World Cup fever hits Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle looked like a rock concert Saturday as hundreds of soccer fans filled every available patch of grass, waving flags of many countries. Shouts of "USA" rang out through the trees.
The crowd was largely young and reflected the Washington area’s international mix. Elina Teplinsky, 29, of Russia and Salvador Rivas, 28, of El Salvador arrived at 6:30 a.m. to camp out in front of one of the big screens to watch Greece lose to Korea and Argentina beat Nigeria.
“We get to enjoy this every four years so we’ve got to take advantage,” said Rivas, who was wearing a Liverpool T-shirt and rooting for England. Teplinsky, wearing a Greece tank top and waving an American flag, was not put off. “That’s the great part about the World Cup. Everyone can root for a different team – and all the conflicts in the world are forgotten.”
Joseph Lichterman, 19, a Capitol Hill intern from Detroit, grew up playing soccer and said he was glad to see so much enthusiasm for the sport. “I feel like I’m in a different country because everyone’s so excited for a soccer game.”
Many fans wrapped themselves in a favorite team's national colors, but Dean Howarth, 45, and Jeff Jones, 33, physics teachers from Arlington, dressed in blue Colonial garb with tri-corner hats.
“The last big battle that was fought in this area we sent England home,” Howarth said.
Had he faced any challenges from the other side?
“They’re kind of like laying low but that’s typical for Red Coats.”
But a few feet away, Emile Hoffman, 40, a Philadelphia native who used to live in Oxford, England, disagreed. “I support England because it’s really in their hearts. In England,” he said, “they’re glued to the screen. It’s maybe like this but five times bigger.”
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