World Cup: US soccer fans turn out in force in costumes for the team’s opening game in Qatar

Despite the 8000-mile trek across the globe, the American fans have turned out in force in Qatar to cheer on the US men’s national team at the World Cup.

The US returned to soccer’s global stage Monday as it faced Wales in Group B, taking a 1-0 lead at halftime through Timothy Weah’s 36th but ultimately had to settle for a point with a 1-1 tie.

The US suffered qualifying heartbreak and missed the 2018 tournament and after an eight-year wait to watch their team on soccer’s biggest stage once again, American fans were eager to show their support at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.

The US supporters’ section was star-spangled from head to toe as fans donned the nation’s flag and colors on any item of clothing they could.

Many wore current or retro USMNT jerseys, draped the national flag over their shoulders and put on caps or cowboy hats.

One supporter wore a star-spangled banner blazer and a matching shirt underneath, topping off the look with a red and white striped cowboy hat and similar sunglasses.

American fans have traveled 8,000 miles to turn out in force to cheer on the US men's national team at the World Cup

American fans have traveled 8,000 miles to turn out in force to cheer on the US men’s national team at the World Cup

The US supporters section was star-spangled from head to toe as the fans cheered on Christian Pulisic and Co.  in Qatar

The US supporters section was star-spangled from head to toe as the fans cheered on Christian Pulisic and Co. in Qatar

Many supporters had the national flag printed on multiple items of clothing, while others draped it around their shoulders

Many supporters had the national flag printed on multiple items of clothing, while others draped it around their shoulders

One supporter wore a star-spangled banner blazer and a matching shirt underneath, topping off the look with a cowboy hat

One supporter wore a star-spangled banner blazer and a matching shirt underneath, topping off the look with a cowboy hat

A male supporter wore a white shaggy wig and on his shoulder had a toy bald eagle with a miniature stars-and-striped top hat

A male supporter wore a white shaggy wig and on his shoulder had a toy bald eagle with a miniature stars-and-striped top hat

Others had equally catching headwear on with some sporting red, white and blue fluffy hats or wigs as they watched on

Others had equally catching headwear on with some sporting red, white and blue fluffy hats or wigs as they watched on

One fan completed the look with face paint of the US flag on one cheek as red, white and blue striped on the other

One fan completed the look with face paint of the US flag on one cheek as red, white and blue striped on the other

Another female fan in the stands kept her look slightly more simple with a glittering 'USA' tiara atop her head

Another female fan in the stands kept her look slightly more simple with a glittering ‘USA’ tiara atop her head

Others had equally catching headwear on with some sporting red, white and blue fluffy hats or wigs, while one lady was spotted with a ‘USA’ tiara on.

Meanwhile, some Stars and Stripes loyalists took it a step further as they dressed up as American icons.

One fan wore a full bald eagle costume with a USA jersey over the top while clutching a replica of the World Cup trophy.

The handmade trophy replica turned out to double up as a drink holder as he was later seen holding it up with his cup popping out of the top.

He was pictured alongside a woman in a Wonder Woman costume who had a USA crest stitched into the top left corner of the outfit.

One man channeled his inner Tom Cruise as he wore a fighter jet pilot costume, inspired by the Top Gun films.

He wore aviator sunglasses and clutched a red helmet with blue and white stripes on the visor. He later zipped down the top of his boiler suit to reveal a red t-shirt with the USA crest in the middle.

Two Americans embraced the host nation more than they wore Qatar 2022 mascot La’eeb headwear – but balanced it out by still representing their country with national jerseys.

US midfielder Weston McKennie also got into the spirit as he debuted a new hairstyle. The Juventus man has a bleach-blonde strip in his hair but has switched up for the tournament, dying the strip red, white and blue.

Back home stateside, fans were equally cheering on their team, even with the eight-hour time difference meaning the game took place in the middle of the working day.

One fan wore a full bald eagle costume, including a face mask topped off with a beak with a USA jersey over the top

One fan wore a full bald eagle costume, including a face mask topped off with a beak with a USA jersey over the top

The eagle was pictured alongside a woman dressed in a Wonder Woman outfit who had a USA crest stitched into it

The eagle was pictured alongside a woman dressed in a Wonder Woman outfit who had a USA crest stitched into it

The pair held a handmade replica of the World Cup trophy and lifted up the Star Spangled banner

The pair held a handmade replica of the World Cup trophy and lifted up the Star Spangled banner

The handmade trophy replica turned out to double up as a drink holder as he was later seen holding it up with his cup on top

The handmade trophy replica turned out to double up as a drink holder as he was later seen holding it up with his cup on top

One man wore a Top Gun outfit.  He wore aviator sunglasses and clutched a red helmet with blue and white stripes on the visor

One man wore a Top Gun outfit. He wore aviator sunglasses and clutched a red helmet with blue and white stripes on the visor

He later zipped down the top of his boiler suit to reveal a red t-shirt with the USA crest in the middle

He later zipped down the top of his boiler suit to reveal a red t-shirt with the USA crest in the middle

Despite an already busy Thanksgiving week, Americans found time in their hectic schedules to pack the bars.

With Team USA’s World Cup opener against Wales scheduled for 2pm EST, bars across the US were packed at off-peak hours by those lucky enough to get out of work. Others who weren’t as lucky watched Fox Sports and Telemundo’s coverage from Qatar on their phones and computers.

For some supporters it marks the first World Cup they have cheered on in the US given the recent growth of soccer in the States.

The soccer fanbase in the USA has grown rapidly in recent years, but as the team did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia – considered one of the greatest disappointments in USMNT history – many will have missed out on the experience.

Two Americans embraced the host nation more as they wore Qatar 2022 mascot La'eeb headwear but still had US jerseys on

Two Americans embraced the host nation more as they wore Qatar 2022 mascot La’eeb headwear but still had US jerseys on

US midfielder Weston McKennie also got into the spirit as he debuted a new hairstyle to celebrate the tournament

US midfielder Weston McKennie also got into the spirit as he debuted a new hairstyle to celebrate the tournament

The Juventus star's usual bleach blonde stripe in his hair had been dyed red, white and blue in honor of the US

The Juventus star’s usual bleach blonde stripe in his hair had been dyed red, white and blue in honor of the US

Since the 2018 qualifying heartbreak, soccer has moved ahead of hockey to become the fourth most-watched sport among Americans, who have grown accustomed to watching European matches on weekend mornings.

And increasingly, those matches are played by Americans: Juventus’ Weston McKennie, Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, or Leeds United’s Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson, not to mention Arsenal keeper Matt Turner and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna.

The sudden glut of American soccer talent has yet to translate to World Cup success, but it has given rise to some murmurings that the country finally has its ‘Golden Generation’ in the world’s most popular sport.

Meanwhile, actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McIlhenny found their loyalties split due to their co-ownership of Welsh team Wrexham, as they wished Wales fans good luck in a hilarious video ahead of the team’s opening World Cup game against the US.

‘Hey there, this is Ryan Reynolds. I just wanted to send all my best wishes to the entire Welsh football club [sic] on their way to Qatar to compete in the World Cup,’ the Canadian-American actor told fans from his car.

Fans in New York watch United States vs.  Wales at Hendrickson's bar in Manhattan

Fans in New York watch United States vs. Wales at Hendrickson’s bar in Manhattan

American soccer fans are pictured at Bierhaus NYC ahead of Monday's World Cup opener against Wales in Group B

American soccer fans are pictured at Bierhaus NYC ahead of Monday’s World Cup opener against Wales in Group B

‘I’m actually sitting here right now with my best friend and my copilot of Wrexham FC, Mr. Rob McIlhenny.’

USA fans take shots before the USA vs.  Wales World Cup football game at Bierhaus NYC in Manhattan

USA fans take shots before the USA vs. Wales World Cup football game at Bierhaus NYC in Manhattan

USA fans Pat McCarthy, 29, and Ryan Masserano, 29, pose for a photograph before the USA vs.  Wales World Cup football game at Bierhaus NYC in Manhattan

USA fans Pat McCarthy, 29, and Ryan Masserano, 29, pose for a photograph before the USA vs. Wales World Cup football game at Bierhaus NYC in Manhattan

‘Hey how’s it going,’ said McIlhenny, known for his role as Ronald ‘Mac’ McDonald on the American comedy series, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I just wanted to say good luck. Not too much luck. I mean, maybe a draw. A draw would be nice, play your hearts out…’

Reynolds then interrupts his Hollywood friend by taking the phone away from him, adding: ‘So sorry about him. Crush all your enemies, drink the blood of your enemies.’

‘Rob and I are actually in the car right now because we’re driving to Qatar,’ the Deadpool actor then says as a joke. The trip to Doha from Wrexham would take exactly three days, going through a countless number of countries to get there.

‘We’re on our way to Qatar,’ McIlhenny reaffirms while holding himself from laughing too hard at Reynolds’ joke. ‘Play your hearts out boys.’

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