San Jose World Cup fans root for Earthquakes player Wondo

Soccer fans in the Bay Area are excited to not only watch the World Cup, but to root for San Jose Earthquakes player Chris Wondolowski.
From San Jose to San Francisco it seems everyone is becoming a fan of the 2014 World Cup. There was a big reaction at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza in the city as hundreds watched on a big screen as team USA scored a goal early in the match.

In their first match up of the cup, team USA beat Ghana 2-1. In San Jose, about 1,500 people gathered at Plaza de Cesar Chavez and having a local player on the field was a big deal to them.

"At every stage he was counted out and to get to this level, to be playing with the best players and the best teams in the world at the World Cup, it's an amazing accomplishment. It's a real American story," said San Jose Earthquakes president David Cavil.

For Monday's game Cavil donned red, white and blue to help rally the crowd at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The U.S. team is made up of players from around the world, but Chris Wondolowski, or Wondo for short, is the only player who is Native American. He even sports a Tattoo from his mother's tribe in Oklahoma.

"When I was 13, I got to go back to Oklahoma and I received an Indian name. It's a pretty special one, it's the son of one of the greatest chiefs to lead the tribe. His name was Bau Daigh. It means warrior coming over the hill," said Wondolowski.

Wondolowski's immediate family is in Brazil, but his extended sports family of Bay Area athletes is showing their support.

"Go Team USA. Raider Nation's got your back," said Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater.

"Especially Chris Wondolowski of our San Jose Earthquakes, a special shout out to you," said 49ers tackle Joe Staley.

And of course, soccer fans are rallying for a strong showing by Team USA.

It's not just San Franciscans who like to gather at Kezar Pub and watch sports. For the World Cup match of Germany vs Portugal Monday morning, we met several tourists who grabbed a seat at Kezar and were thrilled to have found it.



"It's like Germany, we have Irish pubs in Germany too, but it's very special here and there are so many German fans here," said Dirk Dolescham.

"I was very concerned you'd have to fight to see some energy, but this is awesome," said Chicago resident Sean Benolken. "Such a great turnout and it's not even U.S."

The bar was full for the 9 a.m. match. Coffee and beer were flowing freely. And as Germany pulled ahead of Portugal, the crowd went nuts. The bar's owner says he shows every sport there is at Kezar, but there's something special about the World Cup.



"You know, people are together, it's camaraderie, no troubles in the world with the soccer match going on, everyone drinking and eating and supporting teams together," said Kezar Pub owner Cyril Hackett.

Some in this crowd grabbed a seat at 9 a.m. and didn't plan to leave it until after Team USA played.

"We expect to be here all day, got a couple more people coming for the U.S. game, so we staked out our spot and hopefully not too many drinks and we can walk out of here," said Los Angeles resident Michael Larsuel.

Following Monday's match up USA will face Portugal Sunday at 3 p.m. and Germany next week.

World Cup Match Schedule

You can watch Belgium vs. Russia at 8:30 a.m. and South Korea vs. Algeria at 11:30 a.m. live on Saturday on ABC7. And don't miss a moment of the World Cup with the Watch ABC app which lets you watch the matches on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
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