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Kansas City Soccer Fans Celebrate U.S. Victory Over Ghana

Swarms of soccer fans packed the Power and Light District Monday to watch the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in the U.S. team's first World Cup match.

The KC Live Stage was filled to the brim of fans wearing red white and blue, chanting U.S.A., and S.K.C. to cheer for the two Sporting KC players on the team, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

Kansas City native, Matt Besler played in the first half but had to leave the game due to a hamstring injury. Graham Zusi was brought in at the 77th minute, and assisted in scoring the second goal that brought the team to victory.

The small group of Ghanaian fans were very outnumbered. Wearing red, yellow and green, draped in Ghana’s flag, they chanted traditional songs during the match.

Jude Walker is from Ghana but has been living in the United States since 1999.  He has found a lot of other Ghanaians in the Kansas City area. They like to get together to watch and cheer for all the African teams during the World Cup, but mainly Ghana. They also root for the U.S. too, but not today.

“We support America in every game, every other game!” says Walker. “This is the only game where we got to support Ghana.”

Walker and the other Ghana fans got a lot quieter after the U.S. scored their second goal. Explosions of screams and “U.S.A.” cheers from excited soccer fans flooded downtown. People hugged and danced, many in disbelief that the U.S. had finally beat the team that eliminated them from the tournament four years ago.

Ghana plays Germany this Saturday at 2 p.m. Walker and his friends hope Ghana will come out on top, but they will be also be cheering for the U.S. this Sunday as the team plays Portugal.

The Power and Light will host a U.S. watch party Sunday at 5 p.m.

Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
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