Free watch parties for the broadcasts of the U.S.' opening game of the 2022 World Cup are scheduled throughout San Diego County today, with organizers encouraging fans to arrive early as the bars are expected to reach capacity.
O'Brien's Pub in Kearny Mesa will open at 8 a.m. for the 11 a.m. Group B match against Wales from Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar that will be televised in English by Fox and Spanish by Telemundo. The party is organized by the San Diego Chapter of American Outlaws, a nationwide support group for the U.S. men's and women's national soccer teams.
Guava Beach Bar & Grill in Mission Beach is the "official satellite bar'' and will open at 10 a.m.
San Diego Loyal SC will host a viewing party at Fairplay. The North Park sports bar will open at 4:45 a.m. and show Monday's other two World Cup games — the Group B game between England and Iran beginning at 5 a.m. and the Group A game between Senegal and Netherlands that starts at 8 a.m.
Another U.S. Soccer supporters group, the San Diego Dragoons, will host a viewing party at The Harp in Ocean Beach.
Viewing parties will also be at Señor Grubby's in Carlsbad and Oceanside.
The game will be the first World Cup game for the U.S. since July 1, 2014, when it lost 2-1 to Belgium in overtime in the round of 16. The U.S. failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Defender DeAndre Yedlin is the only U.S. player with previous World Cup experience. The average age of the 26-player U.S. roster is 25 years, 175 days, the second-youngest U.S. roster at a World Cup, behind only the 1990 roster, whose average age at the start of play was 24 years, 24 days. The U.S. lost all three of its games at the 1990 World Cup, its first since 1950.
The U.S. roster includes nine players 23 and under.
Midfielder Luca de la Torre was born and raised in San Diego, California, playing for the Carmel Valley Sharks, Carmel Valley Manchester Soccer Club, the Nomads Youth Soccer Club and San Diego Surf. Shortly after completing his freshman year at Torrey Pines High School in 2013, he moved to London, joining Fulham F.C.'s under-18 team.
The U.S. team consists of nine players who play in Major League Soccer, six in England's Premier League, two each in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Championship League, the second tier of the English football league system, and one each in France, Scotland and Turkey.
Wales is playing in the World Cup for the second time and first since 1958 when it reached the quarterfinals. The Dragons were the 30th of the 32 teams to earn a berth in the World Cup, defeating Ukraine, 1-0, June 5, on Gareth Bale's goal in the 34th-minute of the 90-minute game.
Wales' roster consists of nine players who play in the Premier League, eight in the Championship League, two in France, two each in English Football League League One and EFL League Two, the third and fourth tiers of the English football league system, and one each in MLS, Italy and Scotland.
Both the U.S. and Wales include a player for the MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Football Club on their rosters — U.S. midfielder Kellyn Acosta and Wales forward Gareth Bale.
U.S. defenders Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson are teammates with Welsh midfielder Harry Wilson and forward Daniel James with Fulham of the Premier League. U.S. goalkeeper Ethan Horvath and Dragons defender Tom Lockyer are teammates with Luton Town in the Championship League.
The U.S. is 16th in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer's international governing body, Wales is 19th.
The ABC News-owned data prediction website FiveThirtyEight.com gives the U.S. a 45% chance of winning, Wales a 26% chance with a 29% chance of the game ending in a tie.
Each team plays three games in group play. The top two teams in each of the eight four-team groups advance to the single-elimination portion of the tournament.