By Kay Quinn
St. Louis (KSDK) - More than 80,000 people packed Wembley stadium to watch the U.S. women's soccer team beat Japan for the Olympic gold medal Thursday.
It was the largest crowd ever to see a women's soccer game at the Olympics.
Back here at home, St. Louis was also watching as the U.S. climbed back on top of the women's soccer world.
All over the metro, crowds gathered around TVs for the big game.
Not only to watch the women's national team make Olympic history as the most successful team in the sport, but some say because they are women.
"Three of the best soccer games we've seen over the past two or three years all involved the United States women's national team," said Bill McDermott, better known locally as Mr. Soccer.
McDermott was part of the SLU men's soccer teams that won NCAA championships in 1967 and 1969.
Thursday, he was part of a big crowd at O.B. Clark's in Brentwood where he explained this female soccer fascination: a combination of proven winners and a huge sporting event.
"When they play together and they represent their country," said McDermott, "Americans everywhere will watch, particularly when they get in big competitions, and also in particular because it's a women's team and they've won World Cups before."
Over at Amsterdam Tavern in south St. Louis, the crowd was screaming for the U.S. women.
"It's been big for a long time, ever since we had a team, best team in the world in history," said soccer fan Jake Heilich.
A team that's brought out patriotism and pride like few others.
"It's great to see this many people here," said soccer fan Jessica Heilich. "There's definitely more guys here than girls. You know, that's awesome to see. Definitely a lot of girls out there who are playing soccer because of these girls, so that's all that counts."
Look at how huge this story was on Twitter: from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., the top sport was soccer, with 1,040 tweets per minute.
The top athlete was Alex Morgan with 1,358 tweets per minute.
From the 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. hour, soccer got 1,285 tweets per minute.
The top athlete was Hope Solo with 5,733 tweets per minute.