LOS ANGELES, CA – Kayla Knapp reports from FOX Soccer's Mobile Viewing Party in Los Angeles:
Nearly 30 fans climbed aboard the FOX Soccer MVP Bus at Ye Olde King's Head in Santa Monica to take in the Euro 2012 semifinal between Spain and Portugal on Wednesday. Support for the two countries was split evenly within the group, but there was an intriguing array of jerseys on display.
From the Bundesliga to the Premier League , there was a broad representation. The big names were there: Arsenal , Chelsea FC and Manchester United , but also lesser known clubs like West Ham United and Hannover 96 .
At halftime, overlooking the ocean in Malibu, Arsenal fan Joaquin Reyes reflected on the unique soccer culture in America.
"You'll hear universally from people who come to the United States that they're amazed at the fact that you can go into a pub and have civil conversations," Reyes said. "You can't go to a bar in England and have fans of competing clubs sit there and be harmonious, so we're lucky that people here are actually able to coexist peacefully and enjoy themselves and have a good time."
The fans certainly had a great experience during the cruise up the Pacific Coast Highway. FOX Soccer analyst and US legend, Eric Wynalda, was the surprise special guest and witnessed the thrilling semifinal finish with all the fans. He too noted the special environment created by a tournament like the European Championship.
"If you're watching the Premier League, it's very fragmented. It's us against them or them against us, me against you. But in a competition like the Euros, we get to just all be fans of the game," Wynalda said.
Wynalda added: "We all have our favorite players, and we have our funny little moments where we like to pick on Ronaldo--see how many times he checks himself out on the JumboTron--but it's just a great way to enjoy the game as a group."
Fans can send in their most creative tweet using the hashtag #FOXSoccerMVP to receive a spot on the luxury bus. Click here for the official rules.
After Spain's breathtaking win in the penalty kick shootout , the fans were not only buzzing from the excitement of the match, but were happy with the experience.
"I've definitely enjoyed the camaraderie and the good atmosphere here on the bus," Reyes said. "It's definitely been a great idea to get like-minded fans out here and have a good time."
FOX Soccer's Mobile Viewing Party resumes on July 1 in San Francisco.