ATLANTIC CITY — Patriotism was at a fever pitch for the U.S. Women’s National Team World Cup final at the resort’s sportsbooks on Sunday.
And the game’s ending was never in doubt for soccer fans.
Bobby Smith, 68, of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, and his 31-year-old son, Ryan, dropped into Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s new Moneyline Bar & Book to watch the soccer match after a long holiday weekend.
Smith, a National Soccer Hall of Fame member, played with the U.S. Men’s National Team as well as the Philadelphia Atoms and New York Cosmos during his career.
He was confident the United States was going to celebrate back-to-back World Cup championships Sunday.
“(The women’s team) has played great. They’re the best team,” Smith said, while the game was still scoreless. “All their games have been tough, but I think they’re the better team (today).”
At The Sportbook inside Golden Nugget Atlantic City, former college soccer player Brian Laurinaitis, 35, of Philadelphia, liked what he has seen from the women’s team during its tournament run.
“They’re cocky and they’re backing it up,” he said. “It’s nice to see.”
Besides being a fan and betting on the women to win outright, Laurinaitis had another motivation for cheering on the national team.
“I’m proud to be an American,” he said.
Robert Wieccorek, 49, of East Rutherford, Bergen County, was born in Poland, but his allegiance was to the U.S. Women’s National Team. Wieccorek said he had not bet on the match while watching intently inside Borgata’s new sportsbook, but had a bold prediction.
“The United States will win 2-1,” he said.
At The Book inside Bally’s Atlantic City, which is the largest sportsbook in the resort at nearly 15,000-square-feet, fans erupted when the U.S. team notched both of its goals.
“That’s what you want to see,” yelled Rita, who along with her husband Jerry declined to give a last name, of Langhorne, Pennsylvania. “Go USA!”
The USWNT defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in France. The team won its fourth World Cup, with previous victories coming in 1991, 1999 and 2015.
A ticker-tape parade will be held Wednesday down the “Canyon of Heroes” in New York City.
The U.S. women’s soccer team also had a parade in their honor through Lower Manahttan in 2015, the last professional sports team to do so.