World Cup mania hits Auburn - WRBL

World Cup mania hits Auburn

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AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn fans typically cheer for their team in orange and blue, but when America is playing, it is all about the red, white and blue.

At one Auburn World Cup watch party, the atmosphere was very much like a SEC football game.

Brent Westlake is an Auburn student, soccer maniac, and a proud American man. He led the chants for the Auburn chapter of the American Outlaws.

He knows the game of soccer very well. He even played the game against U.S. national team's Jozy Altidore as a teenager. He says the World Cup is like Christmas every day.

"Soccer is such a tribal sport. You find your friends, you find your niche, you find your supporters, you stick with them. It was an awesome communal feeling,” Westlake said.

We talked with Brent at different moments of the game to try to understand the agony he and his fellow Americans were going through.

At halftime, the game was tied at nil and hope was very strong. His voice, however, was not.

"My voice is hurting a little bit. The vocal chords are getting a little shaky right now, but, it is worth it. It is worth it to yell and scream. At the very least, it is like being back in Jordan-Hare Stadium again,” Westlake said.

The second half brought a myriad of emotions. This is when U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard made a tremendous save, but seconds later, he gives up the game’s only goal to Germany.

By this point, soccer fans were looking at the corner of their eye at the Portugal and Ghana game.

"It was really difficult to keep up with both games. Watching the Portugal and Ghana game obviously carried a little bit more weight. Once Germany scored, we just had to rely on them to get us through,” said Westlake.

And that is exactly what happened. Even though the U.S. lost, they still won because their World Cup dreams are still alive. The Auburn fans are ready for more celebrations.

“If we win, each knockout round, we are rolling those trees. Just like an Auburn win, it is a win for America so we have got to roll them just like football season,” Westlake said.

So, how did these fans close out the American team's battle cry? By saying ‘War Eagle!’

Westlake says the main reason why the United States is moving is on their athleticism. He says they can wear down their opponents and that has been really fun to watch.

Dayne Young

Dayne is a sports anchor and reporter for WRBL. He started covering the Chattahoochee Valley in September 2012. More>>

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