Loud and Proud: Indy's World Cup Fans

U.S. soccer fans packed Chatham Tap Monday for the team’s first World Cup game. The American squad takes the pitch once again come Sunday.

In the hours before the United States’ 2-1 victory over Ghana in the World Cup Monday, Indy’s best soccer pub became a patriotic karaoke bar. 

The at-capacity crowd at Chatham Tap bellowed chants of “U-S-A” to the tune of the traditional “Ole!” cheer, and burst into a rendition of “When the Yanks Go Marching In” when the many TV screens flashed footage of the team’s bus en route to the stadium that held its fate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Everyone loves a winner. Owner Daniel Jones loves the business.

“We’ve been very good almost every day since the World Cup started,” he says about his returns. “The very first game was Brazil-Croatia. Not a whole lot of local interest, but we were completely full.”

While Americans have represented well, fans of other nations are frequenting the bar as well.

“Colombia showed up with thirty people,” Jones said. “I don’t know where from. England will have the second most [fans] behind the USA, and Spain has a good contingent. I was surprised to see the turnout.”

Diehards showing up in droves to binge-watch their sport of choice is nothing new. But at 3 p.m. on a workday? “A lot of people plan ahead,” Jones says. “They take a sick day or a personal day or schedule around it.”

The burgeoning patronage has swelled Chatham’s stock of booze, including selections from Sun King and Boddington, an English beer. Jones says he goes through five to six kegs a day.

This year’s World Cup comes just two months after the debut of the Indy Eleven, the Circle City’s new soccer franchise. While the world’s game has long struggled to find permanent footing stateside, interest in the sport has been rekindled.

“The games are a lot more available on TV and the Internet,” Jones says. “NBC has the rights to Premier League. They show every match live. It’s more accessible and it’s more in the conversation. Things like the Indy Eleven and [Major League Soccer] have gotten better. The play there is as good as most leagues in the world now.”

Photos via Chatham Tap on Instagram