The day’s final cheer of “USA! USA! USA” was quieter and more hoarse than the others, with groups of fans yelling the letters at different times.
It was also the last chant to celebrate the United States men’s national team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Once again, supporters came together to watch the action. In Augusta, many went to Somewhere In Augusta as the United States lost to Belgium, 2-1, in extra time in the round of 16.
Some fans had the American flag painted on their faces. Others had them draped like capes. But all of them roared with each Tim Howard save and eventually erupted when Julian Green scored for the United States.
Though close, there would be no screaming for a late equalizer.
Some fans called in sick or went into work after the match. Others, like Matt Coulson, took off from work to go to Somewhere In Augusta, where many stood out of excitement – or because they couldn’t find a seat.
“It’s a great crowd and great atmosphere,” Coulson said. “Everyone is cheering and yelling.”
Though the United States’ run is done, fans said they expect soccer fever to, at the very least, infect many Americas every four years for the World Cup.
Andrea Lara, who is in the Navy and stationed at Fort Gordon, wore a United States shirt with a flag as an accessory. She said she was initially surprised by the level of support.
“I didn’t know what to expect in the south,” said Lara, who grew up in Wisconsin and later lived in California. “ ‘Oh, soccer’s not American, soccer is not a real sport.’ To see this turnout, it blows my mind. I love it. I absolutely love it.”
Lara and others think this year’s run and others like it should only build momentum for the sport in the country.
Though a few people said interest in soccer will inevitably die down with the United States’ elimination from the World Cup, they hope this leads to even more support in the future.
“After this, hopefully people will know more than David Beckham and Mia Hamm,” Heather Sullivan said.