is the nature of playing on the stage of the World Cup and competing against other nations,” Roberts said.

“It’s a part of it. There are always things going on in the world and that adds to the excitement. It adds to the intrigue of the game,” O’Randy said.

Both Gray Duck Theater and Little Thistle will continue hosting watch parties for the remainder of the tournament.