With the Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand this year, the time zone difference can create havoc for soccer fans in the U.S.
This did not have a big impact on the first two games for the U.S. women’s team, as both started at 8 p.m. Central Time.
But Chicago-area fans are in for a rude awakening with the team’s next game against Portugal, which kicks off at 2 a.m. Tuesday.
The game will take place in Auckland, New Zealand, which is 17 hours ahead of Chicago.
For diehard fans determined to not miss a second of the action, many are faced with the decision of whether to stay up late to watch the game, or set their alarms and wake up early.
The Globe Pub in the city’s North Center neighborhood hosted watch parties for the first two games.
For the team’s second game against the Netherlands, dozens of fans covered head to toe in red, white and blue regalia and Team USA jerseys packed the bar an hour before the game. When the Globe reached maximum occupancy before kickoff, a crowd formed outside the bar at 1934 W. Irving Park Road to watch the game.
Later, after receiving fan interest, the Globe decided to hold a private, ticketed watch party for the match against Portugal. But since their liquor license only lasts until 1 a.m., they will not be allowed to serve alcohol at game time.
Cassie Dorf, 41, of Lincolnwood, who owns the Globe with her husband, said the pub has a plan to create an enjoyable experience for fans nonetheless.
“It’s more about the camaraderie and being together with people,” Dorf said. “So if people start walking in and calling and saying we want to be here, we’ll be here for them.”
A win against the Netherlands would have cemented the U.S. in the knockout round. But since the game ended in a 1-1 draw, their final group stage match against Portugal will determine whether or not they advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.
A draw or win will lock them into the next round, but a loss will very likely eliminate any chance of the U.S. winning a third-straight World Cup.
Emily Ratzoff, 27, of the North Center neighborhood, attended the watch party at the Globe and said it’s important to her to stay up for the Portugal game, even if it means sacrificing her sleep schedule.
“I think for me, watching women’s sports, especially, is very exciting, especially on such a big stage,” Ratzoff said. “I grew up playing sports but never really seeing myself on TV. So if I can do that now, I’m going to.”
Joshua Zepeda, 32, of Edgewater and Rachel Brick, 37, of Logan Square, who sat on the Globe’s patio in USA gear to watch the Netherlands match, coach high school soccer together at Sullivan High School in Rogers Park.
They said they will try to wake up in time for the Portugal game, but if they miss it, they will be sure to watch the highlights, like they have done for the 2 a.m. games played so far by other teams.
“Every four years, seeing that more and more people are excited to watch women’s soccer and simultaneously seeing it grow around the world has been a really exciting time,” Brick said.
Noah Jennings is an intern on WBEZ’s audio desk. Follow him @noahajennings.