World Cup viewing in San Jose

World Cup viewers at O'Flaherty's

A small but friendly crowd for World Cup action at O'Flaherty's.

The USA is out of the World Cup competition, but today’s games bring us down to the semi-finals. The games to be played over the next two week-ends will be among the most-watched sporting events in the world for the next four years, and probably some of the most skilled soccer that’s going to be on American TV screens too.

Not having cable (or even ABC broadcast) TV at home, I’ve been watching the games at a variety of places around town. One combination that’s worked well, especially for late morning games, is to head for Japantown and watch the first half of a game at Roy’s Station with a cup of coffee, then head down the street to the Hukilau restaurant to get a beer and a burger for the second half. Neither place was over-crowded, but Roy’s probably had more people getting into the game. When USA made a last minute goal to defeat Algeria and make it through to the second round, the Roy’s Station crowd were all part of the game.

Also in Japantown, Jack’s Bar on Taylor Street had the most intense crowd I’ve seen, at least when USA was in a game. Fans wore red, white, and blue, and broke into spontaneous song during one match when I dropped in. There were so many fans packed in to the tiny place that reaching the bar to get a drink seemed like an impossibility, though, so I moved on to Roy’s and enjoyed an iced mocha instead of a beer with that day’s match.

For today’s Spain-Paraguay matchup, I headed downtown and found myself at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in San Pedro Square. Again the crowd wasn’t huge, but they were all watching the game, and the brick and dark paneling old world pub atmosphere made for a cozy viewing experience. If I’d wanted to watch with a bigger crowd, I probably would have gone around the corner to The Brit.

Remaining matches:

  • Uruguay faces Netherlands, July 6 at 11:30 am.
  • Germany vs. Spain, July 7, 11:30 am.
  • Consolation match, July 10, 11:30 am.
  • Final match, for the world championship, July 11, 11:30 am

Leave us a comment and let us know where’s the best place in town to see these games.

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