World Cup fever hits Binghamton

By Kelly McCarthy

June 26, 2014 Updated Jun 26, 2014 at 7:35 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Team USA took the field for a World Cup match earlier Tuesday and people were encouraged to take an extended lunch break to support the team.

Local businesses were wondering if a Thursday afternoon soccer game would bring the same boost in sales it does on the weekends.

"Thankfully our expectations were met; there are a lot of people," said Tom and Marty's co-owner Lawrence Shea.

While fans were screaming for Team USA, they said there's been a surge in soccer support.

"If you told me before the World Cup that we'd have this many people down here watching soccer games, I would have told you you're crazy," said Zach Boyko, of Binghamton.

As a local soccer coach, Boyko said the spirit he sees here carries a much bigger meaning.

"It's a good way to have people come to our games and support local athletics more importantly," Boyko said.

Soccer fans were coming up with all kinds of excuses to get out of work and watch the game. Even Team USA's head coach created a letter that tells people to take the day off so they didn't miss a minute.

"We actually have four guys, of our biggest fans, quote unquote 'have a seminar today,'" Shea said.

"When I saw the schedule come out originally, the first thing I did was take off that Thursday game," said Patrick McGinnis, of Binghamton

Governor Cuomo is even getting in on the action. He sent a letter to Team USA head coach Jürgen Klinsmann which said in support of the team, all state employees get an extra hour for an extended lunch break to watch the game.

"Every four years when you have a chance to move on, and it's big match," said Ryan Dickinson of Binghamton, "it's okay to take a lunch break. I totally believe in that."

The U.S. didn't beat Germany, but will still advance to the next round.

Team USA will play again on Tuesday at 4 p.m., putting fans in another tough situation during their day at work.

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