GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Mark McDonald grew up in Brevard and never saw a soccer ball until his children started playing, about 20 years ago.

Tuesday, he was at Fisher’s Grill in Greensboro watching the USA take on Iran in the World Cup – cheering enthusiastically – because he has become a huge fan.

“I think the US team is fantastic, we’re finally becoming on the center stage, here, with soccer in the world,” says McDonald.

He’s had some help with that! His son, Patrick, is an elite player on the Indiana University roster that will take on UNC-Greensboro in the NCAA Division One Elite 8 on the UNCG campus on Saturday.

Patrick has dreamt about being on that US national team, “Since he first saw a soccer ball,” Mark admits.

Tyler Adams plays Patrick’s position on the US team and is one of his favorite players.
Donegan Root loves them all, as well as the camaraderie that comes with watching the game with his adult soccer team teammates.

“I love soccer but it’s great hanging out with friends having a pint and hopefully watching the USA win,” says Donegan as he watches the game.

For fellow fan, Xan Trisdale, a few rows back at Fisher’s this World Cup comes at just the right time.

“And after going through Covid and everything, this has been a real blessing for having people together, hanging out, meeting new people and just cheering,” says Xan. “And we’re not at work,” he adds with a laugh.

See more of the watch party in this report from Bob Buckley.