Cincinnati’s Summer of Soccer Starts Now

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Now that Cincinnati has been christened “Soccer City USA” by the U.S. Open Cup and others, this late spring-early summer season gives soccer fans in our area plenty of ways to celebrate the sport.

Let’s start with the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the return of World Cup Village presented by Fox19, the official watch party in Cincinnati to see Team USA take home the title. Last year nearly 10,000 visitors came to The Banks to watch men’s World Cup action, and crowds are expected to be larger this year with the U.S. Women’s National Team heavy favorites to win it all.

The party starts on Tuesday, June 11 at 2 p.m. when Team USA faces Thailand in the opening match. Freedom Way will be closed each time the US plays, and the match will be shown on the big screen at Great American Ball Park. In addition to providing the video wall on the side of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, the Reds will also hand out a limited number of special edition Reds soccer t-shirts at the street parties with the purchase of a ticket voucher package. 

Skyline Chili will furnish the victory celebration in the form of free coneys for 150 lucky fans each time the United States wraps up a victory. Graeter’s will serve its world-famous small batch ice cream from their scoop truck which will be parked right on Freedom Way for each event. The official beer of World Cup Village, Rhinegeist, will be offering a curated selection of brews at every party. 

The family-friendly events will feature free kids’ soccer exhibitions led by Kings Hammer on one of the giant inflatable soccer fields provided by Cincinnati Sports Leagues, which will be situated in the street between the SkyWheel and the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 

Other confirmed World Cup Village dates are Sunday, June 16 as the U.S. faces Chile, and Thursday, June 20 when it’s USA vs Sweden. Future match dates will be determined after group play.

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Cincinnati has a rooting interest in Team USA with Rose Lavelle, a Mount Notre Dame graduate, making her World Cup debut this month. A commissioned mural of Lavelle is now up at The Banks, by Taste of Belgium. Lavelle already has been tabbed as a breakout star for Team USA by firstpost.com while Yahoo Sports says that “no one on the USWNT roster can provide the same sort of central playmaking that Lavelle can, and she figures to play a big role in France.” Keep an eye on number 16 for Team USA.

Still looking for your soccer fix? Head to the Ensemble Theatre and “The Wolves,” a play following the lives of nine teenage girls who are members of an indoor soccer team and how they grow through wins and losses, personal angst and outside pressures.  “The Wolves,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award and Obie Ensemble Award, runs at the Ensemble through June 29th.

For more information and tickets for “The Wolves,” go to https://www.ensemblecincinnati.org/shows/the-wolves?dm_i=44JV,6B7P,14M11A,NTGR,1.

Game Day