Soccer Fans Turnout for World Cup

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

July 9,2006

Sports fans from all across Albemarle County gathered today for the World Cup Soccer Championship.

Even though the United States was eliminated a few weeks ago from the soccer playoffs, that didn't stop close to 200 avid fans from packing The Shebeen South African Pub earlier today for the World Cup, most of which are hoping to one day actually be cheering the U.S. team.

'I think it's a great sport, I think it represents global competition, at least the World Cup does. I think unfortunately America is not that great right now but maybe we can get a new coach and some better players and we can take it to the next level," Josh McAdams, Charlottesville resident, said.

Alex Slawski, owner of Shebeen, said they have been catering to the fans by opening up the bar, indoor dining room, and patio and he's specifically seen an increase in international patrons.

"We've had a lot of the different nationalities coming in for certain games, and people that we haven't had in here before for sure which is opening it up to our cuisine as well as what we do here on a regular basis," Slawski said.

While Italy was the favored pick by the majority of fans at the Shebeen today, some were just hoping to see a good game.

"I really actually love soccer--futbol--and I really want a great game, that's the main thing," Peter Hunter, Charlottesville resident said.

That's exactly what they got with Italy defeating the French by penalty kicks.

The owner of The Shebeen also said that this was one of his slowest times of the year so the added business from the soccer games has been a significant increase to revenue. Slawski said he's going to continue to try and cater to those fans in the future.

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