Downtown Tulsa Turns Red, White, Blue To Cheer On U.S. In World Cup

Sunday, June 22nd 2014, 6:25 pm
By: News On 6

Fans went crazy when Team USA beat Ghana in its first match 2-1 on Monday.

They were hoping for a repeat performance on Sunday against Portugal, and ONEOK Field provided the perfect local atmosphere to root on America.

Tulsa fans were decked out in red, white and blue watching on the big screen downtown. There was food, a play area for kids and even some soccer goals set up to kick a ball around.

As the crowd roared from inside ONEOK Field, the U.S. was less than 30 seconds away from a win and advancement with one win to spare.

The Americans were about to romp into the round of 16 at the World Cup, about to walk off with their first come-from-behind win at soccer's showcase. About to advance with a game to spare. About to win consecutive World Cup games for the first time since 1930.

But the Americans wilted in the Amazon heat and humidity.

Silvestre Varela's goal on a diving header off Cristiano Ronaldo's cross on the game's last play gave Portugal a 2-2 tie Sunday on an exhausting night in the rainforest capital.

Now the Americans may need at least a point Thursday against Germany to advance to the knockout stage. They could advance with a loss, depending on the result of the Portugal-Ghana game that will be played simultaneously.

The World Cup "open house" at ONEOK Field also served to promote the Roughnecks coming back to Tulsa next year as a minor league Tulsa soccer team. The Roughnecks hosted the free party.

"We want to introduce soccer to Tulsa again," Justin Gorski said. "We want to have everyone come out and watch the World Cup. Talk about the Roughnecks a little bit, the soccer team we're bringing in."

The large contingent of soccer fans in the Tulsa area is brimming with excitement for the future of the minor leagues, but celebrating Team USA as it battles on soccer's biggest stage makes it that much more fun.

"It's great for not only fans to support the United States but also for those kids that are going to be supporting those Tulsa Roughnecks," local soccer coach Donivan Bradshaw said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report