Local pub sets atmosphere for World Cup watching

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PHOENIX -- Enthusiasm for the World Cup has been building since before the competition started on June 12, but today that enthusiasm could reach new heights nationwide. The U.S. Men's National Team takes the pitch in Brazil today to play Ghana and people around the nation and around the Valley will be tuning in from pubs.

George & Dragon, an English restaurant and pub in downtown Phoenix, was so packed over the weekend that even David Wimberley, the pub's owner, couldn't get inside. Wimberley said that kind of atmosphere is fitting for the World Cup.

"It's like the World Series, the Final Four, all of the American sports combined and on steroids," Wimberley said. "That's the World Cup."

Soccer fans had already taken their seats at George & Dragon for this morning's game between Germany and Portugal, two of the U.S. team's future opponents. The game started at 9 a.m. and the pub opened even earlier.

Wimberley recommended arriving at 1 p.m.,  2 hours before game time, for those who want a good seat at the pub for the U.S. game. As for getting free time to watch the game in the middle of the day, Wimberley thought fans should make like a soccer player trying to draw a foul and do some embellishing.

"I'm sure they're getting sore throats right now," Wimberley said. "They're telling their boss 'I don't feel well, I need to go home, my back is killing me.'  So, hopefully they can be here."

The U.S. takes on Ghana at 3 p.m.