DC soccer fans flock to Women’s World Cup final watch parties

A sign out on the street welcomes soccer spectators to watch the Women’s World Cup final inside. (WTOP/Shayna Estulin)
A crowd gathers to watch the Women’s World Cup Final at Franklin Hall in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Shayna Estulin)
The match kicked off at 6 a.m. but that didn’t stop devoted fans from showing up to watch the Women’s World Cup. (WTOP/Shayna Estulin)

Cheers and boos filled a packed beer hall in Northwest D.C. Sunday as soccer fans of England and Spain closely followed the early morning match, which kicked off at 6 a.m.

“I’m still half asleep but the mimosa is helping,” Spanish fan Isabel Martinez told WTOP at Franklin Hall.

She was surrounded by a whole bunch of Martinezes wearing the Spanish team’s red jersey. For the D.C.-area based family of Spanish heritage, Spain’s 1-0 victory over England made for a great start to their Sunday.

“I’m pretty happy,” said Isabel’s brother, Alfonso Martinez. “I thought we played pretty well. I thought there was a couple of chances for a couple more goals. England had a couple of chances as well, but I thought we played better and we deserved to win.”

This is the first time Spain has won the Women’s World Cup. It was also a historic match for England; it’s the first time the English women’s team has made it to the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.

The showdown was held in Stadium Australia. Both Australia and New Zealand hosted this year’s tournament, which meant games were broadcast in the middle of the night on the east coast.

Now that the World Cup is over, and England lost, Kit Evans, from London, told WTOP she was going to go home and cry, “and drink a lot of tea.”

Still, Evans said the Lionesses getting to the final match was a win in its own way for her country.

“What they’ve done for girls’ and women’s football in England is incredible,” she said. “It’s now taken seriously.”

Franklin Hall bartender Ben Prince said he’s not surprised so many people showed up at the crack of dawn, despite the home team getting booted earlier this month. The historically dominant American women’s team lost to Sweden 5-4 in the round of 16.

“You’ve got a large soccer fan contingency in the D.C. area, they are always really supportive,” Prince said. “I’m from Alabama and everything is college football there … Being up here it’s kind of cool for me to see something a little different.”

As the bleary-eyed fans filed out of the beer hall, whether their team won or lost, they all had something to celebrate — getting back to a normal sleep schedule.

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Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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