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As the sun set on New Canaan’s Pop Up Park (set up between Morse Court and Elm on South Avenue), hundreds of New Canaanites gathered around three flat-screen TVs beneath and around a white party tent early Sunday evening to cheer on the United States Men’s National Soccer Team as they took on a strong Portuguese team (ranked #4 in the world) in a thrilling group showdown of the 2014 World Cup. (New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy estimated that more than 500 residents were at the park at its height.)
Prior to kickoff, activities such as a raffle for a custom-designed USA blazer and other prizes were in full swing as piles of pizza boxes were devoured by hungry soccer fans. The event was a joint effort of the New Canaan Soccer Association with support from the Local First Fund of the New Canaan Community Foundation, Town of New Canaan, the chamber, Realty Guild and ESPN.
Just before the whistle blew for the beginning of the first half, NewCanaanite.com spoke with rising senior Michael Popper about why he came out to the Pop Up Park to watch the game.
“Well, I think here you get the entire atmosphere—it’s a lot more hyped up because of all of the people here,” Michael said. “You also get to hang out with people that you may normally not get to hang out with. So it’s really a great way to engage your community.”
This screening of the U.S.’s second World Cup game concluded a series of World Cup games held at the Pop Up Park. After today’s game the United States has one final group game against the #2 ranked Germany as they try to progress past the group stage.