Football and golf may be Greater Atlanta’s primary must-watch sports, but forget everything you know about American football, because it’s time to get into soccer! It’s a relatively little-watched sport in America—some of you probably cheer on the grandkids at their Saturday Little League games—but with the United States team’s huge win over Albania on Wednesday morning that made them one of 16 final teams, it’s impossible not to get into the game.
We always think of the Olympics as being the occasion that brings the world together, but it’s actually soccer, or football, as it’s known almost everywhere else, that is the most unifying sport and tournament. Perhaps surprisingly, the final game of the FIFA (Federacion Internacionale de Football Association) World Cup in 2006 was said to have drawn 715 million viewers—far more than watch the Olympics.
Because of the time zones, many of the games air in the morning to mid-afternoon in Atlanta. From Windsong’s active adult communities, there are several spirited places you can go for brunch while you watch games. Nearby in Kennesaw, Bailey’s Sports Grille, the self-proclaimed “World Soccer Headquarters,” will open early for matches and offer $5 breakfast drinks and lunch specials.
If that’s too wild a venue, the clubhouse at your Windsong community has a large TV, extra comfy couches and a kitchen, so you can create your own cheering section with friends and neighbors. Also, the Atlanta International Soccer Fest 2010, an initiative to celebrate the World Cup and benefit SOS Children’s Villages and emergency relief efforts in Haiti, is hosting viewing parties at various area restaurants including Mellow Mushroom in Sandy Springs, J.R. Crickets in Smyrna, Five Seasons North in Alpharetta and the Brazilian Bakery in Marietta. Go to atlsoccerfest.com for specifics.
Whether you watch a match in the comfort of your own living room or the clubhouse or visit a local pub for a pint, this is the time to celebrate the United States’ success thus far and cheer them on Saturday as they go up against Ghana. It’s the perfect chance to give your soccer-playing grandkids a little inspiration!