It may not have been Liverpool’s home stadium of Anfield, but there was enough red and yellow in the crowd of 69,364 at Bank of America Stadium to leave an impression.
Liverpool fans filled most of the stadium and gave loud ovations to both the team and manager Brendan Rodgers. They performed traditional Liverpool chants and made their presence known during each of the game’s two goals and at the game’s end.
Rodgers, whose team will compete on Monday for the International Champions Cup in Miami, says he was a little surprised by the turnout.
“Where ever I have been in the world, there have always been Liverpool supporters,” he said. “I’ve got to say, I was surprised that so many (fans) got here. When we were driving up to the stadium it was like a FA Cup final or Champions League final.”
AC Milan manager Filippo Inzaghi noticed the uneven support towards the Reds and made note of it during his postgame press conference.
“It’s a beautiful stadium” Inzaghi said through an interpreter. “It’s nice to see a sold out stadium with great fans from Liverpool. We hope the following week when we play in the last game we can give a gift to the AC Milan fans.”
Rodgers acknowledged the growth of soccer’s popularity in the United States and credits the game’s supporters for the continued interest in soccer.
“I think it is a country that is evolving,” Rodgers said. “I’m sure the focus will be to win the World Cup in the next 20 years. If you keep developing as a country and nation like you’ve done the last 15 years, you’ll probably get close. There are so many great athletes in this country. ... It’s only going to be a matter of time.”
Liverpool, nicknamed the Reds, thanked fans at the end of the game by doing a stadium-wide lap to let them know they appreciated the support. Midfielder Jordon Ibe, 18, one of Liverpool’s most exciting prospects, was impressed with the contingent of Liverpool fans.
“It was a great atmosphere,” he said. “For me, of all the places we have been in America, this was the greatest in Charlotte.”
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