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ARLINGTON Soccer fans kicked AT&T Stadium into a new gear Tuesday afternoon a different gear, anyway.

A crowd of about 5,000 had been expected to watch the USA vs. Belgium World Cup match on the giant screen. Stadium employees estimated that closer to 20,000 showed up.

Maybe more.

Caped and painted fans breathed, sighed and roared in unison as Texan Clint Dempsey fired on goal early in the match.

'You can feel the energy,' said Michelle Johnson of Fort Worth.

A scream cut her off. Another shot. Another save.

'A unique experience for soccer fans,' her husband, Jack, added.

Most knew the game, but far from all.

Don Hanquist, visiting from Nebraska admitted to being a brand new fan. When asked to explain an offsides call, he just laughed.

It was a rare opportunity to experience the stadium for free. Soccer fans rocked the big stadium as if it were full.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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