Bradenton residents disappointed with U.S. loss, happy to move on in World Cup

kirby@bradenton.comJune 27, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Rico Antonelli, a bartender at the Lost Kangaroo Pub, said he'd never been so happy about a loss.

That was the general feeling at the bar after Germany beat the United States 1-0 in a World Cup match Thursday.

U.S. fans were booing, cheering and jeering along with every play, but in the end were just happy to advance onto the next round of the tournament.

"Most importantly, they advanced in the tournament and we live to fight another day," said Jim Zielinski, a Bradenton resident for 10 years. "And Germany's really good, so if they can play with Germany, they can play with anyone."

The crowd mainly focused on the U.S. game, but some cheers were thrown Portugal's way as it beat Ghana 2-1, ensuring the United States would still advance despite the loss to Germany.

Steven Malloy, a barback at the Lost Kangaroo Pub, said he was disappointed, but "all we needed to do was move on."

"Everybody wrote us off as far as this group went, but we moved on," Malloy said, referencing the United States advancing out of Group G, which was referred to as the "Group of Death."

There were a few German fans in the bar as well. Dean Ebner lived in Munich, Germany, until he was 19 and moved to Bradenton, and while he does root for the United States, Germany is still his No. 1 team.

"Germany's going to the end," he said.

Ebner was there with his wife, two sons and his son's girlfriend -- all rooting for Germany. They said they were happy both teams advance, but they want Germany win it all.

"They could see each other in the final," said Toby Ebner, Dean's son. "I'd love to see that. That'd be great."

Antonelli opened the bar at 11:30 a.m., an hour and a half earlier than normal, so customers could come in to watch the game.

"We're all big soccer fans here," Antonelli said, as he donned a sparkly blue cowboy hat to show off his American pride.

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