World Cup Soccer: USA vs. England

Sixty years ago, the U.S. pulled off its greatest sports upset (other than the Miracles on Ice), shocking England 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup. The teams haven’t met in a match that really matters since then, so today’s World Cup Group C opener in South Africa is must-see TV. But where to watch? Fremont institution The George & Dragon, Seattle’s epicenter of English football, is the obvious choice, but hundreds of obsessed fans will have the same idea. If you’d rather eat a sardine than be packed in like one, look across the street to Azzurri, where calcio lives in Seattle. It’s nothing fancy—three flat-screens, a scattering of Serie A jerseys and scarves on plain white walls—but it’s got heart and soul, thanks to the passionate, insistent charm of owner Michele Zacco. He’s also the host, bartender, cook and even the ref: Too much profanity and he’ll show you a yellow card. (He’s got a red card, too, which he’d prefer not to use.) The food—paninis, salads, pizza, and lasagna if you’re lucky—is authentic, hearty, and solid, as is the Sicily-centric wine list. But don’t look for Northwest microbrews—this is a Peroni bar. All matches will be shown live; doors open at 4 a.m., with breakfast service, for early matches. (The World Cup runs June 11-July 11; see our soccer bar directory for more recommended viewing locales.) At Azzurri, you might even find yourself sitting next to a Sounder. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Sat., June 12, 11:30 a.m., 2010

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