CINCINNATI — While the United States Men's National Team does not play until Friday night, chants echoed through Cincinnati sports bar The Pitch Thursday.
Several hundred supporters have arrived in Cincinnati to cheer on the home team in a World Cup qualifier against rival Mexico at TQL Stadium. New Jersey resident Stephen Goldsmith, a member of the team's official supporter group, is just one fan who traveled hours to watch the match.
"Not a vacation, but a great opportunity to cheer on U.S. Soccer while having fun," Goldsmith said. "I'm working tomorrow, so it's a win-win...excited to check off another soccer-specific stadium."
Hundreds of folks from all across the country are preparing for a big USMNT soccer match Friday—with a party at The Pitch.— Jake Ryle (@JakeWCPO) November 12, 2021
Cincinnati is rolling out the red, white, and blue carpet! The impact it has for city businesses—on @WCPO at 11. pic.twitter.com/inZ9obxMyL
The fans, mostly sporting red, white and blue, are all ready for Cincinnati to be on the world's stage.
"Once I heard it was in Cincinnati, that was it for me," Virigina resident Jesse Malave said. "I got my ticket, got my plane ticket as well — both at the same time."
"They could've said Fairbanks, Alaska, it wouldn't have mattered," New Mexico resident Samuel Cota said. "US-Mexico, World Cup qualifier? I had to go."
Business owners said they are excited for thousands of visitors flocking to downtown, a win-win for bars, retailers and hotels. When it comes to the match, win or lose, Friday promises to be a fun, profitable time in Cincinnati.
"They're starting events at 2 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Game isn't until 9. We'll probably do something at 2, and keep going."