Where to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup in and around Philly

Soccer fans celebrate in Love Park as Philadelphia is named to host the 2026 World Cup. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Soccer fans celebrate in Love Park as Philadelphia is named to host the 2026 World Cup. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Soccer fans in the Philadelphia area can look forward to being a part of the global spectacle that will come with the FIFA World Cup in 2026, when Philly will host matches, alongside other U.S., Canadian, and Mexican cities.

Until then, everyone can whet their footballing appetites with the 2022 edition of the tournament in Qatar, which kicks off on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. with the hosts facing Ecuador.

The tournament may be far away this time around, but there still will be plenty of options to follow it in and around Philly.

When are the games?

The last matchday of group stage matches, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, will have two pairs of games kicking off simultaneously at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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When does the U.S. team play?

The USMNT are in Group B with England, Iran, and Wales, with Hershey native — and current holder of American soccer’s unofficial “Captain America” moniker — Christian Pulisic leading the nation’s youngest men’s squad in its history at the World Cup.

Along with Pulisic, fellow Delaware Valley product Brenden Aaronson is also in the squad. Promising spells so far at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria and Leeds United in the English Premier League will encourage fans that this could be a breakout tournament for the Philadelphia in Union academy star, nicknamed the “Medford Messi.”

The U.S. group stage run is as follows:

  • Nov 21. vs. Wales at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 25 vs. England at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 29 vs. Iran at 2 p.m.

The U.S. tied its first two matches with Wales and England, and must win against Iran to ensure qualification into the knockout stages.

Who else can you follow?

Philadelphia Union fans who want to cheer on one of their current players can follow Olivier Mbaizo, who will be representing Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions in Group G against five-time champions Brazil, as well as Serbia and Switzerland.

Fans of Mexico’s national team will need to keep track of Group C, where El Tri will contend with two-time winners Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Poland.

United States’ Christian Pulisic controls the ball during the international friendly soccer match between Saudi Arabia and United States in Murcia, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)

Where can you watch the matches?

All of the games will be on Fox, Fox Sports 1, and in Spanish coverage on Telemundo and NBC’s Peacock streaming service.

But the World Cup is a global, social event, with FIFA audience data showing that more than half the global population tuned in for the 2018 edition of the tournament. So getting out and enjoying the matches with fellow supporters is highly encouraged.

U.S. fans can join members of the national team’s unofficial supporters group, the American Outlaws, with the Philly chapter hosting watch parties for the USMNT matches at Top Tomato Bar & Pizza in Center City.

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Fans hoping to join AO’s New Jersey chapter to watch the U.S. games will have to head way up north to Mulligan’s Pub in Hoboken.

While Delaware doesn’t have its own chapter of the USMNT supporters club, Stoney’s British Pub on Concord Pike outside of Wilmington will host watch parties for the U.S. group stage matches, opening one hour before kickoff for each game.

XfinityLive! is partnering with the Philadelphia Union to host watch parties for all three USMNT games as well, with the chance to win two tickets to the 2026 World Cup, Union merch, and digital copies of the latest FIFA video game.

Old City British pub The Victoria Freehouse will be open for all matches starting after 8 a.m., excluding Thanksgiving Day.

 

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Starting Nov. 21, members of the Sons of Ben, the Philadelphia Union’s independent supporters group, will be watching the same games at Kildare’s Irish Pub in West Chester.

 

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Irish pub Tir Na Nog have also posted their World Cup schedule, along with Cavanaugh’s Headhouse, while Misconduct Tavern’s website says it will play the matches.

If by December you’re getting tired of beer and bar bites, Jet Wine Bar in Southwest Center City are adding a twist to the festivities with the Jet Wine Cup on Dec. 13, where participants can compare eight wines from nations competing in the World Cup — Brazil, Uruguay, Australia, France, Mexico, Spain, Croatia, and Serbia — help decide a winner.

Mexican restaurant Sor Ynéz is holding a “Mundial de Tacos” each weekend of the tournament, pitting two World Cup nation-themed tacos against each other. The Kensington restaurant began the flavor competition with a Qatar-inspired lamb shawarma taco defeating an Ecuadorian-style lamb stew with fried yucca, advancing to face a South Korean and Japanese styles competing second weekend. Sor Ynéz says that a portion of proceeds from the special will go to Human Rights Watch and its efforts to defend the rights of migrant workers, one of the many controversies that arose in Qatar’s preparations for the World Cup.

 

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Did we miss your favorite spot to watch soccer? Let me know at nkariuki@whyy.org 

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