World Cup soccer is American ratings gold

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- If it seems like everyone is talking about and watching the World Cup, you are not crazy.

In fact, Washington was the number one market for Monday's USA-Ghana game on ESPN. Among all viewers 18 and over, D.C. is followed by Orlando, Boston, New York and Baltimore. An estimated 376 thousand people watched the game in the metro area -- and that does NOT include people in bars and taverns.

Nearly 8 million homes around the country were tuned into the game.

So has the beautiful game watched by billions around the world finally turned up the field in America?


From New York to Natal, there's a sense that if John Brooks, who scored the final goal, can dream it, then maybe the USA can defy the predictions and make it to the World Cup finals.

"We hope the U.S. keeps it going. Simply because it will draw the mainstream fans to this beautiful world sport," says Paul Hecton, a partner in the Babylon Futbol Cafe in Falls Church, where ex-patriot soccer fans have been watching for years.

Lots of American fans figure if the team can make it to the finals, it will be a little like the miracle on ice when the U.S. beat Russia in hockey in the 1980 Olympics. The shear joy of victory could finally push soccer into the American mainstream.

The U.S. next faces Portugal on Sunday night at 6.


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