World Cuppage: USA 1 - England 1; Yankee Doodle Culinaria at the Old Post Office Plaza
|photos by Keegan Hamilton|
|The US streaked to a 1-1 draw against England.|
That's the cry that drew the second-loudest cheer of the day from St. Louis' American soccer hooligans. It was a sweltering 94 degrees in downtown on Saturday afternoon and the sun beat mercilessly down on a sizable crowd of fanatics on-hand to watch the United States take on England on a portable, giant-screen TV set up on the Old Post Office Plaza.
The loudest moment, of course, came when Robert Green, the British goalkeeper, botched a weak, dribbling shot from Clint Dempsey and allowed the U.S. to tie the game in the 40th minute. Revelers touched off smoke bombs, beat snare drums and tambourines, sounded air horns and otherwise went apeshit.
Then five painfully long minutes ticked away and the mass exodus to the nearby Schnuck's outpost began.
|America eff yeah!|
Fast friends were made as folks struck up deals to split the cost of six and twelve-packs of domestic cans and the only single-serve option -- 22 oz. aluminum bottles of A-B products -- flew off the shelves because they sold for $1.69, more than half the price of outdoor the booths across the block.
Honestly, it was an impressive turnout for the American contingent and, other than the oppressive heat, the Old Post Office Plaza was a fantastic place to screen the most-hyped match of the tournament. Faces were painted, Budweiser was slurped down and the lone England fans were taunted mercilessly.
|God save the Queen...and these guys too.|
All that ended just four minutes in when England's Steven Gerrard knocked a ball past goalie Tim Howard with the outside of his right foot. Then the emboldened Englishman taunted "At this pace we'll be up 30-0 at the half!"
Thankfully, the U.S. rallied and mounted several strong attacks. The unlikely equalizer came on a weak shot from Dempsey that glanced of the English keeper's mitts. The British announcer remarked, "That's not even something you'd see in schoolboy play."
|The crowd at the Old Post Office Oven, err, Plaza.|
The ESPN broadcast referenced the 1950 World Cup match between the U.S. and England at least a dozen times -- each instance prompting yelps and applause from the locals -- but St. Louis' role in the historic 1-0 upset was mentioned just once. The shout-out to hometown hero Harry Keough, however, drew what was undoubtedly the third-loudest applause of the afternoon.
Wanna know where to watch the World Cup in St. Louis? Click here for the 22 best spots.