Claddagh become local World Cup headquarters - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Claddagh become local World Cup headquarters

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An absolute thriller in the World Cup as Team USA  ties Portugal 2-2. The Americans took a 2-1 lead with two second half goals, but the Portuguese answered with the latest regulation goal in the history of the tournament, forcing a tie. Hundreds packed into Claddagh Irish Pub at Franklin Park Mall on Sunday to watch the game. There are some serious soccer fans in the area and even though it was a draw, Team USA gave them plenty to cheer about tonight.

Claddagh was World Cup central in Toledo tonight. Jules Wilkins is the General Manager, "The energy in here is phenomenal, you could feel it when you walked in the door." And just about everyone who walked in the door at Claddagh was wearing red, white and blue. There were shirts, hats and even face paint. Heidi Bertz was all decked out ,"After being here for the last game we saw that everyone was really into it. So this week we went and go scarves, flags and face paint, we really just went all out. I am more of an American football fan but the more I watch soccer the more I love it . It is beautiful."

As the game went on there were jeers and cheers but everyone was having fun. Justin Rozanski played high school soccer, "Win, lose or draw you are supporting your country. It's just like the Olympics, it's a good feeling to be proud and support your county."

There were some serious fans but most of them, like Turner Ferrara, only focus on the World C
up every four years, "I am definitely and arm chair fan. I am not into league play much, I like the international matches and it doesn't get any bigger than the World Cup." 

Wilkins says the big game meant big money for Claddagh with a much bigger than usual Sunday crowd, "I did not know a lot about soccer until I started working at Claddagh and now I love it!"

Next up for Team USA is Germany on Thursday, one of the best teams in the world. Claddagh will be opening early that day to accommodate all the fans.

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