Fans brave D.C. heat for U.S.-Belgium game watching at Freedom Plaza, National Harbor

Crowds watching the World Cup along National Harbor. (WJLA photo/Kendis Gibson)

WASHINGTON (WJLA/AP) -- Fans didn't seem to mind the 90-plus degree temperatures or the high humidity on Tuesday afternoon.

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They turned out for parties in Freedom Plaza and along National Harbor with thousands of American soccer fans to watch the U.S. play Belgium in the World Cup, with the winner set to move on the quarterfinals of the biggest sporting event in the world.

Crowds sang the national anthem together and it was hard to find a seat at game time in the plaza. Marie Davenport, 76, set up a folding chair outside of the main crowd but with a good view of the big screen.

Davenport, a retired teacher who splits her time between the U.S. and Germany, said the screen and the crowd's enthusiasm was much better than watching from her living room.

"I think that after this World Cup Americans are sold on soccer," said Davenport, who developed her own interest in soccer while living in Germany.

Most in the crowd at the harbor wore red, white and blue, and many brought American flags, making it look like and early Fourth of July party.

Heat was a concern, but there were misting stations at the block-long Freedom Plaza party to keep fans cool.