Bars, restaurants open early for World Cup 2022 games

USMNT's Christian Pulisic hails from Hershey, and Brenden Aaronson is from Medford.

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Monday, November 21, 2022
Bars, restaurants open early for World Cup 2022 games
Team USA fans, of all ages, were ready for the World Cup to begin!

HAVERTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Crossbar in Havertown, Delaware County opened at 7:45 a.m. Monday, ready to welcome fans for the first World Cup game of the day at 8 a.m.

Nick and Lukas Lee came clad in their Liverpool jerseys. They were Crossbar's first fans for the England/Iran game.

Lukas is 4.5 months old.

"It's his first World Cup as you can probably imagine," said Nick Lee, referring to the infant in his arms.

"Rooting for the U.S. throughout this tournament. We're rooting for England this morning, but not on Friday when we play them," added Nick Lee.

"When we opened ten years ago, soccer was a big theme of the bar," said Crossbar co-owner Brendan Cox. "If it's a big game, we will be open for it."

Tir Na Nog in Center City also opened early.

"I'm super excited. I took off from work today," said soccer fan Phil Repetto.

At 2 p.m., USA will play their first match, facing off with Wales.

USA missed out on the World Cup in 2018.

Wales is back in the tournament for the first time since 1958.

USMNT's Christian Pulisic hails from Hershey, Pa. and Brenden Aaronson is from Medford, NJ.

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"I took off every USA game the minute the schedule was released," said Robert Louden of Doylestown, Pa.

Robert and his wife Liz arrived at Tir Na Nog early to make sure they had a good spot at the bar.

"It's do or die today. I think if they win today, they'll make it through to the knockout stage. If they draw or lose today, I think they're done," said Louden.

Bars and restaurants are expecting crowds - especially for the later games. Planning for the World Cup is a little different this time around, as the tournament is usually held in the summer.

"Plus, it being coupled with Christmas Village right there - it's a lot of things happening at once that don't normally happen, so our projections and everything have to be kind of on the fly. We have to figure it out. It's not typical, but it's kind of what we embrace," said Tir Na Nog bar manager Tyler Gibson.

The FIFA World Cup has been laced with controversy since Qatar was awarded the tournament in 2010: allegations of FIFA corruption and human rights abuses.

On Sunday, Ecuador beat Qatar on day one, the first time ever the host of a World Cup lost its opening game.