With or without OK from the boss, thousands of Americans set work aside to watch US-Germany

Thousands of eager Americans set work aside Thursday to watch the U.S. men's soccer team play Germany in a key World Cup match.

Fans flocked to official watch parties in places like Chicago's Grant Park and Washington's Dupont Circle, and many more took part in boss-approved, morale-boosting breaks at the office.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted a party for its staff of about 100 with a TV and food. Matt Rogers of the Washington-based Urban Institute, which held a party for its 400 employees, says the World Cup is a great way to build office relationships.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann even posted an online note for people to give to their bosses. It asked managers to excuse staff to watch the game for the good of the nation.