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Buffalo Ready to Cheer On World Cup Team Again

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - When the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation decided to have a World Cup viewing party at Canalside two weeks ago, the response was enormous.

"I think it's safe to say we were a little surprised," said Chris Catanzaro of the ECHDC. "It was a great surprise."
With a win, the United States advances to the quarterfinal round where they would play the winner of the match between Argentina and Switzerland.
The US last advanced to the quarterfinals in 2002. The team's best finish was reaching the semifinal of the inaugural World Cup in 1930, which had a vastly different format.
Team USA is eliminated with a loss.
About 5,000 people showed up to watch team USA, less than a week later, on a Thursday at noon, the crowd was about 3,000. "Thursday at noon, to see 3,000 people watching two big screens watching the soccer match felt great," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia, who added that the viewing parties are "exactly what we're supposed to be doing" at Canalside.

After two successful showings, it comes as no surprise that at 4:00PM this evening when the US takes on Belgium in Brazil, the two big screens will be back at Canalside.

"We're all patriotic," said Gioia. "To see hundreds and thousands of people with flags cheering on our team, we enjoy that. We're just delighted that we're able to provide it. It was a last-minute thought, you never know what happens with some of those things, and we're just delighted that people took advantage of it, and we're hoping they continue to do that."

Catanzaro says he is expecting a crowd similar to what he's seen the past two games and is hoping people are able to leave work early to catch the action. How early? "A good seat, from what I've seen, I've been down here an hour before and that's when the good seats start filling up." Although, Catanzaro says that even those who have to take a spot in the back will still be easily able to see and hear all the action.

As big as the Canalside crowd is, it's far from the only option for people who want to venture out to watch Tuesday's game. Mes Que on Hertel in Buffalo is expecting its usual large crowd, and TV's in bars across the area will be tuned to the game.

Russell Salvatore says he will be showing the game at Russell's, and the 4:00PM kick off falls right in the middle of his happy hour. "It's been very good turnouts," Salvatore said. "Especially on Tuesday nights we've got big night of happy hours, so that should be a crazy night for us."


               ALTIDORE READY?                           OFFICIAL CONCERNS?
SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) - Jozy Altidore is available to play for the United States in Tuesday's World Cup second-round game against Belgium, but it does not appear the forward is ready to return to the starting lineup.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said during a news conference Monday that "it's now difficult to say how many minutes."
Altidore strained his left hamstring in the Americans' opener against Ghana on June 16 and didn't appear in their next two games. He has been working out on his own.
Aron Johannsson replaced Altidore for the remainder of the game against Ghana, and Klinsmann switched from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-5-1 against Portugal and Germany.
Klinsmann says: "Just having him with us tomorrow is huge."

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) - U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is concerned about the Algerian referee assigned to the Americans' second-round World Cup match against Belgium on Tuesday.
FIFA announced Sunday that Djamel Haimoudi will work the game. Haimoudi is a veteran of the last two African Cups of Nations.
Klinsmann said Monday that the French-speaking referee will be able to communicate better with the Belgians, comes from a nation that was in the same first-round group with the Belgians and is from a country eliminated by the U.S. at the 2010 tournament.
Klinsmann says: "Well, we hope it's not a concern. ... Is it a good feeling? No."
The referee has already refereed the Netherlands' 3-2 win over Australia and Costa Rica's 0-0 draw with England.
Klinsmann says: "We know that he did already two games so far and he did them very well."

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Locations : BuffaloSalvador
People : Aron JohannssonChris CatanzaroJozy AltidoreJurgen KlinsmannRobert Gioia
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