Cup’s U.S. fans early to rise at S.F. pub, late to deflate 

"I’m hung over, more than a little drunk, I can barely see the TV, it’s so hot, I’m sweating my butt off and it smells like dude in here. But if the U.S. would just put a couple more in the net, I wouldn’t have a single complaint in me," Peter Hadyn said in the wee hours of Thursday morning at Kezar Pub.

Though not dressed in the lavish attire of some of the other American soccer fans packed into the bar at the break of dawn, Hadyn’s words seemed to nicely sum up the atmosphere at one of San Francisco’s staple World Cup bars.

With the U.S. down 2-1 by halftime to Ghana, expressions worn on the faces of early morning drinkers ranged from desperation to derision to straightforward disgust. Kezar Pub felt every bit cramped, smelly and hot for this 7 a.m. game.

Yet, at the drop of a pin, the entire bar was ready to explode into euphoria, especially considering the Americans’ tenuous position in the tournament.

The U.S. needed to defeat Ghana and have Italy beat the Czech Republic in order to advance to the knockout stage, and every time a U.S. header hit the post or Landon Donovan dribbled into the box, the Kezar’s scent and heat were immediately forgotten as fans yelled encouragement, jumped in the air and, over and over again, groaned with disappointment.

"I got here at 6:30 this morning," Sean Mosconi said, wearing an American flag proudly around his neck.

Both teachers at local schools, Mosconi and friend Isaac Wheeler had the benefit of summer vacation to allow them to dress up and head to the bar for some heavy drinking before business hours on a


Other fans showed up in business suits, with briefcases at their sides, clearly making a brief visit as part of their morning commute.

"If someone spills a beer on me, then they spill a beer on me," Ricky Davis said, wearing a pinstriped suit. "It’s happened before. I’m a big fan, so I like being here to see it all happen. You only get to be part of a crowd like this a few places in the Bay."

The happy-go-lucky attitude

didn’t last forever, however, as even though Italy held up its end of the bargain with a 2-0 win, the Americans could never equalize and fell 2-1, ending their tournament.

The loss left some disappointed and dreaming of bed.

"[Team USA] really got everyone excited about it this year and the scene was great around town, but it’s a huge letdown," Nick Rose said. "One goal in three games and no wins. I’m certainly never going to wake up for a game this early to watch soccer again."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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