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Levi's stadium was all decked out for FC Barcelona's friendly with Manchester United on Saturday. / FCB

SAN FRANCISCO — Here in California, the fans even celebrated goals that were waived off. It happened on 60 minutes when Luis Suárez scored what could have been Barça's first goal. The referee raised his hand but the public continued screaming with passion.

In the United States, soccer is felt differently; not just for fun, but also with poetic enthusiasm. "Let's go Barça," they shouted, not minding that they were sharing the stands with the Manchester United fans.

A game in any professional sport in America is essentially a holiday with barbecues and family fun outside the stadium. The San Francisco 49ers home field, where the sun shone strongly, became a hotbed where one of the events of the summer was unfolding, smack dab in the middle of Santa Clara, on the Left Coast of the United States.

As always, it was a special occasion. The American National Anthem was played. Two European champions took the pitch. Soccer is in fashion here; indeed, if anything, after the US women's national team conquered the World Cup in Canada.

Electric atmosphere

After a few minutes of play, Luis Suárez, who seems to be perpetually running downhill towards the goal, hit the post. Suárez repeated the unlucky feat in the second half. The American fans showed they really wanted it, if such a thing is really more than a cliche. The Uruguayan striker's name was chanted as if he was a living legend. Suárez concentrated and launched a shot at the goal, but luck, once again, seemed to not be on his side.

The atmosphere was electric following United's goals, but for Barça fans here, the result was not problematic. They enjoyment of the game was enough to provoke a resounding cry that never ceased to ring out, not for a single moment: "Let's go Barça!"shouted some, and "Visca el Barça" shouted others, both united by a single idea. The only downside to the day was that, on this occasion, Barça fell in defeat.

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