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San Jose Earthquakes host World Cup street party this weekend, plus watch parties In SF for the next month

San Jose Earthquakes host World Cup street party this weekend, plus watch parties In SF for the next month
Photo: San Jose Earthquakes
By Laila Weir - Published on November 22, 2022.

Have you caught World Cup fever yet? Soccer may lag far behind football in popularity among U.S. fans (per Gallup), coming in fourth after baseball and basketball, but it's been gaining in popularity in recent years. And looking beyond our occasionally walled shores, it's far and away the most popular sport in the world. In the multicultural Bay Area, it's got plenty of devoted fans willing to hit the bar at odd hours just to catch important live matches in other parts of the world.

If you're among them, or just want to get in on the excitement, you can catch all the games of this once-in-an-Olympiad, month-long tournament for free (and join a festive atmosphere) thanks to watch parties hosted by San Jose's own Major League Soccer club, the Earthquakes. The parties will take place in pubs at San Jose's San Pedro Square throughout the tournament, and this holiday weekend there will also be a street party with large outdoor screens, plus watch parties in San Francisco's Union Square and at The Crossing at East Cut — a.k.a. the former temporary Transbay bus terminal at 200 Folsom Street

For the uninitiated, the Men's and Women's FIFA World Cups take place once every four years (much like the Olympics) and feature national teams from countries that have qualified for the tournament during previous games. The national teams are made up of professional players of that country's nationality, regardless of what professional team they play on during regular seasons, meaning that teammates are often rivals on the World Cup pitch.

This year is the Men's World Cup (the Women's Cup will take place in 2023). The U.S. men's soccer team made it into the tournament this time, after not qualifying for the last one, but it's struggled to compete on the level of the top national teams and has never won a World Cup – the reigning champions are France – while the U.S. women's national team has won four times.

The 2022 World Cup is hosted by Qatar, roughly half a world away from the Bay Area – the time difference with the Bay Area is 11 hours – meaning games are at odd hours for west coasters, and die-hard fans will need to be ready to show up at 5 a.m. for some games. The less-committed (or those of us who just require sleep) will find plenty of games on the schedule at 7 a.m, 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.


Fans outside O'Flaherty's. | Photo: San Jose Earthquakes/Twitter

 

The Earthquakes watch parties take place every single game day throughout the tournament until it finishes on December 18. The Old Wagon Saloon (73 N San Pedro St., San Jose) will show every match from 5 a.m. onwards and O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub (25 N. San Pedro St., San Jose) will show every match from 7 a.m. onwards. And this weekend, November 25-27, as well as for the final on December 18, the party will move into the street with large screens outside and all-ages activities on St. John Street and San Pedro Street.

The club will also host viewing parties on some dates in San Francisco and Danville. Below is the schedule for the holiday break. Get the full San Jose viewing schedule at the Earthquakes website (and check back, as they say they'll be adding locations). It's not required, but you can RSVP for the watch parties to take advantage of some "special promotions."

See the full World Cup San Francisco schedule here, which includes even bigger viewing parties for the quarterfinals in Civic Center, the semifinals at The Crossing, and the finals in Golden Gate Park. KTVU also has listings for bars in SF and the East Bay that will be showing matches.

Looking to catch just one game? Head to the San Pedro Square street party (or other locations) to see the U.S. take on England on Friday at 11 a.m.

Partial schedule:

Nov 23, 5 a.m.: Germany vs Japan, Old Wagon Saloon
Nov 23, 8 a.m.: Spain vs Costa Rica, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub
Nov 23, 11 a.m.: Belgium vs Canada, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub
Nov 24, 5 a.m.: Uruguay vs South Korea, Old Wagon Saloon
Nov 24, 8 a.m.: Portugal vs Ghana, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub
Nov 24, 11 a.m.: Brazil vs Serbia, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub
Nov 25, 5 a.m.: Qatar vs Senegal, Old Wagon Saloon
Nov 25, 8 a.m.: Netherlands vs Ecuador, San Pedro Street Festival Viewing, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub. San Francisco: Union Square
Nov 25, 11 a.m.: England vs USA, San Pedro Street Festival Viewing, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub. San Francisco: Union Square
Nov 26, 5 a.m.: Poland vs Saudi Arabia, Old Wagon Saloon
Nov 26, 8 a.m.: France vs Denmark, San Pedro Street Festival Viewing, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub. San Francisco: Union Square
Nov 26, 11 a.m.: Argentina vs Mexico, San Pedro Street Festival Viewing, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub. San Francisco: Union Square
Nov 27, 5 a.m.: Belgium vs Morocco, Old Wagon Saloon
Nov 27, 8 a.m.: Croatia vs Canada, San Pedro Street Festival Viewing, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub. San Francisco: Union Square
Nov 27, 11 a.m.: Spain vs Germany, San Pedro Street Festival Viewing, Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub. San Francisco: Union Square
Nov 29, 11 a.m.: USA vs Iran. San Jose: Old Wagon Saloon, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub, The Brit; San Francisco: The Crossing at East Cut