The United States and Germany are facing off in the FIFA World Cup® today.
Each team and its fans fervently pull for a victory. One Basin Electric employee in particular, however, wouldn’t mind seeing a draw.
Folko Mueller, a short-term trader at Basin Electric’s Headquarters in Bismarck, ND, was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Like most of his native countrymen, soccer is a big deal to Mueller.
“Football is massive in Germany; it’s number one. In the U.S. there are so many competing sports. If you open a newspaper in Germany, the sports section right now would be 80-90 percent soccer,” Mueller says. “People will watch other events but it’s like a temporary thing. Soccer is permanent. It permeates all aspects of life. During conversations at the office, you use soccer analogies, instead of baseball analogies like you might here.”
Mueller remembers watching his first World Cup in 1974 at his grandmother’s home in Germany. He was 6 years old, and watched Germany beat Netherlands on Germany’s home soil.
“We dragged big TVs out on the lawn,” Mueller says. “Those were good memories. That was the first World Cup I remember vividly. It was a big deal.”
Mueller, who started at Basin Electric in April 2013, played university soccer in England and amateur soccer in Houston, TX.
Mueller notes that he’s a “club over country” fan when it comes to favorite soccer teams, though enjoys watching the best players from their respective countries compete on soccer’s biggest stage.
“The World Cup has always been special to me,” he says. “Just because of the nature of the tournament, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s watched by billions of people all over the world.”
He planned to watch the game during lunchtime. Germany is the better team on paper, Mueller says, though added you can never count out the underdog.
“I would be happy for both teams to go through to the next round. And for that to happen it would have to be a draw.”
Update: Germany defeated the U.S. 1-0, though both teams still advance due to Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Ghana.