Where to Catch Soccer Fever

With a new pro team and a huge European match on the way, now’s the time to become a regular at one of Indy’s soccer bars.

Last week Indy was awarded hosting duties for a match featuring a pair of soccer’s international superpowers on Aug. 1. Tickets go on sale tonight (June 4) at 10 p.m. and range from $30 to $135. This came on the heels of the splashy announcement in May that the Indy Eleven pro soccer team will kick into action next year.

With two months until the big game, casual fans have time to brush up on the sport and take in some big-time domestic and international contests at their nearest watering hole. There are plenty of places around Indy to grab a pint and watch some world-class soccer…er, football. As any aficionado will tell you, pub scenes are as ingrained into the sport’s culture as its rabid fan bases and the team scarves they don on match days.

For the downtown crowd, Chatham Tap (719 Massachusetts Ave., 317-917-8425) is a perfectly intimate location with plenty of televisions, a full menu, and a selection of beer on tap that should satisfy all of your needs from pre-game to final whistle. Devoted largely to the English Premier League, Chatham can draw big crowds on match days, which could be the case with the EPL’s Chelsea taking part in the August 1 proceedings.

In Broad Ripple, Union Jack Pub (924 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-257-4343) is an English-style hangout that regularly shows European sports on its 11 televisions. This location (there’s also one in Speedway) is also loosely associated with Indy Eleven’s fan organization, the Brickyard Battalion, and members regularly congregate there for soccer-watch parties.

On the north side, Fox and Hound (4901 E. 82nd St., 317-913-1264) provides a lively environment and plenty of screens to catch all 90 minutes of match action while enjoying a few drinks.

When to go: The United States men’s national team, fresh off a huge upset of Germany Sunday, will play three World Cup qualifying matches over the next week, facing Jamaica on Saturday, June 8, Panama June 11, and Honduras June 18. The team will also be in action for a trio of friendlies (that’s soccer-speak for a match outside of a tournament or league play) on July 9, 13, and 16. And on July 31, the eve of Indy’s European match, Major League Soccer’s All-Star team will take on Roma, from Italy’s top soccer league, Serie A, on July 31 in Kansas City.