More than 300 people were in the ballroom at the Omni Hotel on Thursday to watch the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team lose to Germany 1-0 in a World Cup match in Recife, Brazil.
Fortunately for the Americans, while they were playing their match, Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 allowing the U.S. team to advance on goal difference to the next round.
Before the match began, Jacksonville Sports Council Executive Director Alan Verlander said he was impressed by the sold-out crowd that came to watch a soccer game on television at midday on a Thursday.
“This is a serious statement that Jacksonville’s sports community and its soccer community are coming together,” he said. “There is an energy around Jacksonville. We’re breaking out and becoming the sports entity we know we can be.”
Jacksonville Armada Football Club owner Mark Frisch also was impressed with the turnout for the soccer-watching party and business networking luncheon. “This is incredible,” he said.
Frisch said the Armada has sold more than 2,000 season tickets, although the team won’t play its first game until April. He also said he would announce within a few weeks where the Armada will play next season, likely either the University of North Florida or the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The U.S. Men’s Team will play Belgium on Tuesday.