It can be lonely being a soccer fan in America. You fruitlessly explain to friends that the game is not just for second graders in a YMCA league. You wake up on Saturday mornings, all alone, to catch the latest Premier League action. You fight to describe that David Beckham is not why they call soccer “The Beautiful Game”…although he might be a contributing factor.
But every four years, something magical happens: the World Cup. Suddenly, for one month in the middle of summer, people actually care about soccer. We come together as a global community to celebrate the triumph of sport and glory of nations. It really is a beautiful thing. For soccer fans, the World Cup brings the joy of sharing the game with others. And for non-fans, the Cup means a chance to experience just how emotional soccer can be. Since the World Cup is an experience meant to be shared, why not get out there to watch and celebrate with friends, family, and complete strangers? If you’re in Des Moines, I have the perfect spots for you to do just that:
A classic English sports pub in the middle of Des Moines Iowa may seem like a bit of a contradiction, but The Royal Mile pulls it off. They do a mean weekend breakfast during the Premier League season, and will undoubtedly be stepping up their game for soccer’s biggest month. While the Mile is externally situated in one of the hippest areas of Des Moines, once you step inside, it’s a journey to the cozy Britain of yore. So enjoy a pint, some fish and chips, and cheer on the good old USA… or I guess England. Whatever.
Okay, so Jethro’s isn’t exactly known for it’s soccer fandom, but it is a Drake neighborhood staple with some of the best barbeque around. While football is usually the Jethro’s sport of choice, I’ve actually had some pretty good times watching MLS futbol with the crowd. And with the joint’s copious amounts of TVs tuned to sports all day, ev’ry day, you know the World Cup will be featured this next month. So why not watch the world’s most impressive athletes compete as you shove excessive amounts of BBQ and fried snacks in your mouth? It’s what being an American sports fan is all about.
You want real soccer fans with all the chants, cheers, and general rowdiness of World Cup fandom? Look no further than the USMNT celebrations at The Keg Stand hosted by the Des Moines chapter of the American Outlaws, an organization that supports U.S. soccer. I know that “keg stand” and “outlaws” sound like a controversial occasion, but it’s all much milder than that. Unless the U.S. wins that is, cause then, look out…