Fans celebrate US men’s national soccer team’s return to FIFA World Cup (includes video story)

After eight years of waiting on the sidelines, the United States is finally back in the FIFA World Cup and fans are ready to support the squad in the first game against Wales.

The Men’s National Team was absent from soccer’s largest tournament in 2018 after their last appearance in 2014. The United States’ return to the center stage has South Florida fans hyped up for what may be the most anticipated World Cup appearance in history. With excitement so high, many place in South Florida are hosting FIFA watch parties.

Members of American Outlaws, an unofficial group of supporters for U.S. soccer teams, gathered in Wynwood’s Bottled Blonde to chant and cheer as they watched the game.

“It’s been a long eight years,” said American Outlaws member Gabriel Miguel. “We never stop supporting. The World Cup is a different beast.”

Despite an energetic first half, the U.S. and Wales ended in a 1-1 tie, earning one point each in group standings.

The USMNT will face England in their second Group B matchup on Friday.

Kenneth Bueno is a junior majoring in the Digital Broadcasting field. He is a sim racing commentator for Podium eSports and aims to apply his love for sports into the sports broadcasting industry after graduating.

Esteban Rodriguez is a freshman majoring in TV/Broadcast media. He hopes to work in late-night entertainment, Filmmaking, sports journalism, and/or broadcast television.