If it wasn’t evident from the weird jerseys you don’t recognize and the shameless international pandering at your local sports bars, it’s World Cup time again. Every four years the world comes together for a huge soccer tournament, FIFA comes together to wring as much money as possible out of the host country, foreign countries come together to issue death threats to players who fuck up, and Americans come together to make one more attempt at enjoying soccer. For most Americans that might be impossible. Soccer fandom just doesn’t seem to be in the average American’s DNA. Every soccer fan either a) has recent immigrants or foreign relatives in their family who have taught them to overcome their American anti-soccer programming, b) played soccer at a high enough level that they actually love the game, or c) studied abroad once, doesn’t really like soccer, but has to remind everyone how cultured they are. I spent the weekend watching World Cup games at bars across Los Angeles, and while I didn’t come away with a new-found love for the beautiful game, I did come away with some key knowledge for the soccer novice. No, I didn’t learn much about the game, but I did learn a fair amount about how a soccer bar will defy your expectations of what a sports bar looks, feels, and sounds like. Here are The Differences Between Soccer Bars and Football Bars.

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