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Washington (AFP) — Sunday’s dramatic World Cup match between the United States and Portugal may have ended in a disappointing 2-2 draw for Team USA, but it was a record-setter on U.S. television.

Cable sports network ESPN said Monday the late-afternoon game pulled an average 18.2 million viewers to become “the most-viewed soccer match in the United States ever” — and the biggest event on ESPN that wasn’t professional or college American football.

The soccer viewing record previously belonged to the 1999 Women’s World Cup final between the United States and China that kept nearly 18 million Americans glued to their TV sets, ESPN said in a statement.

Locally, ESPN said ratings for Sunday’s game were strongest in Washington, the industrial Ohio city of Columbus, New York, Boston, and the Connecticut cities of Hartford and New Haven.

Team USA’s previous World Cup match against Ghana garnered 11.1 million viewers across the nation. The squad returns to the pitch Thursday to play Germany.

AFP Photo / Scott Olson

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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoon.