The NFL's Super Bowl is the ultimate American sports experience, so it isn't surprising that U.S. soccer stars, both domestic and abroad, will have their eyes glued to their televisions when Sunday's game kicks off.
So who will win: The Seattle Seahawks or Denver Broncos?
ESPN FC reached out to well-known Stars and Stripes players Tim Howard, Hope Solo (U.S. women's national team), Eddie Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan, Herculez Gomez and Maurice Edu to get their thoughts on who will win the big game, the ever-popular Richard Sherman and where they'll be watching the game (the game is on at the wee hours of the night in Europe). It was a close call (a 4-3 vote), but the Yanks sided with slight underdogs, Seahawks, to edge Peyton Manning's Broncos.
See also: HWTLU: Predicting The Super Bowl
Without further ado, here are their thoughts on the big game (all via email):
Where you will be watching the Super Bowl?
Solo (based in the U.S.): "We will be in Fort Lauderdale watching the game, [while] preparing for ours. I brought all my hawks gear! We are going to a local sports lounge one with the best food, and the largest high def TVs."
Howard (based in the UK): "I'll be watching the Super Bowl at my house, in my bed trying to stay awake because of the time difference. Haha"
Kljestan (based in Belgium): "I will be watching the game at home in Brussels and probably invite some friends over, but kick off isn't until 12:30am here so who knows if these Belgians will be down to watch a sport that they don't even know all of the rules to!"
Bedoya (based in France): "I will be watching the Super Bowl at my place with whomever else from my team would like to watch it! Probably order some good food, eat some chips and have a soda. Make it as typical of a Super Bowl watch party as I can. Hopefully, it won't last too long or I don't fall asleep, as it will be really late here."
Johnson (based in the U.S.): "I will be in Seattle with my kids and a bunch of friends on Super Bowl Sunday."
Gomez (based in Mexico): "I'll be just touching down [game on Sunday in Mexico City vs. Pumas] as the game begins so I should be rushing home just in time to catch it. Fingers crossed!!"
Edu (based in the U.S.): "We'll [Philadelphia Union] be in Florida for preseason with the team, so I'll probably watch somewhere with a bunch of the guys."
What did you think of Richard Sherman's postgame rant after beating the San Francisco 49ers?
Howard: "I taped the second half of the game and watched it the next morning. The interview was definitely entertaining. Sherman's comments seemed emotional, which sometimes happens after big games. Big trash talkers need to be able to back it up and he certainly does that."
Bedoya: "I think with today's social-media world, the incident obviously got blown way out of proportion. I do believe he acted in an 'over-the-top' manner. However, as a passionate athlete myself, I can see how after breaking up the last play of a game that sends you to the one game you always dreamed of playing in can have you reacting very emotionally without thinking what you're saying. Your mind is still in the zone.
"That said, though, he could have have tried to control his emotions better. In a sport where trash-talking is so big, Sherman reacted instinctively based on how he was feeling, especially after having his face smushed by Michael Crabtree after playing the 'nice' guy, saying 'good game.' He should have kept his cool, but for people to turn it into a racial or stereotypical incident is what is even more wrong with people today."
Johnson: "He was caught in the heat of the moment. There was a lot of stuff in the buildup to the game, and he and Crabtree are two huge rivals. There was just a lot of emotion involved."
Note: Solo didn't answer the question.
Who will win and why?
Howard: "Broncos, 37-27, Manning is a genius at reading defenses. He's been in the big games before, the pressure won't get to him. I think the Seattle D can handle it but Manning will just keep chipping away until they crack."
Kljestan: "I am gonna go with the Broncos to win in a very close game. Peyton has had an amazing season and I think he will top it all off with a few TD passes to lead the Broncos to victory. The score will be 24-20."
Johnson: "I'm picking the Seahawks to win, of course. Marshawn Lynch will score two touchdowns and a pass from Russell Wilson to [Doug] Baldwin for a 21-14 win."
Edu: "Seahawks win. Final score -- Seahawks 24, Broncos 21, will be a last minute field goal."