At first, I was a little frustrated that I wouldn't be in Germany while the national team competes in the World Cup. The emotions and the loyalty are incredible when you are sitting in a group full of people who are rooting for the same team.
Whereas every little boy in Germany wants to become a soccer player, I heard that people in the U.S. aren't as interested in soccer as in other games, e.g. baseball, basketball and American Football. I thought I might have to watch the games all by myself in the basement.
But I was wrong!
First of all, America is so diverse that most of the people have an international background or friends or have been abroad.
Also, the U.S. team has a lot of support and people followed the World Cup not just at home but also outside at restaurants and bars.
When I walked through the downtown of Scotch Plains for the very first time, I found the Darby Road tent where I watched all the games I was interested in viewing.
Because of the great atmosphere, the food and the opportunity for kids to play soccer next to the tent, I really enjoyed being outside and didn't feel alone at all. Girls and boys of all ages play soccer without worrying about the rules. It's just about being active and running around.
Watching the Germany - Brazil game was very important to me. I was pleasantly surprised by the interest in the semi-final. Darby Road was packed. Germany and Brazil fans were sitting next to each other, talking, drinking, eating and having fun ... or being happy, as I was about the 7-1 victory or Germany, or sad, as the Brazilian fans were, about the score.
All in all, I am very happy to see soccer become more popular in America and I am looking forward to watching the World Cup final – Argentina vs. Germany -- with fans of every nationality.
Elena Bavandpoori lives in Wesseling, Germany, and is a Media Science major at the University of Cologne. She is an intern with TAPinto SPF this summer.