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Midday World Cup match lures fans from the office

By ANNA MEILER

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Germany may have outkicked America in the World Cup face-off Thursday, but Team USA still escaped the Group of Death and is moving on. The excitement was high among local fans even in the middle of the work day.

"We are playing hooky," admitted Thomas Murphy, who was watching the game at The Celtic Harp on Varick Street.

Whether resorting to school day tactics, or taking time off...

"Took a couple hours vacation from work," said Rich Dobrodziej, a soccer fan.

The inconvenient weekday, noontime throwdown brought out the creative side in millions of Americans.

"Because it's the U.S. national team. It's world cup soccer," said Dobrodziej.

As well as the team's head coach, Jurgen Klinsman, who penned a fill-in-the-blank letter for employees looking to skirt their work day.

"I'm sure plenty of people are doing that. I have friends whose companies blocked all Internet feeds of the game because it's so prevalent among people at work to just stream it and not work," said Murphy.

The letter went viral but was one-upped by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who wrote back to Klinsman giving state employees an extra hour at lunch. He himself enjoyed the competition even though America didn't come out on top.

"We had plenty of chances to score, but just gotta put them in," said soccer fan John Siniscarco.

While it may have been a loss for Team USA, local restaurants scored big.

"Today was crazy compared to other Thursdays. Usually we have a steady crowd for lunch, but we were definitely blown away by what happened today," said Rachel Henderson, a bartender at the Celtic Harp.

Restaurants will have another chance to cash in when America heads to the knockout round and fans are already plotting.

"If it's a noon start we'll be here for that. We'll take more vacation time. Go USA!" said Dobrodziej.

Team USA will be back in action Tuesday in the Round of 16.

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