Mets back U.S. in World Cup opener

Updated: June 12, 2010, 6:25 PM ET
Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- The United States had just finished playing England in the World Cup opener, and New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis emerged from a side room in the clubhouse with an American flag draped over his shoulders.

Davis and many of the Mets watched Saturday's game intently, cheering for the U.S. and taking great satisfaction from the 1-1 draw.

"When you see USA and you see athletes out there representing their country you always gravitate toward that and root for the guys," said third baseman David Wright, who had a U.S. jersey hanging in his locker. "I don't know much about soccer, but it was fun to go out there and root for your country."

The game was aired several hours before the Mets faced the Baltimore Orioles and well before batting practice. Not everyone watched it, but those who did were enthusiastic in backing the Americans.

"England, that's kind of our arch rival when it comes to soccer," outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. "It's cool to see us get off to a good start today."

Like many Americans, Francoeur isn't an avid fan of the sport. But that didn't lessen his excitement.

"I'm not much of a soccer guy. I watch it once every four years," he said. "I enjoy the World Cup because I think it's such a cool thing. It's the big stage of soccer, especially over here."

Said Wright: "Just seeing the intensity and the atmosphere that the World Cup offers, it was pretty entertaining. I'm looking forward to the second game."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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