Update 2:50 p.m.: Click here to watch video highlights from NBC.
Update 1:38 p.m.: The U.S. seized the gold medal in women’s soccer, edging Japan 2:1 in a hard-fought game.
Update 1:12 p.m.: Yuki Ogimi scores for Japan, making the score 2-1.
Update 12:55 p.m.: Carli Lloyd scores again! This time it’s a hard shot that travels from right to left, into the back of the goal. The U.S. is up 2-0 in the 55th minute.
Update 12:49 p.m.: The score remains 1-0 in the 48th minute, thanks in part to two incredible saves by U.S. goaltender Hope Solo in the first half. It’s been an exciting game, with both teams providing some intense offensive pressure. Click here to watch it live online.
Update 11:56 a.m.: If you haven’t clicked on the watch live link yet, you’ve already missed the first U.S. goal – Cal grad Alex Morgan fed Carli Lloyd for the tally in the 10th minute. It’s now 1-0 U.S. over Japan in the 14th minute.
If you’re hoping to have lunch at a bar or restaurant and watch the U.S. women’s soccer team in the Olympic gold medal match today, you might want to leave your office soon. Michael McCann, a bartender at The Mad Dog in the Fog pub in San Francisco, suggests that fans who want a seat show up now.
“The women’s team has a big following,” McCann said. “It’s a great atmosphere. The bar’s usually packed. Especially today, it will be packed.”
Ralph Martignetti, the bar manager for Double D’s Sports Grille in Los Gatos, noted that his establishment has overflow seating for the game. He said he’s received several calls this morning from fans asking if the bar will have the game on.
“Yesterday, we had a huge crowd for the volleyball. We expect a bigger crowd today,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest in that match.”
And the game could attract additional interest from fans in Northern California, as some of the players on the U.S. team have local ties. Forward Alex Morgan, the hero in Monday’s exciting semifinal win over Canada, is an alumna of University of California, Berkeley. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, meanwhile, is from Redding; defender Kelley O’Hara lives in San Francisco; and backup goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart is a Palo Alto resident.
Johnny Hayes, aka “Johnny Funcheap,” founder of local events site Funcheap.com, said at 10:45 a.m. that fans were already at Kezar Pub in San Francisco preparing for the game. He noted, however, that there had been confusion at some pubs over the game’s start time, which is 11:45 a.m. Some establishments had different times listed on their websites and Facebook pages. “The best thing to do is to call the bar” to confirm that they’re broadcasting the game, Funcheap said. “Every bar I’ve called has been responsive, is knowledgable and has talked about it.”
You could also watch the game online at NBCOlympics.com, but seriously, where’s the fun in that?
We asked BleacherReport.com to suggest some local establishments for watching the match; here’s what Sean Swaby, the site’s featuredcolumnist coordinator, had to say about soccer bars in San Francisco:
Maggie McGarry’s — You can find enthusiasts watching futbol at this North Beach staple at any hour of the day. Just don’t accidentally catch the women’s final here in a Tottenham jersey unless you want to catch an earful from the locals and risk a foamy pour at San Francisco’s official Arsenal pub.
Mad Dog in the Fog — Well, if the women blow it against Japan, at least you can stick around at this Lower Haight pub for California’s first self-serve beer table.
Danny Coyle’s — Danny Coyle’s claims to be a Tottenham bar that is occasionally dominated by Arsenal supporters. It’s also a UNC basketball bar that also serves as safe ground for SoCal teams, San Diego, especially. Considering its vast array of teams you can go to support there, it may be your best bet if you’re trying to be contrarian and pull for Japan over the United States women.
Kezar — Come to Upper Haight’s legendary sports bar for the vast array of TVs, stay for the wings. Get there early, Kezar packs for any big match, especially of the footballing variety.
Abbey Tavern — USF kids stagger over to this Inner Richmond Celtic pub after morning classes to watch midday fixtures…but mostly to enjoy the inexpensive swills. That’s why I go there, at least.
You can follow Bleacher Report’s live coverage and analysis here.