Chicago soccer bar packed as World Cup fans celebrate USA's win over Iran: 'My heart rate is elevated'

There was a big celebration Tuesday as US Soccer fans gathered in bars and at watch parties throughout the Chicago area.

One of the most popular spots to watch the USA-Iran game was AJ Hudson’s, a soccer bar in Wrigleyville.

Fans gathered at the North Side bar hoping and praying—but nerves fraying. They began filling AJ Hudson’s hours before the match even started.

"I feel good. I feel good. Hopefully they prove me right," said one man wearing a US soccer jersey.

The pub at Ashland and Grace has been a haven for Premier League soccer fan since the early 1990s.

"They’ll line up outside the door, no matter what the weather is, snowing, raining, waiting to get inside to watch their team," said assistant manager Lonnie O’Rourke.


In fact, so many fans showed up Tuesday that not all of them could get inside. Many had to watch the match outside the pub on the sidewalk.

"It’s 56° on the November day in Chicago," said soccer fan Darlene Oswald. "Be outside as long as you can."

Their patience was rewarded as the United States scored early, setting off an explosive celebration — and after 98 nerve-racking minutes, the US team advanced to the World Cup knockout round.

"It was fun to watch. We got World Cup fever bad," said one exuberant fan.

"It was really close at the end there. Everybody was biting their nails. But we pulled it out with a win though," said another.

The US team will now play the Netherlands on Saturday, but what do fans think about the USA's chances of moving forward?

"I think we’re gonna do all right," said one. "I like our chances. We got a good defense. Defense wins."